Author(s): Freyaldenhoven MC, Smiley DF, Muenchen RA, Konrad TN
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Abstract The present study (1) assessed the reliability of the acceptable noise level (ANL) measure using speech-spectrum and speech-babble noises as the competing stimuli, and (2) investigated the relationship between ANL and preference for background sounds in 30 young adults with normal hearing sensitivity. Listeners were evaluated during three test sessions approximately one week apart. Results demonstrated that ANLs are highly reliable over short periods of time, independent of the background noise distraction. Mean ANLs, however, were affected by type of background noise distraction, indicating ANLs obtained using different competing stimuli should not be compared directly. Results further demonstrated that participants' ratings of preference for background sound were consistent over time; however, listeners' preference for background sound was not related to their acceptance of background noise (i.e., ANL). This may indicate listeners cannot accurately assess their ability to accept background sounds, at least with the questionnaire used in the present study.
This article was published in J Am Acad Audiol
and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology