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This study focuses on adaptive noise cancellation (ANC) techniques for the acquisition of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are very low level sounds produced by the outer hair cells of normal cochleas, spontaneously or in response to sound stimulation as a byproduct of a frequency and threshold sensitivity increasing mechanism. Current OAE recording systems rely on test probe noise attenuation and synchronous ensemble averaging for increasing signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). The efficiency of an ANC algorithm for noise suppression was investigated using three microphones: one placed in the test ear, one in the nontest ear for internal noise reference; one near the subject's head for external noise reference. The system proposed was tested with simulations, off-line averaging and real-time implementation of the ANC algorithm. Simulation results showed that the technique had a potential noise reduction capability of 24 dB for complex multifrequency noise signals. Off-line results mere positive, with a mean SNR improvement of 4.9 dB. Real-time results indicated that the use of an ANC algorithm in combination with standard averaging methods can reduce noise levels by as much as 10 dB beyond that obtained with standard noise reduction methods and probe attenuation alone.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2000