Effects of Tubing Length and Coupling Method on Hearing Threshold and Real-Ear to Coupler Difference Measures PurposeThis tutorial demonstrates the effects of tubing length and coupling type (i.e., foam tip or personal earmold) on hearing threshold and real-ear-to-coupler difference (RECD) measures.MethodHearing thresholds from 0.25 kHz through 8 kHz are reported at various tubing lengths for 28 normal-hearing adults between the ages of 22 and 31 years. ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   June 01, 2013
Effects of Tubing Length and Coupling Method on Hearing Threshold and Real-Ear to Coupler Difference Measures
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Samantha Gustafson
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Andrea Pittman
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Robert Fanning
    Phoenix Children's Hospital, AZ
  • Correspondence to Samantha Gustafson, who is now at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN: samantha.gustafson@vanderbilt.edu
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   June 01, 2013
Effects of Tubing Length and Coupling Method on Hearing Threshold and Real-Ear to Coupler Difference Measures
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 190-199. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0046)
History: Received August 15, 2012 , Accepted December 20, 2012
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 190-199. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0046)
History: Received August 15, 2012; Accepted December 20, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeThis tutorial demonstrates the effects of tubing length and coupling type (i.e., foam tip or personal earmold) on hearing threshold and real-ear-to-coupler difference (RECD) measures.

MethodHearing thresholds from 0.25 kHz through 8 kHz are reported at various tubing lengths for 28 normal-hearing adults between the ages of 22 and 31 years. RECD values are reported for 14 of the adults. All measures were made with an insert earphone coupled to a standard foam tip and with an insert earphone coupled to each participant's personal earmold.

ResultsThreshold and RECD measures obtained with a personal earmold were significantly different from those obtained with a foam tip on repeated measures analyses of variance. One-sample t tests showed these differences to vary systematically with increasing tubing length, with the largest average differences (7–8 dB) occurring at 4 kHz.

ConclusionsThis systematic examination demonstrates the equal and opposite effects of tubing length on threshold and acoustic measures. Specifically, as tubing length increased, sound pressure level in the ear canal decreased, affecting both hearing thresholds and the real-ear portion of the RECDs. This demonstration shows that when the same coupling method is used to obtain the hearing thresholds and RECD, equal and accurate estimates of real-ear sound pressure level are obtained.

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