Using a spatial speech-in-noise test to assess advanced hearing-aid features
The Spatial Speech Test was developed to simultaneously assess relative localisation and word identification in the presence of multi talker babble.
During the task, listeners hear two sequentially presented words from adjacent speakers with a 30° separation. Participants were instructed to select the two words that they heard in the correct order and to report the direction of the location shift between the first word and the second word. The task is performed in the presence of multitalker babble and at an individually determined signal-to-noise ratio.
This assessment method has been piloted on normal hearing listeners, cochlear implantees and hearing aid users. Current findings have shown that the spatial location of the words have a significant effect on relative localisation performance for both normal-hearing and hearing-aid users. Hearing-aid user's relative localisation performance was significantly worse than normal-hearing listeners. Hearing aid user’s had significantly poorer spatial unmasking compared to NH listeners. Most recently, the adapted Spatial Speech Test was used to assess the effects of Oticon's OpenSound Navigator feature on relative localisation and word identification performance in the presence of multi-talker babble.