Development of a quick speech-in-noise test for measuring signal-to-noise ratio loss in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners

J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Oct;116(4 Pt 1):2395-405. doi: 10.1121/1.1784440.


This paper describes a shortened and improved version of the Speech in Noise (SIN) Test (Etymotic Research, 1993). In the first two of four experiments, the level of a female talker relative to that of four-talker babble was adjusted sentence by sentence to produce 50% correct scores for normal-hearing subjects. In the second two experiments, those sentences-in-babble that produced either lack of equivalence or high across-subject variability in scores were discarded. These experiments produced 12 equivalent lists, each containing six sentences, with one sentence at each adjusted signal-to-noise ratio of 25, 20, 15, 10, 5, and 0 dB. Six additional lists were also made equivalent when the scores of particular pairs were averaged. The final lists comprise the "QuickSIN" test that measures the SNR a listener requires to understand 50% of key words in sentences in a background of babble. The standard deviation of single-list scores is 1.4 dB SNR for hearing-impaired subjects, based on test-retest data. A single QuickSIN list takes approximately one minute to administer and provides an estimate of SNR loss accurate to +/-2.7 dB at the 95% confidence level.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Speech
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Speech Perception / physiology*
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test / methods*