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A Speech In Noise Test is an Imperative For Hearing Aid Recommendation

The hearing test is obviously an important part of choosing a hearing aid for someone with hearing loss. The pure-tone test does tell us what the softest sound that you can hear is. That is a great starting point for the prescription of amplification. However, the traditional pure-tone hearing test doesn't tell us much about how someone hears and processes speech. It is a conundrum that many have considered for some time. Speech testing helps us understand how you process speech and what your speech discrimination score may be. QuickSIN or quick speech in noise testing tells us a lot about how you process speech in noise. That is key information when it comes to choosing a hearing solution, and I say a solution for a very good reason, let's talk QuickSIN.

QuickSIN testing on a Primus system

What is the QuickSIN test?

QuickSIN is a very quick but powerful test of how well you process speech in noise. You will be presented with six sentences presented to you in increasing levels of background noise. You simply have to repeat the sentence. We are particularly interested in how you hear five particular words in each sentence. We score you on how many you get in each sentence. Many of us will present you with two lists, even with the two lists, the test takes no more than five minutes. 

Scoring the test

The test is scored on a 0 to 25 scale based on your ability to repeat the sentences. The falls within four bands which are:

  • 0 to 3dB: May hear better than normal hearing people in noise with hearing aids
  • 3 to 7dB: May hear almost as well as normal hearing people in noise with hearing aids
  • 7 to 15dB: Directional mics help, consider an array mic (start to consider accessories)
  • greater than 15dB: Maximum Signal to Noise Ratio improvement needed. Consider FM system

What it tells us and you

The QuickSIN test allows us to implicitly understand your ability to process speech in noise, it also gives us a clear indication of what you need to get a chance to understand speech in noisy situations. That matters, because it allows us to give better recommendations on hearing solutions that will help you and what you can expect from them.

Best recommendations

The score is important for best recommendation, for instance, if you score below 7, well then many modern mid-level technology hearing aids are going to make a huge difference to your ability to hear in noise. If you score between 7 and 15, well then higher-level technology hearing aids will give you the best opportunity to hear in noise or mid-level hearing aids with wireless accessories.

If you score over 15, well then you need to consider good hearing aids and wireless accessories such as remote microphones or FM accessories such as the Roger Pen or Roger Select from Phonak. That is the only way you will get a good opportunity to hear speech in noise.

Setting expectations

The QuickSIN test also allows me to set your expectations, recommendations are recommendations, but budget is budget. If I can help you clearly understand what the hearing aids that you can afford can do for you, that is both good for you and for me. You clearly understand the expectations that can be reasonably be delivered by your aids. I am being honest and clear about what the solution can deliver. That's good for everyone.

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Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

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Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry since 2007. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him.

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