Maximum Real-Ear Gain of In-the-Ear Hearing Aids Three hearing aid manufacturers provided custom full-shell in-the-ear hearing aids for each of 3 hearing-impaired subjects. Each manufacturer was instructed that the hearing aids should provide the maximum possible acoustic gain within the limits of hearing aid shell size and available components. Coupler gain, insertion gain, and functional gain were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1991
Maximum Real-Ear Gain of In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Faye N. Erickson
    University of Minnesota
  • Dianne J. Van Tasell
    University of Minnesota
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Dianne J. Van Tasell, Ph.D., Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Article Information
Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1991
Maximum Real-Ear Gain of In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1991, Vol. 34, 351-359. doi:10.1044/jshr.3402.351
History: Received September 20, 1989 , Accepted March 26, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1991, Vol. 34, 351-359. doi:10.1044/jshr.3402.351
History: Received September 20, 1989; Accepted March 26, 1990

Three hearing aid manufacturers provided custom full-shell in-the-ear hearing aids for each of 3 hearing-impaired subjects. Each manufacturer was instructed that the hearing aids should provide the maximum possible acoustic gain within the limits of hearing aid shell size and available components. Coupler gain, insertion gain, and functional gain were measured for each hearing aid. Gain measures were made with the volume control at either the full-on setting or the highest setting possible before the onset of acoustical feedback. Full-on coupler gain curves were similar across all nine hearing aids. Individual differences in concha/ear canal size and in the fit of the hearing aids produced substantial variance in insertion gain across hearing aids. Peak insertion gain varied from 41 to 58 dB. If 10 dB reserve gain is allowed, the range of estimated peak use gain from these maximum-gain in-the-ear hearing aids is 31–48 dB.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NIDCD Grant # NS12125 and by the Bryng Bryngelson Research Fund of the Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota. The assistance of David A. Fabry in instrumentation set-up and data collection is gratefully acknowledged. The authors respectfully dedicate this article to the memory of Joel Wernick, who always maintained that properly constructed ITE hearing aids could provide substantial real-ear gain. He was right.
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