Send to

Choose Destination
Aviat Space Environ Med. 1996 Nov;67(11):1034-8.

The effect of a headset leakage on speech intelligibility in helicopter noise.

Author information

Royal Norwegian Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine, Oslo, Norway.



Speech intelligibility tests in recorded helicopter noise were performed on 10 subjects with normal hearing, using a Peltor aviation headset. The subjects acted as their own controls, a pair of sunglasses being the only variable factor.


Noise levels were also measured at the tympanic membrane in one of the test subjects for 7 consecutive fittings of the headset, with and without glasses.


Results showed a substantial decrease in speech intelligibility when wearing glasses, being most marked for critical signal-to-noise ratios and the most difficult speech material. Changes were statistically highly significant. Average speech intelligibility scores decreased from 68% to 29% for one-syllable words when wearing glasses at critical signal-to-noise ratios. Noise measurements at the tympanic membrane in one subject showed a low-frequency leakage varying between consecutive fittings.


Our findings show that even small leakages due to fitting of the headset or helmet should be avoided, particularly in noisy aircraft with communication-demanding mission profiles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center