The Effects of Hearing Aid Compression Parameters on the Short-Term Dynamic Range of Continuous Speech PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate and quantitatively model the independent and interactive effects of compression ratio, number of compression channels, and release time on the dynamic range of continuous speech.MethodA CD of the Rainbow Passage (J. E. Bernthal & N. W. Bankson, 1993) was used. The hearing ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   April 2008
The Effects of Hearing Aid Compression Parameters on the Short-Term Dynamic Range of Continuous Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca L. Warner Henning
    University of Iowa
  • Ruth A. Bentler
    University of Iowa
  • Contact author: Rebecca L. Warner Henning, who is now at the School of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, 1901 Fourth Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481. E-mail: rhenning@uwsp.edu.
  • © 2008 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article/Report   |   April 2008
The Effects of Hearing Aid Compression Parameters on the Short-Term Dynamic Range of Continuous Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2008, Vol. 51, 471-484. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/034)
History: Received July 20, 2006 , Revised January 15, 2007 , Accepted July 13, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2008, Vol. 51, 471-484. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/034)
History: Received July 20, 2006; Revised January 15, 2007; Accepted July 13, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate and quantitatively model the independent and interactive effects of compression ratio, number of compression channels, and release time on the dynamic range of continuous speech.

MethodA CD of the Rainbow Passage (J. E. Bernthal & N. W. Bankson, 1993) was used. The hearing aid was a programmable, digital, wide dynamic range compression instrument. A fully crossed design and multiple regression analyses were used to evaluate and model the effects of release time (32, 128, and 1024 ms), compression ratio (1:1, 2:1, and 4:1), and number of compression channels (1, 2, and 4 channels) on the short-term octave-band dynamic range of speech. Dynamic range of speech was defined as the range between the 1% and 70% exceedance levels within each octave band.

ResultsAs the compression ratio and number of channels increased, and as the release time decreased, the dynamic range of speech decreased. The effects of channels and release time increased as the compression ratio increased. In all conditions, the amount of effective compression for speech was less than the nominal compression ratio.

ConclusionA multiple regression model is provided that predicts the effects of various combinations of compression parameters on the dynamic range of speech.

Acknowledgment
We would like to acknowledge Steve Armstrong for his technical assistance with this study. We would also like to acknowledge the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and the University Personnel Development Committee for publication support.
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