Client-based adjustments of hearing aid gain: the effect of different control configurations

Wouter A. Dreschler, Gitte Keidser, Elizabeth Convery, Harvey Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Facilitating the fine-tuning of advanced hearing aids requires information about the acoustic environment. The concept of a "trainable" hearing aid may provide a more direct approach to hearing aid fine-tuning if the aid user is allowed to control the most important fitting parameters in his/her own acoustic environments. DESIGN: In a laboratory study, the concept of self-adjustment of the gain-frequency response was tested by 24 hearing aid users using four different controllers with a limited number of control functions. Research questions focused on the reproducibility of the fine-tuned responses, the efficiency of the control configurations, and the effects of the control configuration on the end results of the fine-tuning process. RESULTS: The subjects were able to provide systematic and reproducible feedback with respect to their preferences in different acoustic conditions presented audiovisually, achieving an average short- term test/retest standard deviation value of 2.8 dB. Two of the control configurations, featuring volume/slope and volume/bass/treble keys, were found to be more time-efficient and reliable, and were also preferred by 86% of the subjects. Although the control configuration did not have a strong influence on the end result, the gain-frequency response from which the subjects started their adjustments was found to have a significant effect on their preferred settings. CONCLUSIONS: Client-based adjustments of hearing aid gain provide a reliable method of individual fine-tuning. The results also showed that a biased correction of amplification is reached via self-adjustment within one session, which reduces the effectiveness of fine-tuning in a traditional clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-227
Number of pages14
JournalEar and Hearing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


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