Chosen Listening Levels for Music With and Without the Use of Hearing Aids Purpose The objective of this study was to describe chosen listening levels (CLLs) for recorded music for listeners with hearing loss in aided and unaided conditions. Method The study used a within-subject, repeated-measures design with 13 adult hearing-aid users. The music included rock and classical samples with different ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   September 01, 2016
Chosen Listening Levels for Music With and Without the Use of Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Naomi B. H. Croghan
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    Denver Research and Technology Labs, Cochlear Ltd., Centennial, CO
  • Anne M. Swanberg
    University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Melinda C. Anderson
    University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Kathryn H. Arehart
    University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Naomi B. H. Croghan: ncroghan@cochlear.com
  • Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   September 01, 2016
Chosen Listening Levels for Music With and Without the Use of Hearing Aids
American Journal of Audiology, September 2016, Vol. 25, 161-166. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0078
History: Received December 3, 2015 , Revised March 18, 2016 , Accepted June 27, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2016, Vol. 25, 161-166. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0078
History: Received December 3, 2015; Revised March 18, 2016; Accepted June 27, 2016

Purpose The objective of this study was to describe chosen listening levels (CLLs) for recorded music for listeners with hearing loss in aided and unaided conditions.

Method The study used a within-subject, repeated-measures design with 13 adult hearing-aid users. The music included rock and classical samples with different amounts of audio-industry compression limiting. CLL measurements were taken at ear level (i.e., at input to the hearing aid) and at the tympanic membrane.

Results For aided listening, average CLLs were 69.3 dBA at the input to the hearing aid and 80.3 dBA at the tympanic membrane. For unaided listening, average CLLs were 76.9 dBA at the entrance to the ear canal and 77.1 dBA at the tympanic membrane. Although wide intersubject variability was observed, CLLs were not associated with audiometric thresholds. CLLs for rock music were higher than for classical music at the tympanic membrane, but no differences were observed between genres for ear-level CLLs. The amount of audio-industry compression had no significant effect on CLLs.

Conclusion By describing the levels of recorded music chosen by hearing-aid users, this study provides a basis for ecologically valid testing conditions in clinical and laboratory settings.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this study were presented in the first author's doctoral dissertation and in the second author's Doctor of Audiology capstone project. This research was funded by a grant from GN ReSound to the University of Colorado (awarded to Kathryn H. Arehart). We thank Cory Portnuff for useful discussions related to this work and Katharine Miller and Deanna Iff for assistance with data collection.
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