Subjective and Objective Effects of Fast and Slow Compression on the Perception of Reverberant Speech in Listeners With Hearing Loss Purpose The purpose of the current study was to assess the effect of fast and slow attack/release times (ATs/RTs) on aided perception of reverberant speech in quiet. Method Thirty listeners with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss were tested monaurally with a commercial hearing aid programmed in 3 AT/RT settings: ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Subjective and Objective Effects of Fast and Slow Compression on the Perception of Reverberant Speech in Listeners With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lu-Feng Shi
    Syracuse University, New York
  • Karen A. Doherty
    Syracuse University, New York
  • Contact author: Lu-Feng Shi, who is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY 11201. E-mail: lu.shi@liu.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Subjective and Objective Effects of Fast and Slow Compression on the Perception of Reverberant Speech in Listeners With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1328-1340. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0196)
History: Received August 27, 2007 , Accepted February 6, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1328-1340. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0196)
History: Received August 27, 2007; Accepted February 6, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Purpose The purpose of the current study was to assess the effect of fast and slow attack/release times (ATs/RTs) on aided perception of reverberant speech in quiet.

Method Thirty listeners with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss were tested monaurally with a commercial hearing aid programmed in 3 AT/RT settings: linear, fast (AT = 9 ms, RT = 90 ms), and slow (AT = 900 ms, RT = 1,500 ms). Stimuli consisted of 200 low-predictability Speech-Perception-in-Noise sentences, presented at 60 dB SPL at 4 reverberation levels (RT60 = 0, 0.6, 1.2, and 3.6 s). Listeners were randomly presented with 12 listening conditions (3 AT/RT settings × 4 reverberation levels). Intelligibility scores and clarity ratings of the sentences were obtained.

Results Aided speech intelligibility and clarity significantly decreased as reverberation increased. Both fast and slow ATs/RTs resulted in significantly higher speech intelligibility than linear, but no significant difference was observed between fast and slow ATs/RTs. Clarity rating was similar across 3 settings; however, rating decreased the fastest with fast AT/RT as reverberation increased. Slow AT/RT resulted in significantly higher real-ear aided response than fast AT/RT and linear, despite the same programmed gain for all settings.

Conclusion Reverberation had a more significant effect on aided speech perception than AT/RT, but fast and slow AT/RT resulted in improved speech intelligibility over linear amplification.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this work were presented at the International Hearing Aid Research Conference, Lake Tahoe, California, in August 2000. This work was supported by a grant from the Schneller Foundation from Syracuse University. The authors are deeply grateful to all the listeners who participated in this study. The authors would like to thank Pam Souza, Beth Prieve, Kathy Vander Werff, and Eddie Bevilacqua for their help in the design of the study; Sharon Sandridge and her colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) for providing the test signals and related information; Sandra Gordon-Salant for advice on signal randomization; Michael Stone for stimulating conversation on data interpretation; and Tom Powers and Siemens Hearing Instruments (Piscataway, New Jersey) for providing the Triano3 hearing aids.
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