Objective comparative analysis of localization performance using personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) and a traditional hearing aid
Links to Fileshttp://library.towson.edu/digital/collection/etd/id/66458
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workapplication/pdf
xvi, 105 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies
The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the objective benefit of a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) (Soundworld Solutions Sidekick) versus a traditional hearing aid (Oticon Nera miniRITE) in localization performance using an audiologist fit condition. Three participants with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss were evaluated with both PSAPs and traditional hearing aids. Electroacoustic analysis was performed for each PSAP and traditional hearing aid prior to each test session and compared to manufacturers’ specifications to confirm proper functioning of the devices. Real ear measurements were obtained and compared to NAL-NL2 targets. Each participant's speech-in-noise understanding was evaluated using the AzBio speech-in-noise test and speech identification ability was evaluated using speech-on-speech masking techniques. Lastly, localization ability was assessed in an unaided, PSAP, and traditional hearing aid condition. The electroacoustic analysis measurements for both devices were in relatively good agreement with the manufacturers’ specifications and indicate that the PSAP and hearing aid had relatively similar outputs. Both the PSAP and traditional hearing aid devices when fit in a gold-standard fitting protocol were able to meet NAL-NL2 targets relatively well. Speech-in-noise testing with the AzBio sentence test revealed similar performance in all three test conditions (Unaided, PSAP, traditional hearing aid). Speech-on-speech masking revealed mixed speech identification abilities. Overall, all the participants performed better in the spatially separated condition compared to the co-located condition. On average the traditional hearing aid condition produced the highest spatial release from masking. However, statistical analysis was not completed due to the small sample size. When assessed for localization ability the participants were generally able to localize the low frequency stimulus (500 Hz) more accurately than the high frequency stimulus (3150 Hz). During localization tasks participant performance was variable based on hearing condition. On average participants performed better in the unaided conditions for both high and low frequency stimuli. Collectively, the results of the pilot study are in good agreement with previous studies that suggest that advanced PSAPs have the ability to perform similarly to a traditional hearing aid for individuals with a mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. The localization results from this pilot study are generally in good agreement with previous hearing aid localization research, but further research is needed to draw conclusions based on device performance.