Research Article  |   June 2012
A Comparison Between the First-Fit Settings of Two Multichannel Digital Signal-Processing Strategies: Music Quality Ratings and Speech-in-Noise Scores
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul Higgins
    The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Gavin Coad
    The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Correspondence to: Grant Searchfield: g.searchfield@auckland.ac.nz
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Jeffrey DiGiovanni
    Associate Editor: Jeffrey DiGiovanni×
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Article
Research Article   |   June 2012
A Comparison Between the First-Fit Settings of Two Multichannel Digital Signal-Processing Strategies: Music Quality Ratings and Speech-in-Noise Scores
American Journal of Audiology June 2012, Vol.21, 13-21. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0034)
History: Accepted 05 Oct 2011 , Received 30 Aug 2010 , Revised 26 Nov 2010
American Journal of Audiology June 2012, Vol.21, 13-21. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0034)
History: Accepted 05 Oct 2011 , Received 30 Aug 2010 , Revised 26 Nov 2010

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine which level-dependent hearing aid digital signal-processing strategy (DSP) participants preferred when listening to music and/or performing a speech-in-noise task.

Method: Two receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids were compared: one using 32-channel adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) and the other wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) incorporating dual fast (4 channel) and slow (15 channel) processing. The manufacturers' first-fit settings based on participants' audiograms were used in both cases. Results were obtained from 18 participants on a quick speech-in-noise (QuickSIN; Killion, Niquette, Gudmundsen, Revit, & Banerjee, 2004) task and for 3 music listening conditions (classical, jazz, and rock).

Results: Participants preferred the quality of music and performed better at the QuickSIN task using the hearing aids with ADRO processing. A potential reason for the better performance of the ADRO hearing aids was less fluctuation in output with change in sound dynamics.

Conclusion: ADRO processing has advantages for both music quality and speech recognition in noise over the multichannel WDRC processing that was used in the study. Further evaluations of which DSP aspects contribute to listener preference are required.

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