Free Content Functional Hearing in Noise: Insert Earphones vs. Supra-Aural Headphones

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Ribera JE. Functional hearing in noise: insert earphones vs. supra-aural headphones. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:1159–61.

Introduction: Aviators and aircrew members work in hostile listening environments on a routine basis and rely on their hearing for crew coordination, a critical component of rotary-wing aviation. New technology may assist in this endeavor, but will require aviators to have the ability to not only hear in noise, but also to localize warning and other signals. The Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) assesses functional hearing in noise, but has only been normalized using sound field speakers or supra-aural headphones. Methods: There were 60 normal hearing students (30 men and 30 women) from Utah State University who were equally partitioned into 3 groups. Each group was administered the HINT in three test conditions with one of three transducers: 1) THD-39 supra-aural; 2) ER-3A foam inserts; or 3) the communications earplug. Results: Analysis of the data revealed there was no gender difference and no significant differences between scores obtained using the transducers under test in any of the test conditions. Conclusion: Insert-type earphones should be considered for administration of the HINT.

Keywords: aerospace medicine; aviation; noise; speech intelligibility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: From Utah State University, Logan, UT.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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