Speech Recognition Soars With Adaptive Digital Tech Digital technology that adapts to varying environments—instead of fixed frequency modulation tech—may allow people with hearing impairment to communicate in noise even better than people with normal hearing, suggests a study in the June 2014 American Journal of Audiology. “People who were unable to participate in noisy activities even with ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   September 01, 2014
Speech Recognition Soars With Adaptive Digital Tech
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   September 01, 2014
Speech Recognition Soars With Adaptive Digital Tech
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19092014.np
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19092014.np
Digital technology that adapts to varying environments—instead of fixed frequency modulation tech—may allow people with hearing impairment to communicate in noise even better than people with normal hearing, suggests a study in the June 2014 American Journal of Audiology.
“People who were unable to participate in noisy activities even with traditional FM systems may now be able to expand their communication through the use of this technology” along with speechreading cues, says author Linda Thibodeau of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Thibodeau sought to compare the benefits of three types of hearing assistance technology that use remote microphones—adaptive digital broadband, adaptive FM and fixed FM—using objective and subjective measures of speech recognition in clinical and real-world settings. Participants included 11 adults—ages 16 to 78 years—with primarily moderate-to-severe bilateral hearing impairment, who wore binaural behind-the-ear hearing aids. Fifteen other adults—ages 18 to 30 years—with normal hearing also participated. Thibodeau tested participants’ sentence recognition in quiet and in noise, and obtained subjective ratings in three conditions of wireless signal processing.
The listeners with hearing impairment performed significantly better in noisy conditions when using adaptive digital technology than with FM technology—with the greatest benefits at the highest noise levels. At 75 dBAs, people with hearing loss achieved 69 percent accurate word recognition, compared with only 7 percent by participants with normal hearing. Most listeners also preferred digital technology when listening in a real-world, noisy environment. Wireless technology allowed people with hearing impairment to surpass those with normal hearing in speech recognition in noise, with the greatest benefit occurring with adaptive digital technology.
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September 2014
Volume 19, Issue 9