Auditory tests for characterizing individual hearing deficits: The BEAR test battery

Raul Sanchez Lopez, Michal Fereczkowski, Federica Bianchi, Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali, Tobias Neher, Torsten Dau, Sébastien Santurette

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch


The Better hEAring Rehabilitation (BEAR) project seeks to develop and assess new clinically feasible strategies for individualized hearing-loss diagnosis and hearing-aid fitting. The aim is to improve current clinical practice, where the fitting process relies on the pure-tone audiogram and trial-and-error methods. These usually result in inconsistent practices and patient dissatisfaction and inefficient service. Existing evidence suggests that the audiogram does not sufficiently describe supra-threshold performance of hearing-impaired listeners. Detailed characterization of hearing deficits can be complex. Therefore, one aim of the BEAR project is to design a hearing test battery for classification of listeners into a small number of auditory profiles. If successful, this BEAR test battery may be refined and reduced to form the basis for improved profile-based hearing-aid fitting protocols.

Based on the reanalysis of existing auditory profiling data and on criteria of their feasibility, time efficiency, and evidence from the literature, eleven potential tests for inclusion in a clinical test battery were selected. The proposed tests were divided into six categories: audibility, middle-ear analysis, speech perception, binaural-processing abilities, loudness perception, and spectro-temporal resolution. Thirty hearing-impaired listeners with symmetric mild to severe sensorineural hearing loss were selected from a clinical population of hearing-aid users. All listeners performed every test included in the battery. The participants were tested in a clinical environment and did not receive systematic training on any of the tasks.

The considered tests have so far shown potential for auditory profiling. The analysis of the preliminary results will focus on the ability of each test to pinpoint individual differences among the participants, interrelations among the tests, as well as their usability for the target clinical population. Importantly, a parallel study will evaluate the extent to which the outcomes of these tests can be used for hearing-aid fitting. Finally, the current test battery is will be refined for implemention in clinical practice, based on the results of a data-driven analysis
for auditory profiling.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date17. Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 17. Aug 2018
EventInternational Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON) - Granlibakken Conference Center, Lake Tahoe, United States
Duration: 15. Aug 201819. Aug 2018


ConferenceInternational Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON)
LocationGranlibakken Conference Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Tahoe
Internet address


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