An exploratory investigation of speech recognition thresholds in noise with auralisations of two reverberant rooms

Antti Kuusinen*, Eero Saariniemi, Ville Sivonen, Aarno Dietz, Antti A. Aarnisalo, Tapio Lokki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: Speech-in-noise tests are widely used in hearing diagnostics but typically without reverberation, although reverberation is an inextricable part of everyday listening conditions. To support the development of more real-life-like test paradigms, the objective of this study was to explore how spatially reproduced reverberation affects speech recognition thresholds in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. Design: Thresholds were measured with a Finnish speech-in-noise test without reverberation and with two test conditions with reverberation times of ∼0.9 and 1.8 s. Reverberant conditions were produced with a multichannel auralisation technique not used before in this context. Study sample: Thirty-four normal-hearing and 14 hearing-impaired listeners participated in this study. Five people were tested with and without hearing aids. Results: No significant differences between test conditions were found for the normal-hearing listeners. Results for the hearing-impaired listeners indicated better performance for the 0.9 s reverberation time compared to the reference and the 1.8 s conditions. Benefit from hearing aid use varied between individuals; for one person, an advantage was observed only with reverberation. Conclusions: Auralisations may offer information on speech recognition performance that is not obtained with a test without reverberation. However, more complex stimuli and/or higher signal-to-noise ratios should be used in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AUDIOLOGY
Volume60
Issue number3
Early online date23 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • hearing diagnostics
  • hearing impairment
  • reverberation
  • Speech recognition
  • speech-in-noise test
  • virtual acoustics

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