Intelligibility of Telephone Speech for the Hearing Impaired When Various Microphones Are Used for Acoustic Coupling This study set out to systematically measure the effect of using various candidate microphones for acoustic coupling of hearing aids to a telephone receiver. Intelligibility of words was determined for three microphones and three levels of interfering noise for a total of nine conditions. The subjects all had moderate hearing ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1991
Intelligibility of Telephone Speech for the Hearing Impaired When Various Microphones Are Used for Acoustic Coupling
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claus P. Janota
    Acoustics Department Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology The Pennsylvania State University
  • Jeanette Olach Janota
    Acoustics Department Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology The Pennsylvania State University
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Claus P. Janota, Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1991
Intelligibility of Telephone Speech for the Hearing Impaired When Various Microphones Are Used for Acoustic Coupling
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 183-188. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.183
History: Received November 27, 1989 , Accepted June 8, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 183-188. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.183
History: Received November 27, 1989; Accepted June 8, 1990

This study set out to systematically measure the effect of using various candidate microphones for acoustic coupling of hearing aids to a telephone receiver. Intelligibility of words was determined for three microphones and three levels of interfering noise for a total of nine conditions. The subjects all had moderate hearing loss. It was found that microphones that exhibit pressure gradient sensitivity can, when properly positioned relative to the telephone receiver, increase intelligibility scores significantly. Results show that comparable listening performance is achieved with a pressure gradient microphone at a 10 dB higher level of interfering noise than with a microphone that is only sensitive to pressure. The results quantify the effect of microphones in acoustic coupling of hearing aids to telephones and point to a possible means for improving some types of hearing aids to facilitate telephone use for the hearing-impaired.

Acknowledgments
This effort was supported by the Exploratory and Fundamental Research program of the Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University under contract with the U.S. Navy. The invaluable help of Dr. Richard Stoker is noted with appreciation.
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