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.
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: Accepted 13 Jul 2007 , Received 20 Jul 2006 , Revised 15 Jan 2007
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2008, Vol.51, 471-484. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/034)
History: Accepted 13 Jul 2007 , Received 20 Jul 2006 , Revised 15 Jan 2007

Purpose: The 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.

Method: A 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.

Results: As 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.

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

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