The effect of adaptive nonlinear frequency compression on phoneme perception
American Journal of Audiology
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© 2017 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Purpose: This study implemented a fitting method, developed for use with frequency lowering hearing aids, across multiple testing sites, participants, and hearing aid conditions to evaluate speech perception with a novel type of frequency lowering. Method: A total of 8 participants, including children and young adults, participated in real-world hearing aid trials. A blinded crossover design, including posttrial withdrawal testing, was used to assess aided phoneme perception. The hearing aid conditions included adaptive nonlinear frequency compression (NFC), static NFC, and conventional processing. Results: Enabling either adaptive NFC or static NFC improved group-level detection and recognition results for some high-frequency phonemes, when compared with conventional processing. Mean results for the distinction component of the Phoneme Perception Test (Schmitt, Winkler, Boretzki, & Holube, 2016) were similar to those obtained with conventional processing. Conclusions: Findings suggest that both types of NFC tested in this study provided a similar amount of speech perception benefit, when compared with group-level performance with conventional hearing aid technology. Individual-level results are presented with discussion around patterns of results that differ from the group average.