Effects of noise reduction on speech intelligibility, perceived listening effort, and personal preference in hearing-impaired listeners.Trends Hear. 2014 Oct 13; 18TH
This study evaluates the perceptual effects of single-microphone noise reduction in hearing aids. Twenty subjects with moderate sensorineural hearing loss listened to speech in babble noise processed via noise reduction from three different linearly fitted hearing aids. Subjects performed (a) speech-intelligibility tests, (b) listening-effort ratings, and (c) paired-comparison ratings on noise annoyance, speech naturalness, and overall preference. The perceptual effects of noise reduction differ between hearing aids. The results agree well with those of normal-hearing listeners in a previous study. None of the noise-reduction algorithms improved speech intelligibility, but all reduced the annoyance of noise. The noise reduction that scored best with respect to noise annoyance and preference had the worst intelligibility scores. The trade-off between intelligibility and listening comfort shows that preference measurements might be useful in addition to intelligibility measurements in the selection of noise reduction. Additionally, this trade-off should be taken into consideration to create realistic expectations in hearing-aid users.