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Speech Perception in Noise: Directional Microphones versus Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems
07 August 2020 (online)
The major consequence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is communicative difficulty, especially with the addition of noise and/or reverberation. The purpose of this investigation was to compare two types of technologies that have been shown to improve the speech-perception performance of individuals with SNHL: directional microphones and frequency modulation (FM) systems. Forty-six adult subjects with slight to severe SNHL served as subjects. Speech perception was assessed using the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) with correlated diffuse noise under five different listening conditions. Results revealed that speech perception was significantly better with the use of the FM system over that of any of the hearing aid conditions, even with the use of the directional microphone. Additionally, speech perception was significantly better with the use of two hearing aids used in conjunction with two FM receivers rather than with just one FM receiver. Directional microphone performance was significantly better than omnidirectional microphone performance. All aided listening conditions were significantly better than the unaided listening condition.