This study aimed to determine the low- and high-frequency compression ratios of a fast-acting device that were preferred by people with moderately severe to profound hearing loss. Three compression ratios (1:1, 1.8:1, and 3:1) were combined in the low and high frequencies to produce nine schemes that were evaluated pair-wise for three weeks in the field using an adaptive procedure. The evaluation was performed by 21 experienced hearing aid users with a moderately severe to profound hearing loss. Diaries and an exit interview were used to monitor preferences. Generally, the subjects preferred lower compression ratios than are typically prescribed, especially in the low frequencies. Specifically, 11 subjects preferred linear amplification in the low frequencies, and 14 subjects preferred more compression in the high than in the low frequencies. Preferences could not be predicted from audiometric data, onset of loss, or past experience with amplification. The data suggest that clients with moderately severe to profound hearing loss should be fitted with low-frequency compression ratios in the range 1:1 to 2:1 and that fine-tuning is essential.
- Compression ratios
- Field evaluation
- Hearing aids
- Profound hearing loss
- Wide dynamic range compression