We evaluated the effectiveness of a noise reduction system implemented in a commercial digital multichannel compression hearing aid. Eight experienced hearing aid wearers with moderate sensorineural hearing loss were fitted bilaterally according to the manufacturer's fitting guidelines. After a 3-month period of regular use of two programs, one with and one without the noise reduction system, speech recognition thresholds (SRTs) were measured in four types of background noise, including steady noise, and noises with spectral and/or temporal dips. SRTs were very similar with and without the noise reduction system; in both cases, SRTs were markedly lower than for unaided listening. SRTs were lower for the noises with dips than for the steady noise, especially for the aided conditions, indicating that amplification can help to 'listen in the dips'. Ratings of sound quality and listening comfort in the aided conditions were uniformly high and very similar with and without the noise reduction system.
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