ICASSP SP Clarity Challenge: Speech Enhancement for Hearing Aids

An ICASSP 2023 Grand Challenge

Submission deadline 8th Feb 2023


430 million people worldwide require rehabilitation to address hearing loss (World Health Organization). Yet even in developed countries, only 40% of people who could benefit from hearing aids have them and use them often enough. People believe that hearing aids perform poorly, with the difficulties of hearing speech-in-noise being a key issue.


Speech enhancement is a major research area with thousands of papers each year, yet only a tiny percentage of these explicitly consider improvements for listeners who have a hearing loss. Consequently, this signal processing challenge is designed to get the latest advancements in speech enhancement applied to hearing aids.

The Challenge

Entrants will be tasked to enhance speech-in-noise for input into our baseline hearing aid processor. The hearing aid will be tuned to the hearing characteristics of particular people. Thus you can enter without in-depth knowledge of hearing aids, and just concentrate on the task of de-noising. The scenario is listening to speech in the presence of typical domestic noise. We will provide the signals captured by the microphones on a pair of behind-the-ear hearing aids and those captured at the eardrum. The target speech will be a short sentence. The interfering noises will be a mix of speech, domestic appliance noise and music. The audio includes the simulation of the acoustic of typical small living rooms.

The challenge is to improve the speech intelligibility without excessive loss of quality. To this end, entries will be evaluated using an objective metric that is an average of the Hearing Aid Speech Perception Index (HASPI) and Hearing Aid Speech Quality Index (HASQI).

We will provide

  • Premixed speech + interferer scenes for training and evaluation.
  • Listener characteristics, including audiograms and speech-in-noise testing.
  • Software tools for evaluating enhanced signals including a hearing aid amplifier and HASPI/HASQI hearing aid performance metrics.
  • Databases of target sentences, along with speech, noise and music interferers, plus tools for training data augmentation

For full details of how to register and take part visit the Clarity Challenge site.

Take Part

Important Dates

  • Challenge launch, 28th Nov. 2022
  • Release of evaluation data, 1st Feb. 2023,
  • Submission deadline, 8th Feb. 2023
  • Results released, 13th Feb. 2023 Top 5 ranked teams invited to submit papers to ICASSP-2023
  • ICASSP-2023 paper submission, 20th Feb. 2023
  • Grand Challenge 2-page Paper Acceptance Notification, 7th March 2023
  • Special session at ICASSP, 4-9th June 2023


Papers for this special session have to be submitted following the same schedule and procedure as regular IEEE papers; the papers will undergo the same review process by anonymous and independent reviewers.

The top 5 submitted systems will be invited to submit their papers to the special session "Speech Enhancement for Hearing Aids".


  • Michael Akeroyd, University of Nottingham
  • Will Bailey, University of Sheffield
  • Jon Barker, University of Sheffield
  • Trevor Cox, University of Salford
  • John Culling, Cardiff University
  • Simone Graetzer,University of Salford
  • Graham Naylor, University of Nottingham
  • Zehai Tu, University of Sheffield


If you have any questions regarding the session please don't hesitate to contact the organizers using the email below:


Clarity is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK. Project partners are Royal National Institute for the Deaf, Hearing Industry Research Consortium, and Amazon TTS Research.