18Binaural Speech Processing with Application to Hearing Devices

Simon Doclo Sharon Gannot Daniel Marquardt and Elior Hadad

This chapter provides an overview of multi‐microphone speech enhancement algorithms for a binaural hearing system, consisting of a hearing device on each ear of the user. In contrast to the multi‐microphone speech enhancement algorithms presented in Chapter 10, the objective of a binaural algorithm is not only to selectively enhance the desired speech source and to suppress interfering sources (e.g., competing speakers) and ambient background noise, but also to preserve the auditory impression of the acoustic scene. This can be achieved by preserving the so‐called binaural cues of the desired speech source, the interfering sources and the background noise, such that the binaural hearing advantage of the auditory system can be exploited and confusions due to a mismatch between acoustic and visual information are avoided.

Section 18.1 provides a general introduction, focusing on the specific objectives and challenges encountered in binaural noise reduction. In Section 18.2 the binaural hearing properties are discussed, which play a crucial role in the design and evaluation of binaural algorithms. Section 18.3 provides an overview of the two main binaural processing paradigms: binaural spectral postfiltering and binaural spatial filtering. In the remainder of the chapter we mainly focus on binaural spatial filtering. In Section 18.4 the considered acoustic scenario ...

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