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Comparison of speech intelligibility measures for an electronic amplifying earmuff and an identical passive attenuation device.

Byrne DC, Palmer CV - Audiol Res (2012)

Bottom Line: The purpose of this study was to identify any differences between speech intelligibility measures obtained with MineEars electronic earmuffs (ProEars, Westcliffe, CO, USA) and the Bilsom model 847 (Sperian Hearing Protection, San Diego, CA, USA), which is a conventional passive-attenuation earmuff.These two devices are closely related, since the MineEars device consisted of a Bilsom 847 earmuff with the addition of electronic amplification circuits.Additionally, since an extensive electro-acoustic evaluation of the electronic earmuff was not performed as a part of this study, the exact cause of the reduced intelligibility scores at full volume remains unknown.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH;

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to identify any differences between speech intelligibility measures obtained with MineEars electronic earmuffs (ProEars, Westcliffe, CO, USA) and the Bilsom model 847 (Sperian Hearing Protection, San Diego, CA, USA), which is a conventional passive-attenuation earmuff. These two devices are closely related, since the MineEars device consisted of a Bilsom 847 earmuff with the addition of electronic amplification circuits. Intelligibility scores were obtained by conducting listening tests with 15 normal-hearing human subject volunteers wearing the earmuffs. The primary research objective was to determine whether speech understanding differs between the passive earmuffs and the electronic earmuffs (with the volume control set at three different positions) in a background of 90 dB(A) continuous noise. As expected, results showed that speech intelligibility increased with higher speech-to-noise ratios; however, the electronic earmuff with the volume control set at full-on performed worse than when it was set to off or the lowest on setting. This finding suggests that the maximum volume control setting for these electronic earmuffs may not provide any benefits in terms of increased speech intelligibility in the background noise condition that was tested. Other volume control settings would need to be evaluated for their ability to produce higher speech intelligibility scores. Additionally, since an extensive electro-acoustic evaluation of the electronic earmuff was not performed as a part of this study, the exact cause of the reduced intelligibility scores at full volume remains unknown.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Graphic presentation of mean speech intelligibility scores for each earmuff condition with speech-to-noise ratio as the parameter.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Figure 1: Graphic presentation of mean speech intelligibility scores for each earmuff condition with speech-to-noise ratio as the parameter.

Mentions: As expected, there was a significant main effect (F(2,28)=1014.50, MSerror= 96.29, P <0.0001) for signal-to-noise condition; the highest scores were obtained with a +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio, while the lowest scores were obtained with a −5 dB signal-to-noise ratio. A significant main effect also was found for the earmuff condition (F(3,42)=57.19, MSerror= 39.832, P <0.0001). Subjects obtained the highest speech intelligibility scores while wearing the passive earmuff, and the lowest scores when wearing the electronic earmuff at the HIGH volume control setting. Additionally, the interaction effect was significant (F(6,84)=6.94, MSerror= 38.304, P <0.0001), as illustrated by the non-parallel lines in Figure 1.


Comparison of speech intelligibility measures for an electronic amplifying earmuff and an identical passive attenuation device.

Byrne DC, Palmer CV - Audiol Res (2012)

Graphic presentation of mean speech intelligibility scores for each earmuff condition with speech-to-noise ratio as the parameter.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4630949&req=5

Figure 1: Graphic presentation of mean speech intelligibility scores for each earmuff condition with speech-to-noise ratio as the parameter.
Mentions: As expected, there was a significant main effect (F(2,28)=1014.50, MSerror= 96.29, P <0.0001) for signal-to-noise condition; the highest scores were obtained with a +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio, while the lowest scores were obtained with a −5 dB signal-to-noise ratio. A significant main effect also was found for the earmuff condition (F(3,42)=57.19, MSerror= 39.832, P <0.0001). Subjects obtained the highest speech intelligibility scores while wearing the passive earmuff, and the lowest scores when wearing the electronic earmuff at the HIGH volume control setting. Additionally, the interaction effect was significant (F(6,84)=6.94, MSerror= 38.304, P <0.0001), as illustrated by the non-parallel lines in Figure 1.

Bottom Line: The purpose of this study was to identify any differences between speech intelligibility measures obtained with MineEars electronic earmuffs (ProEars, Westcliffe, CO, USA) and the Bilsom model 847 (Sperian Hearing Protection, San Diego, CA, USA), which is a conventional passive-attenuation earmuff.These two devices are closely related, since the MineEars device consisted of a Bilsom 847 earmuff with the addition of electronic amplification circuits.Additionally, since an extensive electro-acoustic evaluation of the electronic earmuff was not performed as a part of this study, the exact cause of the reduced intelligibility scores at full volume remains unknown.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH;

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to identify any differences between speech intelligibility measures obtained with MineEars electronic earmuffs (ProEars, Westcliffe, CO, USA) and the Bilsom model 847 (Sperian Hearing Protection, San Diego, CA, USA), which is a conventional passive-attenuation earmuff. These two devices are closely related, since the MineEars device consisted of a Bilsom 847 earmuff with the addition of electronic amplification circuits. Intelligibility scores were obtained by conducting listening tests with 15 normal-hearing human subject volunteers wearing the earmuffs. The primary research objective was to determine whether speech understanding differs between the passive earmuffs and the electronic earmuffs (with the volume control set at three different positions) in a background of 90 dB(A) continuous noise. As expected, results showed that speech intelligibility increased with higher speech-to-noise ratios; however, the electronic earmuff with the volume control set at full-on performed worse than when it was set to off or the lowest on setting. This finding suggests that the maximum volume control setting for these electronic earmuffs may not provide any benefits in terms of increased speech intelligibility in the background noise condition that was tested. Other volume control settings would need to be evaluated for their ability to produce higher speech intelligibility scores. Additionally, since an extensive electro-acoustic evaluation of the electronic earmuff was not performed as a part of this study, the exact cause of the reduced intelligibility scores at full volume remains unknown.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus