This study directly compared the performance of a contralateral routing of signal (CROS)/ bilateral routing of signal (BiCROS) and a soft-band bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) in patients with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and assessed the relationship between hearing aid benefits and personal factors. Participants with unilateral SNHL were prospectively enrolled in the study and were tested under the following three conditions: unaided, with CROS/BiCROS, and with soft-band BAHA. Sound localization, consonant, hearing in noise, and psychoacoustic tests were performed. Pseudobinaural benefits (e.g., squelch, summation, and head shadow effect) were obtained in both the CROS/BiCROS and soft-band BAHA conditions and compared to the unaided condition. Sound localization ability was not improved in either the CROS/BiCROS condition or soft-band BAHA condition. Rather, sound localization ability was significantly decreased in the CROS/BiCROS setting. A CROS/BiCROS hearing aid and a soft-band BAHA provided additional benefit for speech-in-noise perception when target speech was directed to the impaired ear side. The CROS/BiCROS hearing aid was superior to the soft-band BAHA one in decreasing the head shadow effect, but it appeared to have a negative effect when the noise was delivered to the better ear. The positive and negative effects of CROS/BiCROS for localization and speech perception were significantly correlated with personal factors such as age, hearing threshold in the better ear, and unaided psychoacoustic performances. Despite the lack of device acclimatization, we believe that this study provides counseling information for hearing aid clinics to use in the context of patients with unilateral SNHL.
Choi, J. E., Ma, S. M., Park, H., Cho, Y. S., Hong, S. H., & Moon, J. (2019). A comparison between wireless CROS/ BiCROS and soft-band BAHA for patients with unilateral hearing loss. PLoS ONE, 14(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212503