J Am Acad Audiol 2022; 33(01): 023-028
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1735254
Research Article

The Impact of Transducer Selection on the Acceptable Noise Level

Susan Gordon-Hickey
1   Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
Melinda F. Bryan
2   Department of Communication Disorders, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
Shelby Davis
1   Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
› Author Affiliations


Purpose The aim of this study was to assess the impact of transducer (loudspeaker, supra-aural headphones, and insert earphones) selection on the acceptable noise level (ANL).

Study Sample Thirty young adults with normal hearing who reported difficulty with background noise served as participants.

Research Design A repeated-measures experimental design was employed.

Data Collection and Analysis Most comfortable listening level (MCL) and background noise level (BNL) were measured for all participants using three transducers (loudspeaker, supra-aural headphones, and insert earphones). ANL was computed as the difference between the mean MCL and the mean BNL.

Results Analytical statistics revealed that ANL did not differ due to the transducer used. However, there were statistically significant differences found for MCL and BNL across transducers.

Conclusions Results of this study indicate that ANL is not vulnerable to the selection of transducer and that ANLs can be compared across transducer types. Researchers should cautiously interpret findings across studies when discussing the base measures of MCL and BNL as these may be influenced slightly by transducer selection.


Any mention of a product, service, or procedure in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology does not constitute an endorsement of the product, service, or procedure by the American Academy of Audiology.

Publication History

Received: 15 October 2020

Accepted: 15 July 2021

Article published online:
16 May 2022

© 2022. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.

Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
333 Seventh Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA

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