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The Influence of Listener's Gender on the Acceptance of Background Noise
07 August 2020 (online)
The acceptance of background noise can be assessed by having participants select the maximum background noise level (BNL) to which they are willing to listen while following speech at their most comfortable listening level (MCL). The difference between the selected BNL and MCL is the acceptable noise level (ANL). Preliminary investigations have revealed large between-participant ANL differences that are not related to age, hearing status, preference for background noise, or uncomfortable listening level. This study investigated listener's gender as a possible factor contributing to these between-participant differences. Comfortable listening levels for speech and accepted levels of speech-babble background noise were obtained binaurally, via the sound field, from 50 (25 male, 25 female) young, acoustically naive adults with normal hearing sensitivity. Results indicate that, although males had higher comfortable listening levels and accepted higher levels of background noise than females, ANL values were not different between males and females.