Current bone anchored hearing solutions (BAHSs) have incorporated automatic adaptive multichannel directional microphones (DMs). Previous fixed single-channel hypercardioid DMs in BAHSs have provided benefit in a diffuse listening environment, but little data are available on the performance of adaptive multichannel DMs in BAHSs for persons with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL).Purpose:
The primary goal was to determine if statistically significant differences existed in the mean Reception Threshold for Sentences (RTS in dB) in diffuse uncorrelated restaurant noise between unaided, an omnidirectional microphone (OM), split DM (SDM), and full DM (FDM) in the Oticon Medical Ponto Pro. A second goal was to assess subjective benefit using the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) comparing the Ponto Pro to the participant's current BAHS, and the Ponto Pro and participant's own BAHS to unaided. The third goal was to compare RTS data of the Ponto Pro to data from an identical study examining Cochlear Americas' Divino.Research Design:
A randomized repeated measures, single blind design was used to measure an RTS for each participant for unaided, OM, SDM, and FDM.Study Sample:
Fifteen BAHS users with USNHL were recruited from Washington University in St. Louis and the surrounding area.Data Collection and Analysis:
The Ponto Pro was fit by measuring in-situ bone conduction thresholds and was worn for 4 wk. An RTS was obtained utilizing Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentences in uncorrelated restaurant noise from an eight loudspeaker array, and subjective benefit was determined utilizing the APHAB. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the results of the Ponto Pro HINT and APHAB data, and comparisons between the Ponto Pro and previous Divino data.Results:
No statistically significant differences existed in mean RTS between unaided, the Ponto Pro's OM, SDM, or FDM (p = 0.10). The Ponto Pro provided statistically significant benefit for the Background Noise (BN) (p < 0.01) and Reverberation (RV) (p < 0.05) subscales compared to the participant's own BAHS. The Ponto Pro (Ease of Communication [EC] [p < 0.01], BN [p < 0.001], and RV [p < 0.01] subscales) and participant's own BAHS (BN [p < 0.01] and RV [p < 0.01] subscales) overall provided statistically significant benefit compared to unaided. Clinically significant benefit of 5% was present for the Ponto Pro compared to the participant's own BAHS and 10% for the Ponto Pro and the participant's own BAHS compared to unaided. The Ponto Pro's OM (p = 0.05), SDM (p = 0.05), and FDM (p < 0.01) were statistically significantly better than the Divino's OM. No significant differences existed between the Ponto Pro's OM, SDM, and FDM compared to the Divino's DM.Conclusions:
No statistically significant differences existed between unaided, OM, SDM, or FDM. Participants preferred the Ponto Pro compared to the participant's own BAHS and the Ponto Pro and participant's own BAHS compared to unaided. The RTS of the Ponto Pro's adaptive multichannel DM was similar to the Divino's fixed hypercardioid DM, but the Ponto Pro's OM was statistically significantly better than the Divino's OM.