Speech recognition in noise by children with minimal degrees of sensorineural hearing loss

Ear Hear. 1993 Jun;14(3):210-6. doi: 10.1097/00003446-199306000-00008.


It is well recognized that the acoustical environment in a classroom is an important variable in the psychoeducational achievement of hearing-impaired children. To date, however, there remains a paucity of information concerning the importance of classroom acoustics for children with minimal degrees of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The present investigation examined the effects of commonly reported classroom signal to noise ratios (+6, +3, 0, -3, and -6 dB) on the sentence recognition of 20 normal-hearing children and 20 children with minimal degrees of SNHL (i.e., pure-tone averages of 15-30 dB HL through the speech frequency range). Results indicated that children with minimal degrees of SNHL obtained poorer recognition scores than normal-hearing children across most listening conditions. Moreover, the performance decrement between the two groups increased as the listening environment became more adverse. Educational implications of these data, such as acoustical modification of the classroom and/or the utilization of frequency modulation sound field amplification systems, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Acoustics
  • Adolescent
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Speech Discrimination Tests
  • Speech Perception*