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Institute for Communication
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Active Occlusion Cancellation with Hear-Through Equalization for Headphones

Stefan Liebich, Raphael Brandis, Johannes Fabry, Peter Jax, and Peter Vary
Book Title:
Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP)
Calgary, AB, Canada
Event Date:
April 2018


Occluding the ear canal alters the perception of the own voice. This is called the occlusion effect. Low frequency components of the own voice are amplified and high frequency components are attenuated. In this contribution, we extend our previously published Active Occlusion Cancellation (AOC) system for headphones and hearing aids. It uses the principle of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) to enhance the perception of the own voice for an occluded ear canal. We combine robust feedback controller design with an adaptive mechanism to attenuate the low frequency components of the own voice. Furthermore, we in- clude an equalizing hear-through filter to enhance high frequency components. The AOC system is evaluated in a hearing test with an in-ear headphone connected to a real-time processing system. Objective and subjective metrics show a clear improvement of the perception of the own voice. The occlusion effect is significantly reduced by the system.

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