J Audiol Otol.  2020 Apr;24(2):91-98. 10.7874/jao.2019.00367.

A Personal Sound Amplification Product Compared to aBasic Hearing Aid for Speech Intelligibility in Adults withMild-to-Moderate Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea
  • 2Hearing Research Laboratory, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Samsung Changwon Hospital, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Changwon, Korea
  • 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
This study aimed to compare functional hearing with the use of a personal sound amplification product (PSAP) or a basic hearing aid (HA) among sensorineural hearing impaired listeners. Subjects and Methods: Nineteen participants with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) (26-55 dB HL; pure-tone average, 0.5-4 kHz) were prospectively included. No participants had prior experience with HAs or PSAPs. Audiograms, speech intelligibility in both quiet and noisy environments, speech quality, and preference were assessed in three different listening conditions: unaided, with the HA, and with the PSAP. Results: The use of PSAP was associated with significant improvement in pure-tone thresholds at 1, 2, and 4 kHz compared to the unaided condition (all p<0.01). In the quiet environment, speech intelligibility was significantly improved after wearing a PSAP compared to the unaided condition (p<0.001), and this improvement was better than the result obtained with the HA. The PSAP also demonstrated similar improvement in the most comfortable levels compared to those obtained with the HA (p<0.05). However, there was no significant improvement of speech intelligibility in a noisy environment when wearing the PSAP (p=0.160). There was no significant difference in the reported speech quality produced by either device or in participant preference for the PSAP or HA. Conclusions: The current result suggests that PSAPs provide considerable benefits to speech intelligibility in a quiet environment and can be a good alternative to compensate for mild-to-moderate SNHL. J Audiol Otol 2020;24(2):91-98


Personal sound amplification product; Hearing aids; Speech intelligibility; Mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss
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