Robust single- and multi-loudspeaker least-squares-based equalization for hearing devices

9 Sep 2021  ·  Henning Schepker, Florian Denk, Birger Kollmeier, Simon Doclo ·

To improve the sound quality of hearing devices, equalization filters can be used that aim at achieving acoustic transparency, i.e., listening with the device in the ear is perceptually similar to the open ear. The equalization filter needs to ensure that the superposition of the equalized signal played by the device and the signal leaking through the device into the ear canal matches a processed version of the signal reaching the eardrum of the open ear. Depending on the processing delay of the hearing device, comb-filtering artifacts can occur due to this superposition, which may degrade the perceived sound quality. In this paper we propose a unified least-squares-based procedure to design single- and multi-loudspeaker equalization filters for hearing devices aiming at achieving acoustic transparency. To account for non-minimum phase components, we introduce a so-called acausality management. To reduce comb-filtering artifacts, we propose to use a frequency-dependent regularization. Experimental results using measured acoustic transfer functions from a multi-loudspeaker earpiece show that the proposed equalization filter design procedure enables to achieve robust acoustic transparency and reduces the impact of comb-filtering artifacts. A comparison between single- and multi-loudspeaker equalization shows that for both cases a robust equalization performance can be achieved for different desired open ear transfer functions.

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