Multi-Channel Compression and Speech Intelligibility in Industrial Noise This study examined how various forms of compression affect speech intelligibility in moderately high levels of industrial noise. Thirteen listeners with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss were fit with a digital hearing aid programmed to operate in three modes of compression: compression limiting, compression of low frequencies only (BILL), and compression ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2000
Multi-Channel Compression and Speech Intelligibility in Industrial Noise
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Thomas G. Dolan
    Portland State University Portland, OR
  • Bret A. Wonderlick
    Portland State University Portland, OR
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: dolant@pdx.edu
  • Contact author: Thomas G. Dolan, Speech & Hearing Sciences Program, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207. Email: dolant@pdx.edu
    Contact author: Thomas G. Dolan, Speech & Hearing Sciences Program, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207. Email: dolant@pdx.edu×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2000
Multi-Channel Compression and Speech Intelligibility in Industrial Noise
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1380-1388. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1380
History: Received April 26, 2000 , Accepted July 31, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1380-1388. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1380
History: Received April 26, 2000; Accepted July 31, 2000

This study examined how various forms of compression affect speech intelligibility in moderately high levels of industrial noise. Thirteen listeners with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss were fit with a digital hearing aid programmed to operate in three modes of compression: compression limiting, compression of low frequencies only (BILL), and compression of high frequencies only (TILL). For each of these conditions, listeners attempted to recognize CID W-22 monosyllabic words delivered in a background of recorded industrial noise. Word recognition was also measured in quiet for the compression-limiting condition. The highest word identification scores were obtained in quiet (80.9%). Of the three conditions in which background noise was present, the mean score was highest for TILL compression (52.4%), and lowest for BILL (39.7%). Representative time-weighted average (TWA) exposures for each of the aided noise conditions were determined by means of a procedure outlined previously by the first author. The projected 8-hour amplified TWA with the hearing aid programmed to the TILL configuration was 94 dBA, whereas TWAs for the linear and BILL configurations were each 104 dBA. Thus, the highest intelligibility and lowest noise exposures were obtained with the aid in the TILL mode.

Acknowledgements
This research was presented at the 1999 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in San Francisco. We are grateful for the helpful comments and suggestions of Julie Purdy, Andrea Ruotolo, James Maurer, George Frye, and Doug Martin.
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