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DESCRIPTION JP2000032597

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DESCRIPTION JP2000032597
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
hearing aid system which makes it possible to make sounds from all directions better and at the
same time easily perceive sound direction and sound source localization. In a hearing aid, usually
a microphone and an earphone are paired, and it is structured to process the sound picked up by
one microphone and hear it. Therefore, the direction sense of the sound is out of order, and the
correct sound source localization can not be performed. This is for the same reason that you can
not perceive the spatial extent of sound when listening to orchestral music etc. collected with one
microphone with headphones.
[0002]
A plurality of acoustic wave detecting elements are used, the incoming acoustic wave is
converted into an electric signal, the amplitude and the phase of the converted electric signal are
appropriately changed, and furthermore a plurality of signals are superimposed and the like (For
example, Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication Nos. Hei 3-46498 and Hei 6-261388).
However, these techniques are related to a large-scale microphone device and can not be applied
to a hearing aid as it is.
[0003]
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Similarly, by dividing signal waveforms of two channels captured by a plurality of microphones
into a plurality of frequency components by a filter, and then adding them while considering
occurrence times of a plurality of signal waveforms, (Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No.
Hei 7-39000) has also been disclosed. However, when using a hearing aid, the sense of direction
of the sound is wrong, and extra sound which becomes noise for the user is often amplified at the
same level. It is difficult to fundamentally solve these problems regardless of what kind of
processing is applied to the signal collected by a single microphone, and it is still difficult to
perceive the direction sense of the sound of the hearing aid user Has not been realized.
[0004]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to solve the abovementioned problems of the prior art, to improve the way of hearing, to make the sounds from all
directions better heard, And to provide a hearing aid system capable of easily performing
perception and sound source localization.
[0005]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a microphone
array which collects sound signals by using a microphone array composed of at least three or
more directional microphones, subjects them to digital signal processing, It is solved by a digital
hearing aid system which brings about improvements in hearing and facilitates sound direction
perception and sound source localization.
[0006]
Another object of the present invention is to provide an audio signal processing apparatus
including an input unit having at least three directional microphones for collecting a sound
signal, a digital signal for processing a sound collected by the microphone A processing section
and an output section for converting an output of the signal processing circuit to an audio
output, and is advantageously solved by a digital hearing aid apparatus which facilitates sound
direction perception and sound source localization.
[0007]
In the present invention, by collecting sounds using a plurality of directional microphones,
multiplying the input signals from the respective microphones by the transfer functions from
each microphone to the entrance of the external auditory canal, and calculating the sum of them,
It is a hearing aid system that makes it easy to listen to the sound from the sound source and to
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easily perceive direction of the sound and localize the sound source.
The present invention makes it possible to facilitate the direction sense of the sound and the
sound source localization by applying the transfer function of the head to the sound picked up
using at least three directional microphones and taking the sum of them, better I realize hearing.
Furthermore, by adjusting the transfer function multiplied by the output of each microphone by
the user (user), only the sound from a specific direction can be easily heard.
[0008]
Further, in the processing in the signal processing section, the transfer function from the
microphone to the entrance of the ear canal and the transfer function of the head can be
multiplied with respect to each sound signal collected by the microphone, and these
transmissions It would be further advantageous if the function could be adjusted as appropriate
by the user.
[0009]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 shows a basic configuration
of a novel hearing aid system according to the present invention, which will be described in detail
with reference to the attached drawings.
The hearing aid system according to the present invention comprises a sound signal input
section 1, an A / D conversion section 2 of an input section output signal, a signal processing
section 3, a D / A conversion section 4, an output section 5 which is an earphone, a headphone, .
The operation of each part of the hearing aid system according to the present invention is as
follows.
[0010]
The input unit 1 is composed of a so-called microphone array in which at least three or more, in
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this embodiment, 15 directional microphones shown by black circles are gathered, one that
converts a sound signal taken from the surroundings into a voltage signal . The A / D converter 2
converts an analog signal taken in by the microphone array including the plurality of directional
microphones into a digital signal. As such, well-known circuit configuration can be adopted.
[0011]
The signal processing section 3 multiplies the input signals from the respective microphones
constituting the microphone array by the transfer functions H 1, H 2,... Hn, then takes the sum of
them, and finally calculates the hearing power, the input And performs hearing aid processing
according to the magnitude of the sound. The D / A converter 4 converts the digital signal
subjected to the hearing aid processing into an analog audible signal.
[0012]
The output unit 5 outputs analog signals as sounds audible to the user through earphones,
headphones, and the like. The operation of the embodiment of the present invention configured
as described above is as follows. In order to easily enable the sound source localization and the
sound direction perception, the input unit 1 collects sounds of at least three or more directional
microphones having the same characteristics, for example, a microphone array arranged in a hat
shape, And sends the voltage signal to the A / D converter.
[0013]
The A / D conversion section 2 converts the analog signal from the microphone array 1 into a
digital signal in a time division manner, and sends it to the signal processing section 3. The signal
to be converted can be selected by the user, and it is also possible to convert only the sound from
a specific direction by A / D conversion. The signal processing unit 3 multiplies the digital data
from the A / D conversion unit 2 by a preset transfer function or a transfer function set by the
user. As a result, the signals from the microphones are weighted.
[0014]
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Next, the sum of the signals from the microphones multiplied by the transfer function is taken to
be one digital signal. At this time, an inverse filter can be applied in consideration of phase shift
due to each transfer function and the like. Finally, it performs hearing aid processing suitable for
each user from the hearing power and the size of the input sound, and sends the digital data to
the D / A conversion section. The hearing aid processing is a processing for improving the
hearing of a user using digital signal processing such as dynamic range compression, frequency
compression, speech speed conversion, speech enhancement, and background noise elimination.
[0015]
The D / A converter 4 converts the digital data subjected to the signal processing into an analog
signal and converts it into a voltage amplitude level matching the characteristics of the earphone
and the headphone constituting the output unit 5. Then, this analog signal is sent to the output
unit 5. The output unit 5 converts the data converted into an analog signal in the D / A
conversion unit 4 into a sound signal with earphones, headphones or the like to let the user hear
it.
[0016]
Explanation of Effects Since sound is collected by at least three or more microphones and a
transfer function is applied to each signal, sound source localization and sound direction
perception can be facilitated. In addition, by making only the sound from a specific direction to
be heard, it is possible to block the sound on the road side and emphasize only the sound in the
sound source direction of the target, for example, in a conversation in a heavily trafficed road .
[0017]
Furthermore, it is also possible to apply a transfer function having a characteristic opposite to a
certain transfer function, to erase and emphasize components from a specific direction, and it is
effective for improving the user's hearing.
[0018]
Brief Description of the Drawings
[0019]
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1 is a block diagram showing an embodiment of a hearing aid system according to the present
invention
[0020]
Explanation of sign
[0021]
1 input section (microphone array) 2 A / D conversion section 3 signal processing section 4 D / A
conversion section 5 output section
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