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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 55  |  Page : 378--384

Speech understanding in noise with integrated in-ear and muff-style hearing protection systems

Sharon M Abel, Ann Nakashima, Douglas Saunders 
 Individual Behaviour and Performance Section, Defence Research and Development Canada-Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sharon M Abel
Individual Behaviour and Performance Section, Defence Research and Development Canada-Toronto, 1133 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto,Ontario, M3K 2C9
Canada

Integrated hearing protection systems are designed to enhance free field and radio communications during military operations while protecting against the damaging effects of high-level noise exposure. A study was conducted to compare the effect of increasing the radio volume on the intelligibility of speech over the radios of two candidate systems, in-ear and muff-style, in 85-dBA speech babble noise presented free field. Twenty normal-hearing, English-fluent subjects, half male and half female, were tested in same gender pairs. Alternating as talker and listener, their task was to discriminate consonant-vowel-consonant syllables that contrasted either the initial or final consonant. Percent correct consonant discrimination increased with increases in the radio volume. At the highest volume, subjects achieved 79% with the in-ear device but only 69% with the muff-style device, averaged across the gender of listener/talker pairs and consonant position. Although there was no main effect of gender, female listener/talkers showed a 10% advantage for the final consonant and male listener/talkers showed a 1% advantage for the initial consonant. These results indicate that normal hearing users can achieve reasonably high radio communication scores with integrated in-ear hearing protection in moderately high-level noise that provides both energetic and informational masking. The adequacy of the range of available radio volumes for users with hearing loss has yet to be determined.


How to cite this article:
Abel SM, Nakashima A, Saunders D. Speech understanding in noise with integrated in-ear and muff-style hearing protection systems.Noise Health 2011;13:378-384


How to cite this URL:
Abel SM, Nakashima A, Saunders D. Speech understanding in noise with integrated in-ear and muff-style hearing protection systems. Noise Health [serial online] 2011 [cited 2023 Feb 1 ];13:378-384
Available from: https://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2011;volume=13;issue=55;spage=378;epage=384;aulast=Abel;type=0