Examination of a hybrid beamformer that preserves auditory spatial cues.J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 10; 142(4):EL369.JA
A hearing-aid strategy that combines a beamforming microphone array in the high frequencies with natural binaural signals in the low frequencies was examined. This strategy attempts to balance the benefits of beamforming (improved signal-to-noise ratio) with the benefits of binaural listening (spatial awareness and location-based segregation). The crossover frequency was varied from 200 to 1200 Hz, and performance was compared to full-spectrum binaural and beamformer conditions. Speech intelligibility in the presence of noise or competing speech was measured in listeners with and without hearing loss. Results showed that the optimal crossover frequency depended on the listener and the nature of the interference.