Hearing, Balance and Communication, 2023 (ESCI)
Objective: So far, binaural summation for speech stimuli has been less evaluated in the literature, without the head shadow effect and spatial release from masking. Moreover, the right ear advantage has been shown mostly in the dichotic listening situation, but with conflicting results in the monaural/binaural listening condition. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate binaural hearing advantage utilizing only binaural summation without other factors and to evaluate the right ear advantage in the monaural listening situation. Methods: Thirty-seven participants with normal hearing in the range of 0.125–20 kHz participated current study. Evaluation of speech perception in noise (SPIN) performances were conducted by Matrix test. Participants assessed in three different conditions including the right ear condition, the left ear condition and the binaural condition. Test order of the ears was counterbalanced and noises presented ipsilateral for monaural conditions. Results: The lowest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) values needed for understanding speech in noise were statistically significantly lower in binaural listening conditions compared to monaural listening conditions. In monaural listening conditions, the SNR value needed to understand speech in noise in the right ear was statistically significantly lower than in the left ear. Conclusion: The results showed that the rehabilitation/habilitation of hearing-impairment patient should consider binaural amplification options to improve SPIN. In case of the symmetric hearing loss with the encountering compulsory situations which bring about the necessity to use only one ear, then right ear preference for amplification devices can provide better SPIN performance.