Given that there are about 650 000 hearing aids in use in the Netherlands of which the vast majority contains single-microphone noise reduction, it is remarkable that there is only little knowledge on the implementation and effects of noise reduction. Clinicians who are responsible for prescribing and fitting the hearing aids have no insight in the consequences of activating noise reduction in a hearing aid. Thus, for thousands of hearing aid users it is not sure whether their hearing aid is chosen and fitted optimally to compensate for the wide-spread problem of reduced speech perception in noise.
This thesis describes several studies that were conducted to learn more about the effects of different single-microphone noise-reduction algorithms on perceptual outcomes, such as speech intelligibility, listening effort, and personal preference. The major part of the thesis comprises studies investigating noise-reduction implementations from commercial hearing aids. In two additional studies state-of-the-art noise-reduction algorithms from literature were used to deepen our knowledge on some specific aspects of noise reduction.
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