The effects of alterations in the osseous external auditory canal on perceived sound quality
SourceLaryngoscope, 125, 10, (2015), pp. 2362-5
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 12: Sensory disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To evaluate the perceptual effect of the altered shape of the osseous external auditory canal (OEAC) on sound quality. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study. METHODS: Twenty subjects with normal hearing were presented with six simulated sound conditions representing the acoustic properties of six different ear canals (three normal ears and three cavities). The six different real ear unaided responses of these ear canals were used to filter Dutch sentences, resulting in six simulated sound conditions. A seventh unfiltered reference condition was used for comparison. Sound quality was evaluated using paired comparison ratings and a visual analog scale (VAS). RESULTS: Significant differences in sound quality were found between the normal and cavity conditions (all P < .001) using both the seven-point paired comparison rating and the VAS. No significant differences were found between the reference and normal conditions. Sound quality deteriorates when the OEAC is altered into a cavity. CONCLUSIONS: This proof of concept study shows that the altered acoustic quality of the OEAC after radical cavity surgery may lead to a clearly perceived deterioration in sound quality. Nevertheless, some questions remain about the extent to which these changes are affected by habituation and by other changes in middle ear anatomy and functionality. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4
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