Hearing Aid for Social Situations
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Conventional hearing aids perform badly in environments with reverberation and noise. In this paper the use of microphone arrays as hearing aids to increase directivity and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in a noisy environment are evaluated. A portable microphone array prototype is constructed to test beamforming algorithms in a real environment. Delay and sum beamforming, sub-band beamforming and an experimental type of binaural beamforming is implemented in real-time using the digital signal processor ADSP-BF533. Results from testing showed that a four microphone array using sub-band beamforming outperforms delay and sum beamforming using the same number of microphones. The results also showed that it is possible to obtain binaural impression of the array output and source localization using the proposed binaural technique called beamspreading.