Purpose: To investigate the long-term benefit of multichannel wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) alone and in combination with directional microphones and noise reduction/speech enhancement for listeners with severe or profound hearing loss. Method: At the conclusion of a research project, 39 participants with severe or profound hearing loss were fitted with WDRC in one program and WDRC with directional microphones and speech enhancement enabled in a 2nd program. More than 2 years after the 1st participants exited the project, a retrospective survey was conducted to determine the participants' use of, and satisfaction with, the 2 programs. Results: From the 30 returned questionnaires, it seems that WDRC is used with a high degree of satisfaction in general everyday listening situations. The reported benefit from the addition of a directional microphone and speech enhancement for listening in noisy environments was lower and varied among the users. This variable was significantly correlated with how much the program was used. Conclusions: The less frequent and more varied use of the program with directional microphones and speech enhancement activated in combination suggests that these features may be best offered in a 2nd listening program for listeners with severe or profound hearing loss.
- Digital hearing aids
- Hearing loss