The Effect of Extending High-Frequency Bandwidth on the Acceptable Noise Level (anl) of Hearing-Impaired Listeners

Document Type


Publication Date



This study examined the effects of extending high-frequency bandwidth, for both a speech signal and a background noise, on the acceptable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of listeners with mild sensorineural hearing loss through utilization of the Acceptable Noise Level (ANL) procedure. In addition to extending high-frequency bandwidth, the effects of reverberation time and background noise type and shape were also examined. The study results showed a significant increase in the mean ANL (i.e. participants requested a better SNR for an acceptable listening situation) when high-frequency bandwidth was extended from 3 to 9 kHz and from 6 to 9 kHz. No change in the ANL of study participants was observed as a result of isolated modification to reverberation time or background noise stimulus. An interaction effect, however, of reverberation time and background noise stimulus was demonstrated. These findings may have implications for future design of hearing aid memory programs for listening to speech in the presence of broadband background noise.