Signal Transparency of Remote Microphone Technology in Pediatric Bone-Conduction Devices
AAA 2021 Virtual: Signal Transparency of Remote Microphone Technology in Pediatric Bone-Conduction Devices
Presented at AAA 2021 Virtual
Presenter(s): Hillary Snapp, AuD,PhD
CEUs: 0.05 AAA CEUs
Instructional Level: Intermediate
Program Focus: Knowledge
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion, each participant in the eAudiology Web Seminar will be able to:
- Distinguish hearing-in-noise outcomes for different RM systems and methods for signal delivery from an external microphone to a bone conduction hearing device.
- Identify the verification methods for remote microphone technology with bone conduction devices
- Discuss important considerations for classroom listening in pediatric bone conduction device users.
Abstract: Here we present speech intelligibility outcomes in pediatric Baha users in adverse listening environments with direct versus indirect remote microphone (RM) streaming. The relay method where signals are indirectly streamed from adaptive digital FM to a personal RM to the processor negatively affects signal transparency, and no hearing in noise improvements are observed. Significant gains in speech intelligibility are consistently observed for direct streaming methods. Clinical assessment methods and electroacoustic verification of RM systems in BCD users will be presented.
Summary: Competing noise in the environment negatively affects speech intelligibility, particularly when listening at a distance. This is especially challenging for children with hearing loss in classroom environments where the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is often poor. One solution is the use of remote microphones (RM), which wirelessly stream the signal from the talker to a hearing instrument worn by the child. Various systems and methods exist for signal delivery from an external microphone to hearing instrument. Direct wireless transmission to an integrated receiver has been shown to be highly beneficial at improving the SNR in hearing device users. Children with bone conduction devices (BCDs), however, often have to rely on indirect transmission of the acoustic signal for commonly used classroom-based remote microphone listening (e.g. “FM” or digital adaptive microphone). In such cases, the transmitting microphone system links to an intermediate device that then transmits the signal wirelessly to the BCD processor. Such a set up should ensure a transparent, non-interfering delivery of the signal to the sound processor. There are no studies on the effectiveness of using a relay method of signal delivery using remote microphone technology to improve speech intelligibility in adverse listening environments in BCD users. Here we present the results of a series of experiments investigating RM performance in adverse listening conditions when using a BCD. Two study groups will be presented: 1) pediatric BCD users with conductive hearing loss (N=14) and 2) normal hearing controls under simulation conductive hearing loss (N=12). The experiments assess speech intelligibility at negative SNRs when using a BCD and compares performance outcomes for direct audio streaming using a personal RM system to performance when using the digital adaptive relay method. Additional comparisons for direct audio streaming from the digital adaptive RM to a behind-the-ear hearing aid in the normal hearing control group will also be presented. Speech perception in noise improved significantly in the BCD + RM condition over the BCD alone, demonstrating significant benefit for listening at poor SNRs in children with conductive hearing loss using BCDs with personal RM use. Experimental findings demonstrate poor signal transparency from the RM to the BCD when using the digital adaptive relay method. Significant gains in speech intelligibility are consistently observed for direct streaming methods and are confirmed in adult controls with both BCD and hearing aid listening. Conversely, coupling of the adaptive digital FM to the personal RM negatively affects signal transparency, and no hearing in noise improvements are observed. Behavioral findings are supported by objective verification of the signal transparency between the RM and the BCD. Pediatric BCD users experience significant difficulties in unfavorable listening environments that can impact their speech, social, and academic development. This presentation will highlight the importance of verification of FM and RM systems in the clinic to objectively assess transparency and make appropriate recommendations for school and everyday use. Clinical assessment methods and electroacoustic verification of RM systems in BCD users will be presented.
AuD, University of Miami
Hillary Snapp, AuD, PhD is Chief of Audiology, Director of Clinical Education, and Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
Disclosure: Financial Disclosures: Cochlear Corporation- Research Grant includes principal investigator, collaborator or consultant and pending grants as well as grants already received; MEDEL- Research Grant includes principal investigator, collaborator or consultant and pending grants as well as grants already received
Non-Financial Disclosures: I do not have any relevant non-financial relationships with anything to disclose.
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