Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Mar;63(3):101-107. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2019.00528.

Effectiveness of Wireless Streaming on Telephone Conversation in Users of Hearing Aids

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Hearing Research Laboratory Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Center for Clinical Epidemiology Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea

Abstract

Background and Objectives
The purpose of this study was to figure out the clinical effectiveness of the bluetooth wireless streaming when used with a hearing aid during cell phone conversation for hearing-impaired listeners. Subjects and Method Twenty-four adults with hearing loss participated (mild: 3, moderate: 13, moderately severe: 8) in the study. The following three objective tests and one subjective questionnaire were administered to all participants; 1) consonant and Monosyllabic test in an noisy environment, 2) speech recognition test in quiet and noisy conditions, 3) listening effort test, and 4) questionnaire about sound quality and preference. Each objective test was conducted in three different cell phone conversation environments as follows; 1) unaided condition, 2) aided condition, with the bluetooth function off, and 3) aided condition, with the bluetooth function on.
Results
In the aided condition with the bluetooth function off, performance on consonant and monosyllabic tests was the lowest (p<0.05). However, when the bluetooth function was turned on, the result showed statistically significant superior performance (p<0.05). For the words and sentences test in noisy conditions, using wireless streaming feature with the hearing aids were beneficial compared to not using the feature (p<0.05). However, no significant difference was found between the bluetooth off and on conditions in quiet conditions. Listening effort was significantly lower in noisy background for aided bluetooth on condition (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in sound quality according to each condition, but the preference of Bluetooth feature was overwhelmingly high.
Conclusion
Bluetooth wireless streaming is beneficial during phone conversation in noisy environments for users of hearing aids.

Keyword

Cell phone; Hearing aids; Hearing loss; Smartphone; Wireless Technology
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