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Benefit of three FM devices to speech perception of children who are hard of hearing listening in a typical classroom

, The Florida State University, United States

The Florida State University . Awarded


Children typically learn in classroom environments that have excessive background noise and reverberation, which interferes with accurate speech perception. Degradation of the speech signal can be reduced for children who are hard of hearing by use of Frequency Modulation (FM) devices in the classroom to enhance the speech-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the teacher's voice. There are three types of S/N enhancing FM devices currently used in mainstream classrooms that include students who are hard of hearing (i.e., FM system linked to personal hearing aids, sound field system with speakers placed throughout the classroom, personal sound field system placed on the student's desk). The decision to provide a student with one of these systems is based too often on anecdotal information. An alternating treatments design was used to investigate the speech recognition abilities of children who are functionally hard of hearing when they were using each of the FM devices under controlled conditions in a classroom with a background noise level of +10 dB S/N and 1.1 second reverberation time. Results indicated that the ceiling sound field FM did not provide increased benefit beyond that provided by students' hearing aids alone. Desktop and personal FM systems provided substantial improvements in access to the speech signal and there were indications that listening ease was greater with personal FM systems than with the desktop FM. This information can assist educational audiologists in making FM device decisions for students using hearing aids.


Anderson, K.L. Benefit of three FM devices to speech perception of children who are hard of hearing listening in a typical classroom. Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University. Retrieved August 5, 2021 from .

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