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ERIC Number: EJ1126625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Directional Microphone Hearing Aids in School Environments: Working toward Optimization
Ricketts, Todd A.; Picou, Erin M.; Galster, Jason
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n1 p263-275 Jan 2017
Purpose: The hearing aid microphone setting (omnidirectional or directional) can be selected manually or automatically. This study examined the percentage of time the microphone setting selected using each method was judged to provide the best signalto-noise ratio (SNR) for the talkers of interest in school environments. Method: A total of 26 children (aged 6-17 years) with hearing loss were fitted with study hearing aids and evaluated during 2 typical school days. Time-stamped hearing aid settings were compared with observer judgments of the microphone setting that provided the best SNR on the basis of the specific listening environment. Results: Despite training for appropriate use, school-age children were unlikely to consistently manually switch to the microphone setting that optimized SNR. Furthermore, there was only fair agreement between the observer judgments and the hearing aid setting chosen by the automatic switching algorithm. Factors contributing to disagreement included the hearing aid algorithm choosing the directional setting when the talker was not in front of the listener or when noise arrived only from the front quadrant and choosing the omnidirectional setting when the noise level was low. Conclusion: Consideration of listener preferences, talker position, sound level, and other factors in the classroom may be necessary to optimize microphone settings.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: H133G060012