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Hearing Assistive Technology

Broadly, hearing assistive technology (HAT) comprises a group of devices that improve access to sound for individuals with hearing loss. The common issue related to hearing loss is a loss of audibility of sounds, which is often treated by hearing aids or implantable devices such as cochlear implants, or both. A secondary issue related to hearing loss is speech understanding in difficult listening environments. Specifically, noise and reverberation can mask out speech sounds. What HATs attempt to do is improve access to speech sounds, while also reducing interference by noise and reverberation. An important concept that applies to HATs is signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For example, it is desirable that the speech sounds are always louder than the noise (a positive dB value), and a +10 ...

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