Myths About Fidelity
Does Fidelity Matter?
"Normal-hearing persons can't judge the fidelity of hearing aids because they
don't have a hearing loss."
"Fidelity doesn't matter to those with hearing loss because they can't hear the
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.