Loudness Matching of Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid A hearing aid with multiple frequency responses was simulated by programming an equalizer to produce spectral tilt factors of -6, 0, and +6 dB/octave over the frequency range from 0.25 kHz to 4 kHz. Listeners with normal hearing matched the loudness of signals (speech and white noise) that were shaped ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1993
Loudness Matching of Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jerry Punch
    Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Brad Rakerd
    Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Contact author: Jerry Punch, PhD, 378 Communication Arts & Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml 48824–1212.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1993
Loudness Matching of Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 357-364. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.357
History: Received May 4, 1992 , Accepted August 18, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 357-364. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.357
History: Received May 4, 1992; Accepted August 18, 1992

A hearing aid with multiple frequency responses was simulated by programming an equalizer to produce spectral tilt factors of -6, 0, and +6 dB/octave over the frequency range from 0.25 kHz to 4 kHz. Listeners with normal hearing matched the loudness of signals (speech and white noise) that were shaped by these different equalizer settings and delivered via an insert earphone. All signals with spectra that were tilted, either negatively or positively, were perceived as louder than untilted signals. The general pattern of loudness matching was similar across subjects, and intrasubject judgments were found to be highly transitive. A measure of signal power was found to account only moderately well for the individual data. Preliminary evidence from a follow-up study using tilt factors less severe than those used in the main experiment suggests that loudness differences are roughly proportional to the degree of spectral tilt. The incorporation of level corrections approximating those necessary to achieve equal loudness is recommended in the fitting of programmable hearing aids.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this article were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, in Atlanta,Georgia, November 1991. This work was supported by PHS grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, DC01045 and DC00181.
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