Category Archives: Internet

Rainbow, Rainbow ft. Lil KEMAR

This goes out to everyone that’s spent hours listening to speech in noise tests. The AuDs, hearing scientists, and engineers. Thanks Justin for the design, Fred for the beats, KEMAR for looking dapper, and the talented voice talent.

Top 5 Hearing Aid Research Publications from 2014!


Over the last year, we were presented with audiology research that spanned topics related to engineering, clinical expectations, and statistical exercises for predictive or retrospective analyses. This selection of articles is representative of that diversity, highlighting articles that present new models for speech quality, describing third-party perception of hearing aid use, and several that peel away layers obscuring the complexity of adapting to new hearing aid use.

1. The Hearing Aid Effect in 2013

Hearing aid use carries stigma: this is a fact that all people with hearing loss, researchers, and audiologists understand. It’s safe to say that there is a generalized assumption that the adoption of body-worn technology will eventually erode the stigmatizing effect of hearing aid use. During this study, adults were asked to rate their perception of a person wearing several styles of ear-level devices, including hearing aids, earphones, and a Bluetooth headset. While the observed differences could be considered moderate, there were no perceived differences between a person wearing hearing aids and those not wearing hearing aids. The authors propose that this observation indicates a more positive perception of hearing aid use, as compared to earlier studies.

Rauterkus, E., & Palmer, C. (2014). The Hearing Aid Effect in 2013. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 25, 893-903.

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2. Dynamic relation between working memory capacity and speech recognition in noise during the first 6 months of hearing aid use

Attempting to clearly interpret past research in the area of adaptation to new hearing aids is a complex proposition. Some studies offer conflicting results, even questioning the nature of the adaptation effect. This is one of several studies in recent years that have looked at measures of cognition as they relate to new hearing aid use. The authors find that working memory demands (a form of functional short-term memory) changed over 6-months. The implications of these observations are increased cognitive demands at the time of the first hearing aid fitting, as patients work to interpret newly audible cues.

Ng, E., Classon, E., Birgitta, L., Arlinger, S., Lunner, T., Rudner, M., & Ronnberg, J. (2014). Dynamic relation between working memory capacity and speech recognition in noise during the first 6 months of hearing aid use. Trends in Hearing, 18, 1-10.

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3. Factors associated with success with hearing aids in older adults

This large-scale assessment tracked the outcomes of patients through a battery of 16 measurements, both subjective and objective. A number of valuable clinical factors were identified as linking to hearing aid success. Three of these factors stand out as providing excellent clinical insight. Firstly, the role of a supportive spouse is extremely important; secondly, the patient must be able to confidently manipulate the hearing aids themselves; finally, patients fit with hearing aids at prescriptively appropriate gains are more successful than those who are fit far below the prescription. Some of these observations have been made in previous studies but this one is the first to succinctly report them with modern hearing aids.

Hickson, L., Meyer, C., Lovelock, K., Lampert, M., & Khan, A. (2014). Factors associated with success with hearing aids in older adults. International Journal of Audiology, 53, S18-S27.

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4. The Hearing-Aid Speech Quality Index (HASQI) Version 2

The optimization and verification of hearing aid signal processing algorithms is greatly eased by our ability to model (or predict) a person’s perception of changes in the processed sound. The HASQI is a tool that allows for the prediction of changes in sound quality though the comparison of two recordings, one unprocessed sample that is used as a reference and a second processed sample. This recent revision to the original HASQI works well to overcome some limitations of the first iteration.

Kates, J., & Arehart, K. (2014) The Hearing-Aid Speech Quality Index (HASQI) Version 2. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 62(3), 99-117.

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 5. A 3-pack on the acclimatization conundrum

This package of three articles is being presented as one (on the list). Individually, each offers a small but meaningful insight into the topic of adapting to new hearing aid use. As all three were published from the same lab during 2014, they offer a collective series of insights that will impact all future work in this area. In brief, the investigators sought to document acclimatization effects through several metrics, including a round of focus group interviews. Their objective observations showed mild effects of experience with hearing aids, while the focus group interviews reinforce expectations that adjusting to hearing aids is an experience that extends beyond the perception of amplified sound alone.

Dawes, P., Maslin, M., & Munro, K. (2014). ‘Getting used to’ hearing aids from the perspective of adult hearing-aid users. International Journal of Audiology, 53, 861-870.

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Dawes, P., Munro, K., Kalluri, S., & Edwards, B. (2014). Auditory acclimatization and hearing aids: Late auditory evoked potentials and speech recognition following unilateral and bilateral amplification. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 135(6), 3560-3569.

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Dawes, P., Munro, K., Kalluri, S., & Edwards, B. (2014). Acclimatization to Hearing Aids. Ear and Hearing, 32(2), 203-212.

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Tinnitus Treatment through Sound Therapy

For the patient suffering from tinnitus, management of this persistent internal sound can be debilitating. Most treatment plans have converged on a format that includes sound therapy with a device presenting distracting noise or tonal sounds. Prior to the reviewed study, few randomized control trials with hearing aids featuring sound therapy had been completed. Read on to learn about the work of Henry and colleagues, who report on the benefits of hearing aids alone and hearing aids with a feature for tinnitus sound therapy.

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Henry, J., Frederick, M., Sell, S., Griest, S. & Abrams, H. (2014). Validation of a novel combination hearing aid and tinnitus therapy device. Ear and Hearing, e-published ahead of print, September 2014.

Virtual Conference: Individual Variability in Aided Outcomes

Below are a series of links that will direct you to recorded presentations from a recent conference on Individual Variability in Aided Outcomes. The presentations address a broad range of audiologic topics and can be viewed free of charge. There is also an option to view each of these for continuing education units. Enjoy.

Individual variability in outcomes with directional microphones
Variability in techniques for frequency lowering
Individual variability in aided and unaided acceptable noise levels
Accounting for individual variability in an auditory rehabilitation plan
Individual variability in aided measures of cognitive function

Clinical Topics in Hearing Aid Research

I am very happy to announce the availability of Clinical Topics in Hearing Aid Research.

This book is a topic-driven review of modern research in hearing aids. Anyone working with hearing aids, whether student, university faculty, or experienced clinician will find this book approachable and insightful. Each section begins with a question or statement about hearing aid benefits and function. The subsequent text will address that question through a review of research ending with a discussion of the clinical implications.

We made the decision to self publish this text in order to keep the price low while distributing in as many formats as possible. Whether you choose a hardcopy or eBook, Dr. Stevens and I hope you find the book an insightful complement to any stage of clinical practice.

Read a Sample

Purchase on Amazon

Open Access Recordings for Developing Speech Maskers

For those of you involved in hearing research, available online are open access recordings for the development of competing speech maskers. There are 8 male and 8 female talkers, each is reading the English language ‘Rainbow Passage’ at normal conversational effort. The source files are match for RMS level but left unshaped, retaining their original spectra.

Download Files

2013 Pediatric Amplification Guidelines for Clinical Practice

The American Academy of Audiology has approved the 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Pediatric Amplification. Creation of these guidelines reflects diligent collaboration among 15 experts over three years time. This substantive revision is the first since 2003 and includes updates that reflect the current state of hearing aid technology and clinical knowledge in pediatrics.

AAA 2013 Pediatric Amp Guidelines

Top 5 Articles of 2012!

2012 was an impressive year for scientific publication in audiology research and hearing aids. Narrowing the selection to 15 or 20 articles was much easier than selecting 5 articles from that respectable ensemble. After some thought and discussion with several colleagues, here are the top 5 articles published in 2012!

Top 5 of 2012 Continue reading

The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI): A quick and reliable method for measuring tinnitus outcomes

This month continues our theme of outcome measures with a review of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). Did you know the THI is a quick and reliable way to measure the outcomes of tinnitus treatment? There aren’t many outcome measures that are as easy to interpret as the THI.

Recent Publications

Several submissions were printed over the last few months. These span topics from remote hearing aid programming to the prescription of hearing aids in cases of cochlear dead regions.

  • Galster, J.A., (2012). Prescribing hearing aids for cochlear dead regions, The Hearing Journal, 65(11), 16-18. Read Article 
  • Galster, J.A. & Stevens, K. (2012). What’s New About NAL-NL2? Hearing Review, 19(9), 28-31. Read Article
  • Galster, J.A., & Abrams, H.B. (2012). Are you ready for remote hearing aid programming? Hearing Review, 19(10), 26-28. Read Article
  • Galster, J.A. & Abrams, H.B. (2012, July/August). Connected Health: Bridging the patient and professional, ENT & Audiology News, 73-74. Read Article
  • Galster, J.A. (2012). Apps for audiology. Audiology Practices, 4(3), 16-19. Read Article