Measuring the Effects of Reverberation and Noise on Sentence Intelligibility for Hearing-Impaired Listeners PurposeThe Speech Transmission Index (STI; Houtgast, Steeneken, & Plomp, 1980; Steeneken & Houtgast, 1980) is commonly used to quantify the adverse effects of reverberation and stationary noise on speech intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners. Duquesnoy and Plomp (1980)  showed that the STI can be applied for presbycusic listeners, relating speech reception ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Measuring the Effects of Reverberation and Noise on Sentence Intelligibility for Hearing-Impaired Listeners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erwin L. J. George
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • S. Theo Goverts
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Joost M. Festen
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Tammo Houtgast
    VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Contact author: Erwin L. J. George, VU University Medical Center, ENT/Audiology, EMGO Institute, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail: elj.george@vumc.nl.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Measuring the Effects of Reverberation and Noise on Sentence Intelligibility for Hearing-Impaired Listeners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1429-1439. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0197)
History: Received September 11, 2009 , Accepted April 5, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1429-1439. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0197)
History: Received September 11, 2009; Accepted April 5, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

PurposeThe Speech Transmission Index (STI; Houtgast, Steeneken, & Plomp, 1980; Steeneken & Houtgast, 1980) is commonly used to quantify the adverse effects of reverberation and stationary noise on speech intelligibility for normal-hearing listeners. Duquesnoy and Plomp (1980)  showed that the STI can be applied for presbycusic listeners, relating speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in various reverberant conditions to a fixed, subject-dependent STI value. The current study aims at extending their results to a wider range of hearing-impaired listeners.

MethodA reverberant analogue of the SRT is presented—the speech reception reverberation threshold (SRRT)—which determines the amount of reverberation that a listener can sustain to understand 50% of the presented sentences. SRTs are performed and evaluated in terms of STI for 5 normal-hearing participants and 36 randomly selected hearing-impaired participants.

ResultsResults show that differences in STI between reverberant and noisy conditions are only small, equivalent to a change in speech-to-noise ratio < 1.3 dB.

ConclusionThe STI appears to be a convenient, single number to quantify speech reception of hearing-impaired listeners in noise and/or reverberation, regardless of the nature of the hearing loss. In future research, the SRRT may be applied to further investigate the supposed importance of cognitive processing in reverberant listening conditions.

Acknowledgment
This research was supported by the Heinsius-Houbolt Foundation, Wassenaar, the Netherlands.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access