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A Reconfigurable Digital Filterbank for Hearing-Aid Systems With a Variety of Sound Wave Decomposition Plans

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2 Author(s)
Ying Wei ; Sch. of Inf. Sci. & Eng., Shandong Univ., Jinan, China ; Debao Liu

Current hearing-aid systems have fixed sound wave decomposition plans due to the use of fixed filterbanks, thus cannot provide enough flexibility for the compensation of different hearing impairment cases. In this paper, a reconfigurable filterbank that consists of a multiband-generation block and a subband-selection block is proposed. Different subbands can be produced according to the control parameters without changing the structure of the filterbank system. The use of interpolation, decimation, and frequency-response masking enables us to reduce the computational complexity by realizing the entire system with only three prototype filters. Reconfigurability of the proposed filterbank enables hearing-impaired people to customize hearing aids based on their own specific conditions to improve their hearing ability. We show, by means of examples, that the proposed filterbank can achieve a better matching to the audiogram and has smaller complexity compared with the fixed filterbank. The drawback of the proposed method is that the throughput delay is relatively long (>20 ms), which needs to be further reduced before it can be used in a real hearing-aid application.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 6 )