Dipl.-Ing. Horst Warncke, Hamburg
Video 12 2018
“Can hearing impaired people with hearing aids hear better than ‘normal hearing’ listeners?”
How well can hearing impaired people with hearing aids communicate in comparison to their normal hearing, unaided peers? This question was examined in a study measuring speech understanding and hearing effort at different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR).
Methodology: Two groups of subjects studied consisted of 24 participants each, with an average age of approx. 70 years. One group had an average sloping hearing loss ranging between 40 and 60 dB HL. The control group had age-appropriate “normal hearing”. The measurement of speech intelligibility and listening effort was performed at SNRs of -20 to +8 dB. In the experimental setup, the target speaker was presented using a loudspeaker from the front. Four loudspeakers placed in a semicircle from behind provided speech noise. Speech understanding was measured using the Danish version of the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT), listening effort was determined by pupillometry. The subjects in the supplied group of volunteers wore hearing aids with OpenSound Navigator (OSN), which do not use conventional directional microphone technology.
Results: First results show that, at the same SNR, hearing system users have the same level of speech understanding as their normal hearing peers.