Subjective and Objective Effects of Fast and Slow Compression on the Perception of Reverberant Speech in Listeners With Hearing Loss

Lu-Feng Shi; Doherty, Karen A.
October 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2008, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p1328
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to assess the effect of fast and slow attack/release times (ATs/RTs) on aided perception of reverberant speech in quiet. Method: Thirty listeners with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss were tested monaurally with a commercial hearing aid programmed in 3 AT/RT settings: linear, fast (AT = 9 ms, RT = 90 ms), and slow (AT = 900 ms, RT = 1,500 ms). Stimuli consisted of 200 low-predictability Speech-Perception-in-Noise sentences, presented at 60 dB SPL at 4 reverberation levels (RT60 = 0, 0.6, 1.2, and 3.6 s). Listeners were randomly presented with 12 listening conditions (3 AT/RT settings x 4 reverberation levels). Intelligibility scores and clarity ratings of the sentences were obtained. Results: Aided speech intelligibility and clarity significantly decreased as reverberation increased. Both fast and slow ATs/RTs resulted in significantly higher speech intelligibility than linear, but no significant difference was observed between fast and slow ATs/RTs. Clarity rating was similar across 3 settings; however, rating decreased the fastest with fast AT/RT as reverberation increased. Slow AT/RT resulted in significantly higher real-ear aided response than fast AT/RT and linear, despite the same programmed gain for all settings. Conclusion: Reverberation had a more significant effect on aided speech perception than AT/RT, but fast and slow AT/RT resulted in improved speech intelligibility over linear amplification.


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