In this study the authors aimed to assess the benefit beamforming multiple microphones provide to implantees. Speech reception thresholds were assessed in different situations; fixed masking noise from eight loudspeakers around the subject at 0°, ±45°, ±90°, ±135° and 180° azimuth, or from five loudspeakers positioned at ±70°, ±135°, and 180° azimuth. In the third test setup, an additional roving noise was added to the six loudspeaker arrangement. The results revealed that beamforming multiple microphones made a difference and the most significant one was seen in the six speaker roving and fixed noise conditions. The authors concluded that in difficult and noisy environments, the new microphone beamforming facilities do help in speech perception. This is an interesting study encouraging further improvements in beamforming microphones in order to improve listening in noise and in various situations where implantees complain of poor listening perception. Of course, it remains to be seen if this benefit is significant in real life situations as perceived by the implantees themselves. 

Speech reception threshold benefits in cochlear implant users with an adaptive beamformer in real life situations.
Geißler G, Arweiler I, Hehrmann Ph, Lenarz T, Hamacher V, Büchner A.
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Thomas Nikolopoulos

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Athens, Greece.

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