Ambient Noise Impact on Accuracy of Automated Hearing Assessment

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International Journal of Audiology





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Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of ambient noise on the accuracy of thresholds obtained using the KUDUwave portable clinical audiometer as compared to those obtained using a GSI-61 clinical audiometer in a sound booth. Design: Pure-tone air conduction thresholds were obtained in three conditions: (1) with a clinical audiometer in a quiet sound booth, (2) with the KUDUwave in a quiet sound booth, and (3) with the KUDUwave with 40 dBA of background noise. Study sample: A total of 31 individuals ranging in age from 15 to 80 years participated in the study, 21 with normal hearing and ten with hearing loss. Results: Eighty-nine percent of thresholds obtained with the KUDUwave in quiet, and 92% of thresholds obtained with the KUDUwave in background noise were within 5 dB of those obtained with the clinical audiometer. Accuracy was poorer at 250 Hz and 8000 Hz. Conclusion: Ambient noise typical of that found in a non-sound-treated room, did not affect the accuracy of air conduction hearing thresholds obtained with the KUDUwave. The KUDUwave may be a viable method of testing when a clinical audiometer and sound booth are not available.

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