Listening through hearing aids affects spatial perception and speech intelligibility in normal-hearing listeners

Jens Cubick, Jörg M. Buchholz, Virginia Best, Mathieu Lavandier, Torsten Dau

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    22 Citations (Scopus)
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    Cubick and Dau [(2016). Acta Acust. Acust. 102, 547-557] showed that speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in noise, obtained with normal-hearing listeners, were significantly higher with hearing aids (HAs) than without. Some listeners reported a change in their spatial perception of the stimuli due to the HA processing, with auditory images often being broader and closer to the head or even internalized. The current study investigated whether worse speech intelligibility with HAs might be explained by distorted spatial perception and the resulting reduced ability to spatially segregate the target speech from the interferers. SRTs were measured in normal-hearing listeners with or without HAs in the presence of three interfering talkers or speech-shaped noises. Furthermore, listeners were asked to sketch their spatial perception of the acoustic scene. Consistent with the previous study, SRTs increased with HAs. Spatial release from masking was lower with HAs than without. The effects were similar for noise and speech maskers and appeared to be accounted for by changes to energetic masking. This interpretation was supported by results from a binaural speech intelligibility model. Even though the sketches indicated a change of spatial perception with HAs, no direct link between spatial perception and segregation of talkers could be shown.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2896-2905
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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    Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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