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J Am Acad Audiol. 2005 Apr;16(4):228-36.

Acceptable noise level as a measure of directional hearing aid benefit.

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University of Tennessee, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, 444 South Stadium Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-0740, USA.


An acceptable noise level (ANL) procedure for measuring hearing aid directional benefit was compared with masked speech reception threshold (SRT) and front-to-back ratio (FBR) procedures. ANL is the difference between the most comfortable listening level and the maximum accepted background noise level while listening to speech. Forty adult subjects wearing their own binaural hearing aids were evaluated in omnidirectional and directional modes. The subjects were fitted with a variety of hearing aids by clinical audiologists, independent of the study. For each procedure, speech and noise were presented through loudspeakers located at 0 degrees and 180 degrees azimuth, respectively. Mean ANL (3.5 dB), SRT (3.7 dB), and FBR (2.9 dB) directional benefits were not significantly different. The ANL and masked SRT benefits were significantly correlated. The ANL appears to be a quick, clinician/user friendly procedure for measuring hearing aid directional benefit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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