Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



The purpose of the present study was to determine if objective and/or subjective differences between analog and digital hearing aids exist when blinding is utilized in the protocol and circuitry is controlled. Ten normal hearing and seven hearing impaired subjects were monaurally fitted with analog and digital hearing aids. Probe microphone measures were obtained at the plane of the tympanic membrane at two output levels (40 dB SPL and 70 dB SPL). Listener performance in quiet was evaluated via word recognition testing, listener performance in noise was evaluated via the Hearing in Noise Test, and listener preference was evaluated via a questionnaire. Results indicated similar performance for all objective and subjective tasks for both hearing aids with the exception of better performance in quiet at the 40 dB SPL presentation level with the analog hearing aid for the hearing impaired group. These results indicate that listeners performed as well or significantly better with the analog hearing aid than with the digital hearing aid. Furthermore, future investigation is recommended to evaluate the effectiveness of some features available on digital hearing aids that are not available on analog hearing aids, such as expansion and noise reduction.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Patrick N. Plyler