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Enhanced Hearing in Noise for Cochlear Implant Recipients: Clinical Trial Results for a Commercially Available Speech-Enhancement Strategy

Koch, Dawn Burton; Quick, Andrew; Osberger, Mary Joe; Saoji, Aniket; Litvak, Leonid

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000000301
Cochlear Implants

Objective: To demonstrate benefits for speech perception and everyday listening in quiet and in noise with a speech-enhancement strategy called ClearVoice, which was designed to improve listening in complex acoustic environments without compromising hearing in quiet.

Study Design: A 2-week randomized crossover design was used to evaluate ClearVoice in 46 adults unilaterally implanted with a CII/HiRes 90K cochlear implant who had at least 6 months experience with HiRes Fidelity 120 sound processing. Speech perception was assessed using the AzBio sentences presented in quiet, in speech-spectrum noise and in multitalker babble. Subjective listening benefit and strategy preference were assessed with a questionnaire. ClearVoice has 3 gain settings (low, medium, and high), each intended as a full-time listening option according to individual preference. Speech understanding after acute use of ClearVoice-low was compared with HiRes Fidelity 120 during an initial test session. Speech perception abilities were compared with HiRes Fidelity 120 after 2 weeks of exclusive use of ClearVoice-medium, and after 2 weeks of exclusive use of ClearVoice-high. During a fifth week, participants were fit with 3 programs for comparison (HiRes Fidelity 120, ClearVoice-medium, and ClearVoice-high), after which, they reported preference and everyday listening benefits via a questionnaire.

Results: ClearVoice significantly improved speech understanding in speech-spectrum noise and multitalker babble, did not compromise listening in quiet, was preferred for everyday listening, and provided improved hearing in real-life situations.

Conclusion: ClearVoice improves hearing in noise for cochlear implant recipients who use HiRes Fidelity 120 sound processing.

Advanced Bionics LLC, Valencia, California, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dawn Burton Koch, Ph.D., Advanced Bionics LLC, 28515 Westinghouse Place, Valencia, CA 91355; E-mail: dawnk@advancedbionics.com

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: D. B. K. and L. L. are current employees of Advanced Bionics LLC. A. Q., M. J. O., and A. S. are former employees of Advanced Bionics LLC.

Copyright © 2014 by Otology & Neurotology, Inc. Image copyright © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health/Anatomical Chart Company