The Effect of the Speech Enhancement Algorithm for Sensorineural Hearing Impaired Listeners

  • Kim, Dong-Wook (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Lee, Young-Woo (Digital Media R&D Center, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS, CO., LTD.) ;
  • Lee, Jong-Shill (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Chee, Young-Joon (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Lee, Sang-Min (School of Electrical Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • Kim, In-Young (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Kim, Sun-I. (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University)
  • Published : 2007.12.31


Background noise is one of the major complaints of not only hearing impaired persons but also normal listeners. This paper describes the results of two experiments in which speech recognition performance was determined for listeners with normal hearing and sensorineural hearing loss in noise environment. First, we compared speech enhancement algorithms by evaluation speech recognition ability in various speech-to-noise ratios and types of noise. Next, speech enhancement algorithms by reducing background noise were presented and evaluated to improve speech intelligibility for sensorineural hearing impairment listeners. We tested three noise reduction methods using single-microphone, such as spectrum subtraction and companding, Wiener filter method, and maximum likelihood envelop estimation. Their responses in background noise were investigated and compared with those by the speech enhancement algorithm that presented in this paper. The methods improved speech recognition test score for the sensorineural hearing impaired listeners, but not for normal listeners. The results suggest the speech enhancement algorithm with the loudness compression can improve speech intelligibility for listeners with sensorineural hearing loss.


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