Category Archives: Personal

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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A plastic cup makes for a simple and effective instant speaker.


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

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

The Master Hearing Aid

An upcoming issue of Trends in Amplification will include an article that I had the pleasure of writing with Jim Curran. Jim has been in practice for over 40 years and holds the distinction of being one, if not the first, audiologist to fit hearing aids in a private practice setting. A distinction that, in the early 1970’s, resulted in his dismissal from the American Speech and Hearing Association. A striking illustration of how times have changed.

In this article we discuss a nearly forgotten history of the Master Hearing Aid. Long before probe microphone measurement and prescriptive formulae, these early systems were used to simulate the listening experience of hearing aids. Jim has done an excellent job of capturing this history and taking the reader from these earliest days of hearing aid fitting to the modern techniques used today.

Read: The Master Hearing Aid

Individual Variability in Aided Outcomes

The current issue of Seminars in Hearing is focused on the topic of individual variability in aided outcomes. Those working in hearing care, both clinical and research, can attest to the fact that individual variability is an inherent component of our daily routine. The example of two patients with identical diagnostics but widely varying hearing aid outcomes is one that characterizes many hearing aid fittings.

As guest editor for the issue I was excited to select this topic and recruit a talented group of authors. These authors are well respected researchers in a variety of areas related to hearing aid outcomes; each brings a unique insight to the topic of individual variability.

Preface: Individual Variability in Aided Outcomes: Galster, J. Read

Individual differences research and hearing aid outcomes: Humes, L.

Individual variability of hearing-impaired consonant perception: Trevino, A. & Allen, J.

Individual variability in recognition of frequency-lowered speech: Alexander, J.

Individual variability in benefit from fixed and adaptive directional microphones: Galster, J. & Rodemerk, K. Read

Individual variability in unaided and aided measurement of the acceptable noise level: Eddins, D, Arnold, M., Klein, A., & Ellison, J.

Will my patient benefit from audiologic rehabilitation? The role of individual differences in outcomes: Abrams, H. & Chisolm, T.

Publisher’s website

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

Awash in a stream of wireless solutions

This month’s issue of Audiology Practices includes an article that discusses methods for streaming audio (television and telephone) to modern hearing aids. With multiple options for wireless communication with hearing aids selecting among these technologies can feel daunting.

Awash in a stream of wireless solutions

Galster, J.A. (2011). Awash in a stream of wireless solutions. Audiology Practices, 3(2), 26-29.


AudiologyToday article: Stay on Target?

The March/April issue of AudiologyToday includes an editorial piece discussing the importance (and process) of monitoring speech audibility in a hearing aid fitting.

  • Galster, J.A. (2011, March April). Stay on target?. Audiology Today, 23(2) , 26-30.

    Publications in 2010

    Twenty-ten has been a good year for publications:

    • Galster, J.A., & Galster, E.A., (2010). How to compare feedback suppression algorithms in open-canal fittings. Hearing Review, 17(11), 38-41. Click to read
    • Galster, J.A., (2010). A new method for wireless connectivity in hearing aids The Hearing Journal, 63 (10), 36-39. Click to read
    • VanVliet, D., & Galster, J.A. (2010). Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aids. Starkey Laboratories, Technology Paper. Click to read
    • Galster, J.A., & Schroeder, A. (2010). Changing the way patients interact with hearing aids. Canadian Hearing Report, 5(4), 44-46.
    • Woods, W., Nooraei, N., Galster, J.A., & Edwards, B. (2010). Real-world listening preference for an optimized digital noise reduction algorithm. Hearing Review, 17(9), 38-43. Click to read
    • McCabe, E., & Galster, J.A. (2010). Out of the barrel: Reducing occlusion in CICs with custom venting. Audiology Online. Click to read
    • Galster, J.A. & Pisa, J. (2010). Improving the patient experience in noise: Fast-acting single microphone noise reduction. Starkey Laboratories, Technology PaperClick to read
    • Pisa, J., Burk., M. & Galster., E.A. (2010). Evidence-based design of a noise-management algorithm. The Hearing Journal, 63(4), 42-48. Click to read
    • Galster, J.A., & Galster, E.A. (2010). Measuring the real ear aided response through a hearing aid. The Hearing Journal, 63(2), 32-35. Click to read