The Effect of Background Noise and Music on Speech Recognition Performance of Individuals with Normal Hearing and Hearing Loss

Authors

  • Eun Yeon Kim

    Department of Speech Language Pathology, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Therapy, Myongji University, Seoul, 03674, Korea

  • Sang Eun Lee

    Department of Music Therapy, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Therapy, Myongji University, Seoul, 03674, Korea

  • Hye Yoon Seol

    Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, 03760, Korea

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.30564/fls.v6i3.6583
Received: 11 April 2024 | Revised: 2 May 2024 | Accepted: 15 May 2024 | Published Online: 20 June 2024

Abstract

This study explores speech recognition characteristics in background noise and music between normal hearing (NH) listeners, hearing aid (HA) users and cochlear implant (CI) users.Sixty individuals participated in the study: 20 with NH, 20 HA users, and 20 CI users. HA and CI users had a Categories of Auditory Performance score of 6 and open set sentence recognition of 85% or higher. They had been using the devices for at least one year. Babble noise (BN), piano solo (PS), piano + violin (PV), and piano + chorus (PC) were presented at +5- and +10 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The participants were asked to listen and repeat words and sentences from the Korean Standard Sentence List for Adults. At +5- and +10 dB SNRs, CI users performed worse than those with NH on word and sentence recognition in BN, PS, PV, and PC. HA users outperformed CI users in all conditions. Those with NH showed better sentence recognition than HA users across all conditions at +5 dB SNR and better word recognition in PV and BN at +5 dB SNR and in PC at +10 dB SNR. Correlational analysis revealed that the percentage of life with hearing loss before CI was not correlated with sentence and word recognition across all conditions in both SNRs. Statistically significant negative correlations were observed between the duration of deafness and sentence and word recognition in some conditions. Despite individuals with HL performing well on clinical tests, background music can still interfere with communication for those using hearing devices. To accurately evaluate individuals’ communication abilities clinical tools that include background music need to be developed. Studies using different types of music could help develop and standardize such tools for assessing speech and language abilities in individuals with hearing loss.

Keywords:

Hearing loss; Audiology; Rehabilitation

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