Effects of Transient Noise Reduction Algorithms on Speech Intelligibility and Ratings of Hearing Aid Users Purpose The goal of this study was to assess the functional utility of transient noise reduction (TNR) algorithms available in hearing aids via speech intelligibility and user preferences. Method Two pairs of hearing aids, 1 pair each from Siemens and Unitron, were programmed for 17 hearing impaired individuals ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2011
Effects of Transient Noise Reduction Algorithms on Speech Intelligibility and Ratings of Hearing Aid Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffrey J. DiGiovanni
    Ohio University, Athens
  • Erin A. Davlin
    Ohio University, Athens
  • Naveen K. Nagaraj
    Ohio University, Athens
  • Correspondence to Jeffrey J. DiGiovanni: digiovan@ohio.edu
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Brad Rakerd
    Associate Editor: Brad Rakerd×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2011
Effects of Transient Noise Reduction Algorithms on Speech Intelligibility and Ratings of Hearing Aid Users
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 140-150. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0007)
History: Received February 12, 2010 , Revised August 10, 2010 , Accepted August 15, 2011
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 140-150. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0007)
History: Received February 12, 2010; Revised August 10, 2010; Accepted August 15, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose The goal of this study was to assess the functional utility of transient noise reduction (TNR) algorithms available in hearing aids via speech intelligibility and user preferences.

Method Two pairs of hearing aids, 1 pair each from Siemens and Unitron, were programmed for 17 hearing impaired individuals after a hearing evaluation. Intelligibility was measured for each participant for sentences presented in quiet, with 2 types of transient noise, multitalker babble, and in a combination of each type of transient noise and multitalker babble. Each condition was tested with TNR activated and TNR deactivated in a counterbalanced, single-blinded format. Subjective ratings of overall speech understanding, comfort, and sound quality were obtained for each condition.

Results A significant improvement in speech intelligibility was measured with the TNR activated when speech was presented in multitalker babble, in the presence of chair clang transient noises, and when combining these noises. Activation of the TNR algorithm did not result in significant improvements for any of the subjective ratings.

Conclusions While improvements were limited to certain conditions, specifically those with the chair clang transient and/or multitalker babble, TNR appears to offer an incremental step in improving the listening experience for hearing aid users.

Acknowledgments
We thank both Siemens Hearing and Unitron Connect for providing hearing aids for the duration of the study. Further, we thank Unitron for providing recorded stimuli. Outside of these provisions, neither company had any influence over the design or execution (including results, analyses, and interpretation) of the study. In addition, we have no financial interest in the outcome of the study. We also thank Marisol Gliatas and Jessica Prewitt for their helpful comments and figure preparation.
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