The Effects of Varying Directional Bandwidth in Hearing Aid Users' Preference and Speech-in-Noise Performance Purpose Directional microphone systems are typically used to improve hearing aid users' understanding of speech in noise. However, directional microphones also increase internal hearing aid noise. The purpose of this study was to investigate how varying directional microphone bandwidth affected listening preference and speech-in-noise performance. Method Ten participants ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 08, 2018
The Effects of Varying Directional Bandwidth in Hearing Aid Users' Preference and Speech-in-Noise Performance
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adriana Goyette
    Starkey Hearing Technology, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Jeff Crukley
    Starkey Hearing Technology, Eden Prairie, MN
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Jason Galster
    Starkey Hearing Technology, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Disclosure: The hearing aid feature studied in the current manuscript was developed by Starkey Hearing Technologies. The authors of the current manuscript are employed by Starkey.
    Disclosure: The hearing aid feature studied in the current manuscript was developed by Starkey Hearing Technologies. The authors of the current manuscript are employed by Starkey. ×
  • Correspondence to Adriana Goyette: Adriana_Goyette@Starkey.com
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 08, 2018
The Effects of Varying Directional Bandwidth in Hearing Aid Users' Preference and Speech-in-Noise Performance
American Journal of Audiology, March 2018, Vol. 27, 95-103. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0063
History: Received June 30, 2017 , Revised September 20, 2017 , Accepted September 27, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2018, Vol. 27, 95-103. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0063
History: Received June 30, 2017; Revised September 20, 2017; Accepted September 27, 2017

Purpose Directional microphone systems are typically used to improve hearing aid users' understanding of speech in noise. However, directional microphones also increase internal hearing aid noise. The purpose of this study was to investigate how varying directional microphone bandwidth affected listening preference and speech-in-noise performance.

Method Ten participants with normal hearing and 10 participants with hearing impairment compared internal noise levels between hearing aid memories with 4 different microphone modes: omnidirectional, full directional, high-frequency directionality with directional processing above 900 Hz, and high-frequency directionality with directional processing above 2000 Hz. Speech-in-noise performance was measured with each memory for the participants with hearing impairment.

Results Participants with normal hearing preferred memories with less directional bandwidth. Participants with hearing impairment also tended to prefer the memories with less directional bandwidth. However, the majority of participants with hearing impairment did not indicate a preference between omnidirectional and directional above 2000 Hz memories. Average hearing-in-noise performance improved with increasing directional bandwidth.

Conclusions Most participants preferred memories with less directional bandwidth in quiet. Participants with hearing impairment indicated no difference in preference between directional above 2000 Hz and the omnidirectional memories. Speech recognition in noise performance improved with increasing directional bandwidth.

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