Author(s): Uys M, Pottas L, Vinck B, van Dijk C
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To date, the main direction in frequency-lowering hearing aid studies has been in relation to speech perception abilities. With improvements in hearing aid technology, interest in musical perception as a dimension that could improve hearing aid users' quality of life has grown. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of non-linear frequency compression (NFC) on hearing aid users' subjective impressions of listening to music. DESIGN & SAMPLE: A survey research design was implemented to elicit participants' (N=40) subjective impressions of musical stimuli with and without NFC. RESULTS: The use of NFC significantly improved hearing aid users' perception of the musical qualities of overall fidelity, tinniness and reverberance. Although participants preferred to listen to the loudness, fullness, crispness, naturalness and pleasantness of music with the use of NFC, these benefits were not significant. CONCLUSION: The use of NFC can increase hearing aid users' enjoyment and appreciation of music. Given that a relatively large percentage of hearing aid users express a loss of enjoyment of music, audiologists should not ignore the possible benefits of NFC, especially if one takes into account that previous research indicates speech perception benefits with this technology.
This article was published in S Afr J Commun Disord
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids