The Effect of Room Acoustics and Sound-Field Amplification on Word Recognition Performance in Young Adult Listeners in Suboptimal Listening Conditions Purpose To compare the speech recognition performance of young adult listeners with normal hearing in 2 college classrooms, only 1 of which met American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S12.60-2002  acoustic standards. Also, differences in speech recognition performance were compared in both classrooms with and without the use of a classroom ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2008
The Effect of Room Acoustics and Sound-Field Amplification on Word Recognition Performance in Young Adult Listeners in Suboptimal Listening Conditions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffery B. Larsen
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Alison Vega
    Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates SW, Olympia, WA
  • John E. Ribera
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Contact author: Jeffery B. Larsen, 1000 Old Main Hill, Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-1000. E-mail: jbl@cc.usu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / School-Based Settings / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2008
The Effect of Room Acoustics and Sound-Field Amplification on Word Recognition Performance in Young Adult Listeners in Suboptimal Listening Conditions
American Journal of Audiology, June 2008, Vol. 17, 50-59. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/006)
History: Received April 11, 2007 , Revised August 1, 2007 , Accepted October 5, 2007
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2008, Vol. 17, 50-59. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/006)
History: Received April 11, 2007; Revised August 1, 2007; Accepted October 5, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose To compare the speech recognition performance of young adult listeners with normal hearing in 2 college classrooms, only 1 of which met American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S12.60-2002  acoustic standards. Also, differences in speech recognition performance were compared in both classrooms with and without the use of a classroom amplification system. The speech was presented at low intensity to simulate listening in the rear seats of a large college classroom.

Method Listeners were randomly assigned seats in the 2 classrooms, and Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 (NU-6) words were presented via a loudspeaker from the front of the classroom for all listening conditions as well as through a sound-field infrared system with ceiling-mounted speakers during the amplified condition.

Results Results showed statistically significant differences in speech recognition performance between classrooms, with and without classroom amplification, and across the rows of each classroom when the classroom amplification system was not used.

Conclusions These results demonstrate how meeting the ANSI S12.60-2002  standard, which was written for elementary school classrooms, can benefit young adult listeners in postsecondary classrooms. Also, classroom amplification was shown to improve speech recognition for students across the classroom in both acoustically poor and acoustically sound classroom environments.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Drs. James Blair and Scott DeBerard from Utah State University, Drs. Rachel Harrison and Monica Johnson, Ryan Hanson, and Amy Porter for their support. Special thanks go to Tom Dobson of Audio Enhancement for providing the amplification system and technical support for the study.
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