NAL-NL1 procedure for fitting nonlinear hearing aids: characteristics and comparisons with other procedures

J Am Acad Audiol. 2001 Jan;12(1):37-51.


A new procedure for fitting nonlinear hearing aids (National Acoustic Laboratories' nonlinear fitting procedure, version 1 [NAL-NL1]) is described. The rationale is to maximize speech intelligibility while constraining loudness to be normal or less. Speech intelligibility is predicted by the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII), which has been modified to account for the reduction in performance associated with increasing degrees of hearing loss, especially at high frequencies. Prescriptions are compared for the NAL-NL1, desired sensation level [input/output], FIG6, and a threshold version of the Independent Hearing Aid Fitting Forum procedures. For an average speech input level, the NAL-NL1 prescriptions are very similar to those of the well-established NAL-Revised, Profound procedure. Compared with the other procedures, NAL-NL1 prescribes less low-frequency gain for flat and upward sloping audiograms. It prescribes less high-frequency gain for steeply sloping high-frequency hearing losses. NAL-NL1 tends to prescribe less compression than the other procedures. All procedures differ considerably from one another for some audiograms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Hearing Aids*
  • Hearing Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prosthesis Fitting*
  • Speech Perception / physiology