MSc thesis project proposal

Spectral Noise Estimation for Hearing Aids

Project outside the university


Absolute Audio Labs BV (AAL) is an internationally recognised innovation leader in the field of advanced hearing, voice and safe listening embedded software applications. Our technologies are used by global leaders in hearing health and consumer audio markets, and mostly applied in wireless products like true wireless earbuds and hearing aids. 


A key R&D theme for AAL is what we call ‘SoC-based Hearing Aids’, by which we mean that hearing aids should no longer require custom developed DSP, as is the current market standard, but can run on a mass market audio DSP (while meeting all the critical performance parameters). This makes hearing aids more tuned to perform well on all audio tasks, not just hearing, and makes them significantly cheaper. This helps to address a global problem according to the WHO, because 85% of the hearing impaired worldwide don’t have a solution, in which costs are a very important factor.


AAL has a fast growing (international) team of 12 developers with various skills, research backgrounds and disciplines. The largest team is located at our development center, in the CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) in Rotterdam. 


AAL has just started the development of our 3d generation hearing aid software and in this program, we have openings for ambitious master students on signal enhancements (with audio passion) as well as more clinical related audio solutions (in collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Center). 


Most AAL applications are dependent on reliable noise estimation as the first step in the audio chain. The goal of this assignment is to improve the current noise PSD estimation strategy. Areas that we have flagged for potential improvements are: 

- Shortening the estimation window

- improving calculation efficiency (and thus power drain)

- improving calculation accuracy (fixed point reals)

- improving effectivity, especially with asymmetrical behaviour for noise level changes


Activities during the Assignment:

-        Literature review of existing noise estimation models

-        Define key specifications of the desired noise estimator

-        Build a working model of the noise estimator

-        Validate the proper workings against the key specifications


- MSc students of Computer Engineering, embedded systems and Electrical Engineering (Signals and Systems)

- Duration: assumed to be 6 months (start date and length can be flexible)

- Compensation: 1200-1500 eur/month (depending on experience, based on full time).

Candidates will send their motivation and qualifications by email to contact AAL: Mark Kaal- email m.kaal@absoluteaudiolabs.comContact for the audio/dsp team and internal AAL mentor: dr. Johannes Lyzenga, sr. audio R&D:

Contact Richard Hendriks

Signal Processing Systems Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2022-10-28