The Effects of Venting on In-the-Ear, In-the-Canal, and Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid Shell Frequency Responses Real-Ear Measures Research Article
Research Article  |   August 1999
The Effects of Venting on In-the-Ear, In-the-Canal, and Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid Shell Frequency Responses
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrew Stuart
    East Carolina University Greenville, NC
  • Rose Allen
    East Carolina University Greenville, NC
  • C. Renée Downs
    East Carolina University Greenville, NC
  • Michael Carpenter
    East Carolina University Greenville, NC
  • Contact author: Andrew Stuart, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353.
    Contact author: Andrew Stuart, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: stuarta@mail.ecu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 1999
The Effects of Venting on In-the-Ear, In-the-Canal, and Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid Shell Frequency Responses
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 804-813. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.804
History: Received August 13, 1998 , Accepted February 15, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 804-813. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.804
History: Received August 13, 1998; Accepted February 15, 1999

The acoustic effects of 1-, 2-, and 3-mm vents were investigated with in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and completely-in-the-canal hearing aid shells. Real-ear sound pressure level measures were obtained from unvented and vented shells with 12 adults. In general, with increasing vent size, a statistically significant (p < .05) increase in the amount of low-frequency reduction, an upward shift in vent cutoff frequencies, and an upward shift in vent-associated resonances occurred for all hearing aid shell styles. There was no significant change in the slope of the low-frequency reduction across all hearing aid shell styles (p > .05), albeit the frequency response curves were shifted upward in frequency with increasing vent diameters. Only with the in-the-ear and completely-in-the-canal hearing aid shells were statistically significant (p < .05) differences found with the magnitude of vent-associated resonance as a function of vent diameter, and these differences were not consistent across the different styles. These findings suggest that venting may be used effectively to tune low-frequency responses in custom in-the-ear hearing instruments.

Acknowledgments
The completion of this project could not have been accomplished without the generous support of Starkey Southeast, Norcross, GA. In particular, the assistance of Paul Burris, Del Hawk, and Ron Tebedo is greatly appreciated. Portions of this work were presented at the North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association 44th Annual Convention, Charlotte, NC, April 23, 1998, and at the American Academy of Audiology, 11th Annual Convention, Miami Beach, FL, May 1, 1999.
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