Relation Between Listening Effort and Speech Intelligibility in Noise Purpose Subjective ratings of listening effort might be applicable to estimate hearing difficulties at positive signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) at which speech intelligibility scores are near 100%. Hence, ratings of listening effort were compared with speech intelligibility scores at different SNRs, and the benefit of hearing aids was evaluated. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 12, 2017
Relation Between Listening Effort and Speech Intelligibility in Noise
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melanie Krueger
    Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Germany
  • Michael Schulte
    Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Germany
  • Melanie A. Zokoll
    Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Germany
  • Kirsten C. Wagener
    Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Germany
  • Markus Meis
    Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Germany
  • Thomas Brand
    Medizinische Physik, Department für Medizinische Physik und Akustik, Fakultät VI, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany
  • Inga Holube
    Institute of Hearing Technology and Audiology, Jade University of Applied Sciences, Oldenburg, Germany
  • 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 Melanie Krueger: m.krueger@hoerzentrum-oldenburg.de
  • All of the authors are also at Cluster of Excellence “Hearing4All” Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany.
    All of the authors are also at Cluster of Excellence “Hearing4All” Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany.×
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Special Issue: Select Papers From the Hearing Across the Lifespan (HEAL) 2016 Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 12, 2017
Relation Between Listening Effort and Speech Intelligibility in Noise
American Journal of Audiology, October 2017, Vol. 26, 378-392. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0136
History: Received December 30, 2016 , Revised July 17, 2017 , Accepted July 18, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, October 2017, Vol. 26, 378-392. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0136
History: Received December 30, 2016; Revised July 17, 2017; Accepted July 18, 2017

Purpose Subjective ratings of listening effort might be applicable to estimate hearing difficulties at positive signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) at which speech intelligibility scores are near 100%. Hence, ratings of listening effort were compared with speech intelligibility scores at different SNRs, and the benefit of hearing aids was evaluated.

Method Two groups of listeners, 1 with normal hearing and 1 with hearing impairment, performed adaptive speech intelligibility and adaptive listening effort tests (Adaptive Categorical Listening Effort Scaling; Krueger, Schulte, Brand, & Holube, 2017) with sentences of the Oldenburg Sentence Test (Wagener, Brand, & Kollmeier, 1999a, 1999b; Wagener, Kühnel, & Kollmeier, 1999) in 4 different maskers. Model functions were fitted to the data to estimate the speech reception threshold and listening effort ratings for extreme effort and no effort.

Results Listeners with hearing impairment showed higher rated listening effort compared with listeners with normal hearing. For listeners with hearing impairment, the rating extreme effort, which corresponds to negative SNRs, was more correlated to the speech reception threshold than the rating no effort, which corresponds to positive SNRs. A benefit of hearing aids on speech intelligibility was only verifiable at negative SNRs, whereas the effect on listening effort showed high individual differences mainly at positive SNRs.

Conclusion The adaptive procedure for rating subjective listening effort yields information beyond using speech intelligibility to estimate hearing difficulties and to evaluate hearing aids.

Acknowledgments
English language support was provided by http://www.stels-ol.de/. This article was supported by the governmental funding initiative “Niedersächsisches Vorab” of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture, research focus “Hören im Alltag Oldenburg (HALLO)” (awarded to the Jade University of Applied Sciences with the project leader Prof. Dr. Inga Holube), as well as by the European Regional Development Fund [Project “Innovation network for integrated, binaural hearing system technology (VIBHear)”] (awarded to the University of Oldenburg [lead], Hannover Medical School, Jade University of Applied Sciences, HörTech gGmbH, and Hörzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, project leader Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier [University of Oldenburg]) and funds from the Federal State of Lower Saxony. We thank all subjects for their participation in the study and Marit Nienaber for support in data collection. Parts of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Audiologie (DGA, 2015) in Bochum, Germany, and at HEAL (Hearing Across the Lifespan) 2016, Cernobbio (Como Lake), Italy.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access