OBJECTIVE: To determine, for patients who had identical levels of performance on a monosyllabic word test presented in quiet, whether device differences would affect performance when tested with other materials and in other test conditions. DESIGN: For Experiment 1, from a test population of 76 patients, three groups (N = 13 in each group) were created. Patients in the first group used the CII Bionic Ear behind-the-ear (BTE) speech processor, patients in the second group used the Esprit3G BTE speech processor, and patients in the third group used the Tempo+ BTE speech processor. The patients in each group were matched on (i) monosyllabic word scores in quiet, (ii) age at testing, (iii) duration of deafness, and (iv) experience with their device. Performance of the three groups was compared on a battery of tests of speech understanding, voice discrimination, and melody recognition. In Experiments 2 (N = 10) and 3 (N = 10) the effects of increasing input dynamic range in the 3G and CII devices, respectively, was assessed with sentence material presented at conversational levels in quiet, conversational levels in noise, and soft levels in quiet. RESULTS: Experiment 1 revealed that patients fit with the CII processor achieved higher scores than Esprit3G and Tempo+ patients on tests of vowel recognition. CII and Tempo+ patients achieved higher scores than Esprit3G patients on difficult sentence material presented in noise at +10 and +5 dB SNR. CII patients achieved higher scores than Esprit3G patients on difficult sentence material presented at a soft level (54 dB SPL). Experiment 2 revealed that increasing input dynamic range in the Esprit3G device had (i) no effect at conversational levels in quiet, (ii) degraded performance in noise, and (iii) improved performance at soft levels. Experiment 3 revealed that increasing input dynamic range in the CII device improved performance in all conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in implant design can affect patient performance, especially in difficult listening situations. Input dynamic range and the method by which compression is implemented appear to be the major factors that account for our results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing