Laurie L. Myers
Dept. of Commun. Disord., Penn State Univ., University Park, PA 16802
Kim S. Abouchacra
Ellen C. Haas
U.S. Army Res. Lab., Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5425
Pure-tone audiometry is not always appropriate with young children and with difficult to test populations. In such cases, various other audiological tests that are based on broadband sound effect detection and recognition tasks are used. However, results of those tests do not provide frequency specific information about the client's hearing. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether selected sound effects that are spectrally limited to 1 octave bandwidth could be used as a basis for frequency-specific environmental audiometry. Twenty adults with normal hearing sensitivity participated in the study. Their task was to detect and recognize various bandlimited musical and environmental sounds presented in quiet and noise. The results of the study indicate that environmental audiometry based on filtered sound effects is a promising alternative to pure-tone audiometry. Further studies with children and the development of normalized thresholds using frequency-specific sound effects are needed.