International journal of audiology

Do you hear the noise? The German matrix sentence test with a fixed noise level in subjects with normal hearing and hearing impairment.

PMID 26555195


The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between hearing loss and speech reception threshold (SRT) in a fixed noise condition using the German Oldenburg sentence test (OLSA). After training with two easily-audible lists of the OLSA, SRTs were determined monaurally with headphones at a fixed noise level of 65 dB SPL using a standard adaptive procedure, converging to 50% speech intelligibility. Data was obtained from 315 ears of 177 subjects with hearing losses ranging from -5 to 90 dB HL pure-tone average (PTA, 0.5, 1, 2, 3 kHz). Two domains were identified with a linear dependence of SRT on PTA. The SRT increased with a slope of 0.094 ± 0.006 dB SNR/dB HL (standard deviation (SD) of residuals = 1.17 dB) for PTAs < 47 dB HL and with a slope of 0.811 ± 0.049 dB SNR/dB HL (SD of residuals = 5.54 dB) for higher PTAs. The OLSA can be applied to subjects with a wide range of hearing losses. With 65 dB SPL fixed noise presentation level the SRT is determined by listening in noise for PTAs < ∼47 dB HL, and above it is determined by listening in quiet.