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Speech Perception in Noise Using Directional Microphones in Open-Canal Hearing Aids

Speech Perception in Noise Using Directional Microphones in Open-Canal Hearing Aids,10.3766/jaaa.19.7.7,Journal of The American Academy of Audiology,E

Speech Perception in Noise Using Directional Microphones in Open-Canal Hearing Aids  
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Background:Individuals with impaired hearing find it difficult to understand speechin the presence of background noise—a problem addressed effectively by directional microphones. As open-canal fittings have become increasingly popular in the recent past, so has the debate about the effective directional benefit available from these devices. Purpose:This study investigates the benefit of directional microphones in two commercially available open-canal behind-the-ear hearing aids using the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT). Study Sample:Sixteen individuals, between 50 and 85 year of age, with high-frequency bilateral sen- sorineural hearing loss and no previous hearing aid experience participated in this study. Data Collection and Analysis:Data Collection and Analysis: Individuals were asked to repeat sen- tences (presented at 0uazimuth) in the presence of a diffuse-field uncorrelated broadband speech- shaped noise. HINT performance was compared across hearing instruments and conditions using a linear model with repeated measures. Results:There was a directional advantage of 2.6 dB as compared to the unaided condition. Average performance was worse in the omnidirectional mode as compared to the unaided condition. Conclusions:These results suggest that directional signal processing should not be precluded in open- canal instruments for listening in noisy environments.
Journal: Journal of The American Academy of Audiology - J AM ACAD AUDIOL , vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 571-578, 2008
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