Modern hearing aids contain many advanced signal processing features to obtain the best possible end user benefits in all listening situations. These features are today adjusted for the individual via the fitting software, based on a dialog between the end-user and the hearing care professional, attempting to translate verbal feedback to hearing aid settings. This project allows the end user to adjust hearing aid settings directly by performing pairwise comparisons of settings to guide the hearing aid towards the optimal (preferred) setting.
The project aims at developing the best and most robust procedure to guide the hearing aid settings towards the best setting via a series of pairwise comparisons by the user. The procedure will be evaluated with end users to determine reliability, precision, and time consumption. If a satisfactory compromise can be reached, the next aim is to move from simple settings and listening situations towards advanced settings and realistic complex listening situations, e.g. conversation in restaurant. The procedure can be performed in the clinic but in the future also in daily life via a smartphone app.
The preferred settings procedure will be tested and refined, first by simulations on a computer and second in the laboratory with hearing aid users. The laboratory testing uses the Eriksholm anechoic chamber and a loudspeaker ring to simulate relevant real-life listening situations. The early concept verification will use simple settings and listening situations and then a series of user tests will be run to gradually move to more advanced settings and scenes. During development of the new fitting method, it must constantly be verified that the estimated individual preferred setting is superior to a default prescribed setting.