Binaural Directionality III: Directionality that supports natural auditory processing
The differences and similarities between sounds arriving at each ear can be used to enhance or suppress environmental sounds at will, and lets us easily shift our attention among these sounds. Depending on what the sound of interest is at any particular moment, we innately use different listening strategies, and we unconsciously change between a strategy that relies on environmental awareness and one that relies on the ear with the best representation of the interesting sound. Binaural Directionality III provides the ultimate balance for supporting natural hearing: a signal-to-noise ratio improvement similar to bilateral directional microphones and a significant benefit in ease of listening compared to other directional microphone strategies. This paper reviews the rationale for Binaural Directionality III and how it achieves this balance.
Accuracy of identifying speech-in-noise in varying noise backgrounds
Effect of directional strategy on audibility of sounds in the environment
Directional microphones in hearing aids have been well-documented to improve speech recognition in noise in laboratory conditions. The real-world perceived benefits of directionality have been less dramatic. The development of directional technology during the past decade has focused on improving laboratory benefit by means of adaptive behavior, and more recently, binaural beamforming made possible by ear-to-ear audio streaming. In contrast, ReSound has pursued a strategy for applying directional technology that takes advantage of auditory processing by the brain, with the goal of optimizing real-world benefit. In this study, ReSound Binaural Directionality III is compared to two commercially available binaural beamformers to explore the possible advantages and disadvantages of these very different approaches to applying hearing aid directionality.
Mean SRTs for the 3 pairs of test instruments with target talker from the behind. Lower values are better.