Speech enhancement with multichannel Wiener filter techniques in multimicrophone binaural hearing aids
This paper evaluates speech enhancement in binaural multimicrophone hearing aids by noise reduction algorithms based on the multichannel Wiener filter (MWF) and the MWF with partial noise estimate (MWF-N). Both algorithms are specifically developed to combine noise reduction with the preservation of binaural cues. Objective and perceptual evaluations were performed with different speech-in-multitalker-babble configurations in two different acoustic environments. The main conclusions are as follows: (a) A bilateral MWF with perfect voice activity detection equals or outperforms a bilateral adaptive directional microphone in terms of speech enhancement while preserving the binaural cues of the speech component. (b) A significant gain in speech enhancement is found when transmitting one contralateral microphone signal to the MWF active at the ipsilateral hearing aid. Adding a second contralateral microphone showed a significant improvement during the objective evaluations but not in the subset of scenarios tested during the perceptual evaluations. (c) Adding the partial noise estimate to the MWF, done to improve the spatial awareness of the hearing aid user, reduces the amount of speech enhancement in a limited way. In some conditions the MWF-N even outperformed the MWF possibly due to an improved spatial release from masking.