Comparison of performance with wide dynamic range compression and linear amplification

Chi Shan KAM, Lena L. N. WONG

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared subject performance and preference using a compression-limiting hearing aid set to linear amplification (program 1) and wide dynamic range compression (WDRC, program 2). The frequency responses of the hearing aid were matched to a 65 dB SPL signal and maximum output to a 90 dB SPL signal. Twenty subjects with moderate to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss were tested. Speech recognition scores and speech reception thresholds were obtained both in quiet and in noise. Subjective preference for WDRC or linear amplification was measured via a paired-comparison procedure on "loudness appropriateness," "clarity," and "pleasantness" to continuous discourse presented in quiet and in noise. Results suggested that WDRC yielded better speech intelligibility in quiet for low-level signals and no difference in speech intelligibility in noise compared to linear amplification. Subjects preferred WDRC for loudness to both high- and low-level signals and for pleasantness to high-level signals. Copyright © 1999 American Academy of Audiology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-457
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999



Kam, A. C. S., & Wong, L. L. N. (1999). Comparison of performance with wide dynamic range compression and linear amplification. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 10(8), 445-457. Retrieved from


  • Linear amplification
  • Speech intelligibility
  • Subjective preference
  • Wide dynamic range compression