Research Article  |   December 2011
Ear Asymmetries and Asymmetric Directional Microphone Hearing Aid Fittings
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary T. Cord
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Rauna K. Surr
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Brian E. Walden
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Andrew B. Dittberner
    GN ReSound Group, Chicago, IL
  • Correspondence to Mary T. Cord: mary.cord@med.navy.mil
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Gabrielle Saunders
    Associate Editor: Gabrielle Saunders×
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 2011
Ear Asymmetries and Asymmetric Directional Microphone Hearing Aid Fittings
American Journal of Audiology December 2011, Vol.20, 111-122. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0035)
History: Accepted 17 May 2011 , Received 02 Sep 2010 , Revised 25 Jan 2011
American Journal of Audiology December 2011, Vol.20, 111-122. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0035)
History: Accepted 17 May 2011 , Received 02 Sep 2010 , Revised 25 Jan 2011

Purpose: To determine whether an asymmetry between ears for speech understanding in noise was related to performance with, or preference for, 1 of 2 asymmetric microphone fittings in which omnidirectional processing was provided to 1 ear and directional processing to the other.

Method: Twenty-eight adults with symmetric sensorineural hearing impairment were recruited from the clinic population. Sixteen individuals had symmetric hearing-in-noise ability between their right and left ears, and 12 participants had an asymmetry for speech understanding in noise between ears. A repeated measures design was used. Interactions between various microphone fittings and speech signal locations in noise were assessed in the laboratory. In addition, the listeners with asymmetry between ears for hearing in noise completed a field trial comparing the 2 fittings in everyday listening situations.

Results: Laboratory testing resulted in different patterns of performance for the 2 groups. Field trial results revealed that participants generally noticed little difference between the 2 fittings in everyday life and did not express a strong preference for 1 fitting over the other.

Conclusion: An asymmetry between ears for speech understanding in noise did not result in preference for 1 asymmetric fitting over the other in everyday listening situations.

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