Hearing Aid Distortion and Consonant Identification An experiment was conducted with 34 normal-hearing listeners to determine the effects of distortion (generated by a single hearing aid) on consonant identification in noise. Five experimental conditions were employed in which measured harmonic distortion ranged from approximately 1% (high fidelity) to 35%. Each listening condition involved playback of recorded ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1971
Hearing Aid Distortion and Consonant Identification
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Daniel L. Bode
    Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana
  • Roger N. Kasten
    Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1971
Hearing Aid Distortion and Consonant Identification
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1971, Vol. 14, 323-331. doi:10.1044/jshr.1402.323
History: Received September 5, 1969
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1971, Vol. 14, 323-331. doi:10.1044/jshr.1402.323
History: Received September 5, 1969

An experiment was conducted with 34 normal-hearing listeners to determine the effects of distortion (generated by a single hearing aid) on consonant identification in noise. Five experimental conditions were employed in which measured harmonic distortion ranged from approximately 1% (high fidelity) to 35%. Each listening condition involved playback of recorded test material at a constant sensation level. Results showed that average consonant identification scores, relative to the high-fidelity condition, decreased 15–29% as a function of increased distortion. Initial consonants were discriminated best across all distortion conditions, and progressive increases in distortion tended to most affect final consonants. The data also suggested possible talker/hearing aid interactions. Reduced high-frequency response and altered speech-to-noise ratio, together with harmonic distortion, were postulated as mutually inclusive causes of the observed decrements in consonant differentiation.

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