Evaluation of a Binaural Spatialization Method for Hearing Aids

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Brief Title

Evaluation of a Binaural Spatialization Method for Hearing Aids

Official Title

Evaluation of a Binaural Spatialization Method for Hearing Aids, in Terms of Speech Intelligibility, Speaker Localization and Subjective Preference.

Brief Summary

      This study investigates the possible benefits of using binaural spatialization techniques in
      digital wireless microphone systems for hearing aids. Speech intelligibility tests, speaker
      localization tests and preference tests are performed. The results of a diotic (current
      rendering) and a binaural (suggested rendering) rendering are compared.

Detailed Description

      The signal processing laboratory (LTS2) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
      has developed a new feature of sound rendering in hearing aids. This is a collaboration
      between EPFL and the Swiss company Phonak Communications AG. The new functionality works with
      the range of Roger products from Phonak, a new generation of FM systems that use a digital

      FM technology refers to a type of wireless system that helps people better understand speech
      in noisy situations. FM systems commonly work together with a user's hearing aids, although
      systems are also available for those with otherwise normal hearing (such as people who suffer
      from APD, ADHD etc.). An FM system works like this: the person speaking wears or holds a
      transmitter microphone, or the transmitter is placed in the middle of the group (picking up
      speech from all around). Using harmless radio waves, the FM system sends speech signal(s) to
      the listener, who wears a tiny FM receiver behind the ear.

      The new feature of such systems performs processing of the speaker's speech signal so that it
      renders information related to their spatial location. This so-called sound "spatialization"
      is a natural property of the human binaural auditory system, which allows us to localize
      sounds. However, this sound spatialization is not delivered by the current FM systems. Thanks
      to the new technology from EPFL and Phonak, it is now possible to include a binaural
      spatialization of the speech signal in the Roger product of Phonak hearing devices.

Study Phase

Phase 2/Phase 3

Study Type


Primary Outcome

Speech Intelligibility


Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Hearing Aids

Study Arms / Comparison Groups

 Normal hearing
Description:  People showing no hearing loss (< 20 dB HL). Introduction of speech signal via the DAI of two hearing aids Phonak Naida IX SP.


* Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by National Clinical Trials Identifier (NCT ID) in Medline.

Recruitment Information

Recruitment Status


Estimated Enrollment


Start Date

February 2016

Completion Date

July 2016

Primary Completion Date

July 2016

Eligibility Criteria

        Inclusion Criteria

          -  French-native speakers and adults.

          -  Normal otoscopy.

          -  No conductive pathology.

          -  Normal hearing, or moderate to severe, sloping or flat, symmetrical hearing loss.

          -  User of bilateral Phonak hearing aids, for more than 6 months (hearing-impaired only).

        Exclusion Criteria:

          -  History of tinnitus or hyperacusis.

          -  Visual impairment, after correction with glasses or not.

          -  History of chronic or terminal illness or psychiatric disturbance,.

          -  History of epilepsy or other reactions associated with the proximity to a video




18 Years - 85 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Gilles Courtois, Enginner, , 

Location Countries


Location Countries


Administrative Informations



Organization ID

BHALS - 001

Responsible Party

Principal Investigator

Study Sponsor

Sonova AG

Study Sponsor

Gilles Courtois, Enginner, Principal Investigator, Sonova AG

Verification Date

October 2016