Syllable-constituent perception by hearing-aid users: Common factors in quiet and noise.J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 04; 141(4):2933.JA
The abilities of 59 adult hearing-aid users to hear phonetic details were assessed by measuring their abilities to identify syllable constituents in quiet and in differing levels of noise (12-talker babble) while wearing their aids. The set of sounds consisted of 109 frequently occurring syllable constituents (45 onsets, 28 nuclei, and 36 codas) spoken in varied phonetic contexts by eight talkers. In nominal quiet, a speech-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 40 dB, scores of individual listeners ranged from about 23% to 85% correct. Averaged over the range of SNRs commonly encountered in noisy situations, scores of individual listeners ranged from about 10% to 71% correct. The scores in quiet and in noise were very strongly correlated, R = 0.96. This high correlation implies that common factors play primary roles in the perception of phonetic details in quiet and in noise. Otherwise said, hearing-aid users' problems perceiving phonetic details in noise appear to be tied to their problems perceiving phonetic details in quiet and vice versa.