An Evaluation of the BKB-SIN, HINT, QuickSIN, and WIN Materials on Listeners With Normal Hearing and Listeners With Hearing Loss

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine in listeners with normal hearing and listeners with sensorineural hearing loss the within- and between-group differences obtained with 4 commonly available speech-in-noise protocols. Method: Recognition performances by 24 listeners with normal hearing and 72 listeners with sensorineural hearing loss were compared for 4 speech-in-noise protocols that varied with respect to the amount of contextual cues conveyed in the target signal. The protocols studied included the Bamford-Kowal-Bench Speech-in-Noise Test (BKB-SIN; Etymōtic Research, 2005; J. Bench, A. Kowal, & J. Bamford, 1979; P. Niquette et al., 2003), the Quick Speech-in-Noise Test (QuickSIN; M. C. Killion, P. A. Niquette, G. I. Gudmundsen, L. J. Revit, & S. Banerjee, 2004), and the Words-in-Noise test (WIN; R. H. Wilson, 2003; R. H. Wilson & C. A. Burks, 2005), each of which used multitalker babble and a modified method of constants, as well as the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT; M. Nilsson, S. Soli, & J. Sullivan, 1994), which used speech-spectrum noise and an adaptive psychophysical procedure. Results: The 50% points for the listeners with normal hearing were in the 1- to 4-dB signal-to-babble ratio (S/B) range and for the listeners with hearing loss in the 5- to 14-dB S/B range. Separation between groups was least with the BKB-SIN and HINT (4-6 dB) and most with the QuickSIN and WIN (8-10 dB). Conclusion: The QuickSIN and WIN materials are more sensitive measures of recognition performance in background noise than are the BKB-SIN and HINT materials.