Open Your Ears for Science – Fraunhofer IIS is recruiting testers with impaired hearing

Hearing damages caused by accidents, illnesses, or simply aging – the listening pleasure of many people is impaired. Fraunhofer IIS develops innovative audio technologies that can provide an improved audio experience to people with hearing deficiencies. To tailor solutions to the needs of the affected individuals, Fraunhofer IIS is looking for test listeners.

When the Sunday night thriller becomes a matter of understanding

Reduced hearing ability often means impaired social participation, and, equally problematic, less enjoyable leisure time. Affected individuals are familiar with the phenomenon: they have to turn up the volume of the television to be able to follow the dialogue that can be masked by sound effects and music during the most exciting scenes of an entertainment program. This is often frustrating for the viewers and an avoidable annoyance for family and neighbors.

Small effort with great value for science

To find out how Fraunhofer technologies can better support people with hearing impairments, the institute needs the support of many individuals suffering from varying degrees of hearing loss, from mild to moderate. Their experiences and feedback are invaluable for researchers working to improve future audio technologies and optimize everyone’s listening experience. The listening tests can be conducted either on-site at Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen Tennenlohe or conveniently at home – only a regular PC or mobile phone with high-quality headphones is needed.

A major step towards inclusion

Fraunhofer IIS has a long tradition of conducting listening tests. So far, individuals with normal hearing ability have assessed the audio quality of coding and transmission methods including the well-known standards mp3, AAC, and LC3. But now, researchers are taking the next step and develop targeted solutions for people facing special challenges. The technology Dialog+, developed in the Fraunhofer labs, is already tested by several broadcasting companies and improves speech intelligibility.

Click to participate

More detailed information for interested people and a printable flyer can be found at Participation is voluntary and will be treated confidentially.