Myths About Fidelity

Does Fidelity Matter?

Myth 1:
"Normal-hearing persons can't judge the fidelity of hearing aids because they don't have a hearing loss."

Myth 2:
"Fidelity doesn't matter to those with hearing loss because they can't hear the difference."

The experimental evidence suggests otherwise.

Percent Fidelity Ratings Comparison

Fidelity: Sixteen hearing-impaired subjects gave the same average fidelity ratings as 65 normal-hearing listeners. Squares represent fidelity ratings for eight digital hearing aids and the KEMAR open ear. Digi-K achieved the highest rating.

Intelligibility in Noise vs. Fidelity

Speech in Noise: Sixteen hearing-impaired subjects were tested on sentences recorded through seven popular digital hearing aids and KEMAR's open ear at six different SNRs in a realistic reproduction of restaurant noise (R-Space™). Squares represent SNR required for 50% correct words. Intelligibility increased with fidelity;
a popular digital hearing aid with the lowest fidelity gave the lowest intelligibility in noise. Fidelity matters.

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