Pre-announcement: 1st Cadenza Challenge

The Cadenza Project is organising a series of machine learning challenges to advance signal processing of music for listeners with a hearing loss. Even if you’ve not worked on hearing aids before, we’ll provide you with the tools to enable you to apply your machine learning and music processing and mixing algorithms to help those with a hearing loss.

Although hearing loss is an almost inevitable part of aging, the majority of adults who would benefit from hearing aids don’t use them. A key reason is that hearing aids don’t provide enough benefit. The purpose of the Cadenza challenges is to catalyze new work to radically improve the processing of audio for those with a hearing loss.

The series of challenges will consider increasingly complex listening scenarios. The first round with a full launch in March 2023 will focus on two scenarios:

  • Track 1, listening over headphones.
  • Track 2, listening in a car in the presence of noise.

Your task is to improve the perceived audio quality of the reproduction considering the listeners’ hearing loss. This is about intelligent remixing of the tracks or processing the mixed music to compensate for the hearing loss of the listener. You might be doing this to make the lyrics clearer, correct the frequency balance, ensure the music has the intended emotional impact, etc.


Learn more about the Cadenza challenges at the UKAN+ 2022 Festive Hearing SIG Webinar 15th December 2022, 12-1pm (UK)

The 2023 Challenge

Track 1: Headphones

You will be tasked with improving the audio quality of music samples for listeners with defined hearing losses. The listeners are not using their normal hearing aids, they are just listening to the signals you provide via the headphones.

Track 2: Car

You need to enhance music samples played by the car stereo in the presence of noise from the engine/road. This will be for listeners with a defined hearing loss, who have a fixed hearing aid that we will provide.


Entries will first be evaluated using the Hearing Aid Audio Quality Index (HAAQI). The best systems will then go forward to be scored by our listening panel of people with a hearing loss.

What you will get

  • Databases of music and scenes for training and evaluation.
  • Listener characteristics, including audiograms.
  • A complete end-to-end software baseline to build upon from sample selection to evaluation.
  • Tutorials to learn about hearing loss, hearing aids, and our software.

To be kept up to date with our news, including details of how to register and take part please join the Cadenza Challenge google group.

Draft key dates

  • 1st Feb 2023: Beta launch of challenge with software and datasets.
  • 1st March 2023: Full launch of challenge with software and datasets.
  • June 2023: Release of evaluation data.
  • July 2023: Competition closed. All entrants submit (i) audio for evaluation and (ii) a draft of their technical report.
  • Aug 2023: Entrants informed which systems are going forward to the listening test evaluation stage.
  • Sept 2023: Submit two page technical reports to Cadenza-2023 workshop.
  • Autumn 2023: Cadenza-2023 workshop.


What do you think about this new challenge series? Please let us know in the comments below.

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