Hearing impaired children's preference for, and performance with, four combinations of directional microphone and digital noise reduction technology

Andrea Pittman, Mollie M. Hiipakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background: Before advanced noise-management features can be recommended for use in children with hearing loss, evidence regarding their ability to use these features to optimize speech perception is necessary. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between children's preference for, and performance with, four combinations of noise-management features in noisy listening environments. Research Design: Children with hearing loss were asked to repeat short sentences presented in steadystate noise or in multitalker babble while wearing ear-level hearing aids. The aids were programmed with four memories having an orthogonal arrangement of two noise-management features. The children were also asked to indicate the hearing aid memory that they preferred in each of the listening conditions both initially and after a short period of use. Study Sample: Fifteen children between the ages of 8 and 12 yr with moderate hearing losses, bilaterally. Results: The children's preference for noise management aligned well with their performance for at least three of the four listening conditions. The configuration of noise-management features had little effect on speech perception with the exception of reduced performance for speech originating from behind the child while in a directional hearing aid setting. Additionally, the children's preference appeared to be governed by listening comfort, even under conditions for which a benefit was not expected such as the use of digital noise reduction in the multitalker babble conditions. Conclusions: The results serve as evidence in support of the use of noise-management features in grade-school children as young as 8 yr of age.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)832-844
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
    Volume24
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

    Keywords

    • Children
    • Digital noise reduction
    • Directional microphones
    • Hearing aids
    • Hearing loss
    • Pediatric
    • Perception
    • Preference
    • Speech perception

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Speech and Hearing

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