J Am Acad Audiol 2006; 17(06): 432-447
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.17.6.5
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2006) American Academy of Audiology

The Effects of Speech and Speechlike Maskers on Unaided and Aided Speech Recognition in Persons with Hearing Loss

Benjamin W. Y. Hornsby
Todd A. Ricketts
Earl E. Johnson
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Publication Date:
07 August 2020 (online)

Speech understanding in noise is affected by both the energetic and informational masking components of the background noise. In addition, when the background noise is everyday speech, the relative contributions of the energetic and informational masking components to the overall difficulties in understanding speech are unclear. This study estimated informational masking effects, in conversational speech settings, on the speech understanding of persons with and without hearing loss. The benefits and limitations of amplification in settings containing both informational and energetic masking components were also explored. Speech recognition was assessed in the presence of two types of maskers (speech and noise) that varied in the amount of informational masking they were expected to produce. Persons with hearing loss were tested both unaided and aided. Study results suggest that background noise, consisting of individual talkers, results in both informational and energetic masking. In addition, the benefits of amplification are limited when the background noise contains both informational and energetic masking components.