J Am Acad Audiol 2005; 16(09): 726-739
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.16.9.9
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2005) American Academy of Audiology

Speech Recognition in Multitalker Babble Using Digits, Words, and Sentences

Rachel A. McArdle
Richard H. Wilson
Christopher A. Burks
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07. August 2020 (online)

The purpose of this mixed model design was to examine recognition performance differences when measuring speech recognition in multitalker babble on listeners with normal hearing (n = 36) and listeners with hearing loss (n = 72) utilizing stimulus of varying linguistic complexity (digits, words, and sentence materials). All listeners were administered two trials of two lists of each material in a descending speech-to-babble ratio. For each of the materials, recognition performances by the listeners with normal hearing were significantly better than the performances by the listeners with hearing loss. The mean separation between groups at the 50% point in signal-to-babble ratio on each of the three materials was ~8 dB. The 50% points for digits were obtained at a significantly lower signal-to-babble ratio than for sentences or words that were equivalent. There were no interlist differences between the two lists for the digits and words, but there was a significant disparity between QuickSIN™ lists for the listeners with hearing loss. A two-item questionnaire was used to obtain a subjective measurement of speech recognition, which showed moderate correlations with objective measures of speech recognition in noise using digits (r = .641), sentences (r = .572), and words (r = .673).