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Evaluation of Speech Recognition of Cochlear Implant Recipients Using Adaptive, Digital Remote Microphone Technology and a Speech Enhancement Sound Processing Algorithm
06 August 2020 (online)
Background: Cochlear implant recipients often experience difficulty with understanding speech in the presence of noise. Cochlear implant manufacturers have developed sound processing algorithms designed to improve speech recognition in noise, and research has shown these technologies to be effective. Remote microphone technology utilizing adaptive, digital wireless radio transmission has also been shown to provide significant improvement in speech recognition in noise. There are no studies examining the potential improvement in speech recognition in noise when these two technologies are used simultaneously.
Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential benefits and limitations associated with the simultaneous use of a sound processing algorithm designed to improve performance in noise (Advanced Bionics ClearVoice) and a remote microphone system that incorporates adaptive, digital wireless radio transmission (Phonak Roger).
Research Design: A two-by-two way repeated measures design was used to examine performance differences obtained without these technologies compared to the use of each technology separately as well as the simultaneous use of both technologies.
Study Sample: Eleven Advanced Bionics (AB) cochlear implant recipients, ages 11 to 68 yr
Data Collection and Analysis: AzBio sentence recognition was measured in quiet and in the presence of classroom noise ranging in level from 50 to 80 dBA in 5-dB steps. Performance was evaluated in four conditions: (1) No ClearVoice and no Roger, (2) ClearVoice enabled without the use of Roger, (3) ClearVoice disabled with Roger enabled, and (4) simultaneous use of ClearVoice and Roger.
Results: Speech recognition in quiet was better than speech recognition in noise for all conditions. Use of ClearVoice and Roger each provided significant improvement in speech recognition in noise. The best performance in noise was obtained with the simultaneous use of ClearVoice and Roger.
Conclusions: ClearVoice and Roger technology each improves speech recognition in noise, particularly when used at the same time. Because ClearVoice does not degrade performance in quiet settings, clinicians should consider recommending ClearVoice for routine, full-time use for AB implant recipients. Roger should be used in all instances in which remote microphone technology may assist the user in understanding speech in the presence of noise.