NYU Tandon Doctoral Student's Cochlear Implant Technology Banishes Ambient Babble

Algorithmic Solution for Hearing Aids and Implants Tunes Out Talkers, Tunes in the Person the Wearer Wants to Hear.

Wearers of cochlear implants and hearing aids often have difficulty teasing out what someone is saying over “babble” — the cacophony of other talkers — and other ambient sounds. New York University researchers have devised a novel solution: an algorithmic approach that, like making drinkable water from pond water, distills the talker’s voice from a turbid wash of noise.

Most algorithms for acoustic noise suppression aim to eliminate steady background noise — the sound of an air conditioner or road noise are familiar examples — which is relatively easy to attenuate. 

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