Electroacoustic Evaluation of Frequency-Modulated Receivers Interfaced With Personal Hearing Aids Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare the electroacoustic outputs of frequency-modulated (FM) systems coupled to hearing aids. Method Electroacoustic performance of FM systems coupled to hearing aids was determined for 3 FM receivers: body-worn with neck loop, ear-level nonprogrammable, and ear-level programmable. Systems were evaluated ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Electroacoustic Evaluation of Frequency-Modulated Receivers Interfaced With Personal Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erin C. Schafer
    University of North Texas, Denton
  • Linda M. Thibodeau
    University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • Holly S. Whalen
    University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • Gary J. Overson
    University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • Contact author: Erin C. Schafer, Speech and Hearing Sciences Department, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 305010, Denton, TX 76203-5010. E-mail: eschafer@unt.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Electroacoustic Evaluation of Frequency-Modulated Receivers Interfaced With Personal Hearing Aids
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 315-326. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/034)
History: Received August 2, 2006 , Revised November 20, 2006 , Accepted January 8, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 315-326. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/034)
History: Received August 2, 2006; Revised November 20, 2006; Accepted January 8, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare the electroacoustic outputs of frequency-modulated (FM) systems coupled to hearing aids.

Method Electroacoustic performance of FM systems coupled to hearing aids was determined for 3 FM receivers: body-worn with neck loop, ear-level nonprogrammable, and ear-level programmable. Systems were evaluated using the FM-advantage approach suggested by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s “Guidelines for Fitting and Monitoring FM Systems” (2002) . Output differences between the hearing aid and FM system were examined for typical input levels with a complex signal to verify an FM advantage and for high-input levels with a pure-tone signal to confirm similarity in maximum output.

Results Measurements from the FM receivers with neck loops showed significant low-frequency reduction and the most variable performance of the 3 types of systems. Less variable measurements were obtained with the ear-level FM receivers, and programmable FM receivers allowed for the most flexibility in obtaining an FM advantage. Findings of variability may be related to the type of system and the compression characteristics of the devices.

Conclusion Findings of great variability in electroacoustic performance of all systems support the need for electroacoustic evaluation, particularly when observing the effects of various settings on new technology.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Data from Year 2 of this article were presented as a poster entitled “Electroacoustic Verification of FM Benefits in Advanced Hearing Aid Circuitry” at the First Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics in December, 2002. Portions of the data from Year 3 were presented as a poster entitled “Comparison of Phonak vs. DSL Fitting of FM Systems” at ACCESS: Achieving Clear Communication Employing Sound Solutions, Proceedings of the First International Conference in Chicago, Illinois in November, 2003. A portion of the Discussion section was presented as a poster entitled “Electroacoustic Verification of Programmable FM Systems” at the American Academy of Audiology Convention in April, 2005. Appreciation is expressed to the staff and students of Plano Independent School District for allowing access to equipment and testing arrangements.
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