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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 20;8(11):e80831. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080831. eCollection 2013.

Development and preliminary verification of a Mandarin-based hearing-aid fitting strategy.

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  • 1Research Center for Information Technology Innovation, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.



The purpose of this study was to design and to verify a new hearing-aid fitting strategy (Aescu HRL-1) based on the acoustic features of Mandarin. The subjective and objective outcomes were compared to those fitted with NAL-NL1 (National Acoustic Laboratory Non-Linear, version1) in Mandarin-speaking hearing-aid users.


Fifteen subjects with sensorineural hearing loss participated in this preliminary study. Each subject wore a pair of four-channel hearing aids fitted with the Aescu HRL-1 and NAL-NL1 prescriptions alternatively for 1 month. Objective and subjective tests including the Mandarin Monosyllable Recognition Test (MMRT), Mandarin Hearing in Noise Test (MHINT), International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA), and a sound-quality questionnaire were used to evaluate the performance of the two prescriptions.


The mean MMRT scores were 79.9% and 81.1% for NAL-NL1 and Aescu HRL-1 respectively. They are not statistically different. The corresponding MHINT signal-to-noise ratios were 0.87 and 0.85 dB, also, no significant difference was found between these two strategies. However, in subjective questionnaires, overall, the sound-quality and IOI-HA scores were higher for Aescu HRL-1.


The speech recognition performance based on Aescu HRL-1 is as good as that of NAL-NL1 for Mandarin-speaking hearing-aid users. Moreover, the subjects generally responded that Aescu HRL-1 provides a more natural, richer, and better sound quality than does NAL-NL1.

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