To evaluate the speech intelligibility in noise with a new cochlear implant (CI) processor that uses a pinna effect imitating directional microphone system.
Prospective experimental study.
Tertiary referral center.
Ten experienced, unilateral CI recipients with bilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss.
All participants performed speech in noise tests with the Opus 2 processor (omnidirectional microphone mode only) and the newer Sonnet
processor (omnidirectional and directional microphone mode).
Main Outcome Measure:
The speech reception threshold
(SRT) in noise was measured in four spatial settings. The test sentences were always presented from the front. The noise was arriving either from the front (S0
), the ipsilateral side of the CI (S0
), the contralateral side of the CI (S0
), or the back (S0
The directional mode improved the SRTs by 3.6 dB (p
< 0.01), 2.2 dB (p
< 0.01), and 1.3 dB (p
< 0.05) in the S0
, and S0
situations, when compared with the Sonnet
in the omnidirectional mode. There was no statistically significant difference in the S0
situation. No differences between the Opus 2 and the Sonnet
in the omnidirectional mode were observed.
Speech intelligibility with the Sonnet
system was statistically different to speech recognition with the Opus 2 system suggesting that CI users might profit from the pinna effect imitating directionality mode in noisy environments.