Dr Kei Kobayashi

Doctor of Philosophy in Electronics Engineering


Dr. Kei Kobayashi received his Ph.D (Speech enhancement for hearing loss) from Sophia University after working for 10 years in Sony headquarters Japan. He has a plenty of engineering experience from software/hardware design, project management, to manufacturing for consumer electronics projects such as digital hearing aids, infrared headphones, speakers, integrated remotes and computer OS. At 2005, he moved to NZ and joined in Audiology section in the University as research fellow where he has contributed to various auditory research and software (see list below). He is currently in Communication Acoustics Lab in Acoustics Research Centre in the City campus. His research interest is digital signal processing and acoustics for hearing instruments. He is Deaf (profound hearing loss) and his hearing aid use and engineering expertise allows an appreciation of hearing loss and its challenge to improve quality of life for the community.

Research | Current

  • Communication acoustics & acoustic testing service (ATS) for hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, headphones, speakers and mobiles
  • Comprehensive testing/measurement software and sound reproduction system
  • Psychoacoustics DSP: speech / music enhancement


  • "Psychoacoustics technology for hearing loss and the commercialisation", 2016-2018.
  • “Increasing listening quality of music for Hearing loss”, Psychoacoustic model and MPEG-Audio encoder for hearing loss, 2013-2015.
  • "Adaptation Level Theory on tinnitus", 2013-2014.
  • "Quality of music for hearing Loss", 2013
  • “Multi-sensory integration and tinnitus”, Audio, visual and tactile devices, 2013-2014.
  • “Tinnitus assessment software and hearing aids with TSG” with a hearing aids company, 2012-2013.
  • "Virtual sound treatment for tinnitus project", 2010.
  • "Auditory intensive game for tinnitus treatment", 2010.
  • "Various tinnitus training program" with Tinnitus Research Initiative, 2008-2010.


  • “Psychoacoustic technology for hearing loss”, 2018.
  • “Interactive gaming system”, 2012.
  • “Tinnitus treatment system and method”, 2012.



LabVIEW, Matlab, C, C++, Odeon, Listen SoundCheck, National instruments (Multichannel audio I/O system, etc.), TDT, RME, B&K (artificial ear, ear simulator, free-field/pressure-field microphones, turntable, Etc.), G.R.A.S KEMAR (Head and torso simulator), Genelec loudspeakers, ambisonic microphones, Various audiometry equipment, NeuroBehavioral Systems, Biosemi, BESA, EEGLab, Arrington Eye tracker, Arduino, Etc.


Facilities (ATS)

Anechoic chamber, Reverberant rooms, Listening room (IEC/TR60268-13)


Listings of his various software system development in Audiology.

  • Selective attention training game
  • Vibrotactile testing program for tinnitus
  • Acoustic Residual Inhibition for tinnitus (EEG)
  • Desired Listening Level
  • Prediction / Steaming paradigm for tinnitus (EEG)
  • Short-term adaptation effects
  • Sound Localization
  • ABR (Physiology department)
  • Sound player with gain control
  • Speech in noise
  • Long Term Average Speech Spectrum
  • Audiovisual presentation system for hearing loss
  • Extended high frequency amplification system using Sound Design Technologies digital hybrid
  • Auditory test program using a round robin tournament and two-alternative force-choice method.
  • Excitatory and inhibitory selective attention training
  • Acceptable Noise Level
  • Auditory selective attention (EEG) with loudness control for hearing loss
  • “Dangerous decibel” (Public open audiology seminar)
  • Spatial selective attention training (PDA)
  • The diotic/dichotic selective auditory attention program (EEG)
  • NIHL
  • Frequency response and long-term average spectrum analysis program
  • Absolute threshold and different threshold audiometry program
  • DPOAE acquisition
  • Chirp ABR acquisition system

Areas of expertise

  • Software development
  • Digital signal processing
  • Psychoacoustics of hearing
  • Electronics
  • Acoustics (Acoustic testing service)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Acoustical Society of Japan

Acoustic testing service http://www.acoustics.auckland.ac.nz/

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Durai, M., Kobayashi, K., & Searchfield, G. D. (2018). A feasibility study of predictable and unpredictable surf-like sounds for tinnitus therapy using personal music players. International Journal of Audiology, 1-7. 10.1080/14992027.2018.1476783
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Grant Searchfield
  • Searchfield, G. D., Linford, T., Kobayashi, K., Crowhen, D., & Latzel, M. (2018). The performance of an automatic acoustic-based program classifier compared to hearing aid users’ manual selection of listening programs. International Journal of Audiology, 57 (3), 201-212. 10.1080/14992027.2017.1392048
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Grant Searchfield
  • Iwagami, E., Arai, T., Yasu, K., & Kobayashi, K. (2018). Misperception of Japanese words with devoiced vowels and/or geminate consonants by young and elderly listeners. Acoustical Science and Technology, 39 (2), 109-118. 10.1250/ast.39.109
  • Iwagami, E., Arai, T., Yasu, K., Yanagisawa, E., & Kobayashi, K. (2016). Perception of geminate consonants and devoiced vowels in Japanese by elderly and young listeners. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140 (4), 3439-3439. 10.1121/1.4971086
  • Yasu, K., Arai, T., Kobayashi, K., & Shindo, M. (2016). Relationship between auditory degradation and fricatives/affricates production and perception in elderly listeners. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140 (4), 3365-3365. 10.1121/1.4970742
  • Wise, K., Kobayashi, K., Magnusson, J., Welch, D., & Searchfield, G. D. (2016). Randomized controlled trial of a perceptual training game for tinnitus therapy. Games for Health Journal, 5 (2), 141-149. 10.1089/g4h.2015.0068
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Welch, Grant Searchfield
  • Searchfield, G. D., Kobayashi, K., Hodgson, S.-A., Hodgson, C., Tevoitdale, H., & Irving, S. (2016). Spatial masking: Development and testing of a new tinnitus assistive technology. Assistive Technology, 28 (2), 115-125. 10.1080/10400435.2015.1110214
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Grant Searchfield
  • Jonsson, J., Bohman, A., Shekhawat, G. S., Kobayashi, K., & Searchfield, G. D. (2016). An evaluation of the Reltus ear massager for short-term tinnitus relief. International Journal of Audiology, 55 (1), 38-44. 10.3109/14992027.2015.1077532
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Giriraj Shekhawat, Grant Searchfield