Purpose: Dynamic pitch, the variation in the fundamental frequency of speech, aids older listeners’ speech perception in noise. It is unclear, however, whether some older listeners with hearing loss benefit from strengthened dynamic pitch cues for recognizing speech in certain noise scenarios and how this relative benefit may be associated with individual factors. We first examined older individuals’ relative benefit between natural and strong dynamic pitches for better speech recognition in noise. Further, we reported the individual factors of the 2 groups of listeners who benefit differently from natural and strong dynamic pitches. Method: Speech reception thresholds of 13 older listeners with mild-moderate hearing loss were measured using target speech with 3 levels of dynamic pitch strength. Individuals’ ability to benefit from dynamic pitch was defined as the speech reception threshold difference between speeches with and without dynamic pitch cues. Results: The relative benefit of natural versus strong dynamic pitch varied across individuals. However, this relative benefit remained consistent for the same individuals across those background noises with temporal modulation. Those listeners who benefited more from strong dynamic pitch reported better subjective speech perception abilities. Conclusion: Strong dynamic pitch may be more beneficial than natural dynamic pitch for some older listeners to recognize speech better in noise, particularly when the noise has temporal modulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing