Development and assessment of a localization algorithm implemented in binaural hearing aids
Digital wireless microphone systems have been developed to enhance speech intelligibility for hearing aid users. The voice of the speaker of interest is picked-up close to the mouth by a body-worn microphone, and rendered in a diotic way (same signal at the two ears) in both hearing aids. This means that binaural spatial cues are missing, whereas they are known to be useful for speech perception, speaker localization and sense of immersion. Some spatial information could be included in the microphone signal if the location of the talker relative to the listener would be known. This paper reports an algorithm that performs the real-time localization and tracking of the speaker’s position, taking into account the technical constraints related to hearing aids. It has been assessed with speech signals in a conventional classroom, and has reached convincing performance.