Spatial hearing augmentation and hearing devices

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Design Engineering (Dyson School)


The human auditory system is able to locate sound sources in a spatial manner through the utilization of binaural cues from the two ears, as well as spectral cues from the angular dependent filtering of the pinnae. Hearing aids, however, often disturb these cues. This is due to the fact that the dynamic compression needed to enhance the audio signal often disturbs binaural cues, as well as the fact that the microphone of the hearing aids are often placed outside of the ear canal, thus removing any of the spectral filtering of the pinnae. This is problematic, as studies have shown that spatial hearing is essential to speech intelligibility in scenarios with multiple speakers, often dubbed the "Cocktail Party" problem. The aim of this PhD is to restore these spatial cues using spatial audio rendering techniques, as well as exploring the enhancement of these cues through the adjustment/exaggeration of these cues and evaluating where this provides a perceptual benefit to hearing impaired individuals.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T51780X/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2025
2600060 Studentship EP/T51780X/1 30/09/2021 23/01/2023 Kevin Sum