J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Jun;35(21):e163. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e163.

Development of a Smartphone-Based Digits-in-Noise Test in Korean: a Hearing Screening Tool for Speech Perception in Noise

  • 1Laboratory of Brain & Cognitive Sciences for Convergence Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Computer Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea
  • 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea


The digits-in-noise (DiN) test is a speech-in-noise test to measure speech recognition threshold in noise adaptively. Herein, we aimed to develop the Korean version of the DiN test to provide a useful hearing screening tool for clinical as well as research purposes. Method: Spoken monosyllabic digits from 0 to 9 were recorded by a female speaker. The test list was constructed such that each digit was placed in three different positions. An optimization procedure was conducted to equate the audibility of each digit. After the optimization, the smartphone application for the Korean DiN (K-DiN) test was developed. For the adaptive measurement procedure, 180 new DiN triplets separated into six lists of 30 were created. Mean speech recognition threshold values for each list and session were measured to examine the test-retest and training effects of the test materials. In addition, speech recognition threshold values measured by different devices were compared to determine whether the speech recognition threshold levels differed.
Optimization results showed that the mean speech recognition threshold and slope were −11.55 dB signal-to-noise ratio and 10.21%/dB, respectively, which are comparable to levels shown in different-language versions of the DiN test. The results of the test-retest and training effects revealed no significant differences among the test sessions and lists. Additionally, the mean speech recognition threshold values measured by four different devices were not different, indicating the reliability of the test materials.
We believe this study is the first to attempt to develop a K-DiN test. Our results indicate that this test can be used as a potentially reliable hearing screening tool.


Digit-in-Noise; Speech-in-Noise; Hearing Screening; Smartphone; Korean
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