The purpose of QuickSIN™ Testing
The primary complaint of hearing-impaired persons is difficulty hearing in background noise. The measurement of SNR loss (signal-to-noise ratio loss) is important because it is not possible to reliably predict a person’s understanding of speech in a noisy environment based on the pure tone audiogram (Killion & Niquette, 2000).
The QuickSIN™ test was developed to:
- Provide a one-minute estimate of SNR Loss
- Provide a quick way for clinicians to quantify a patient’s ability to hear in noise
- Determine if extended high frequency emphasis improves or degrades understanding of speech in noise
- Assist professionals in choosing appropriate amplification and other assistive technologies
- Demonstrate that hearing instruments with directional microphones improve speech intelligibility in noise
- Provide a large number of equivalent test lists for use in clinical and research work
- Provide information useful in counseling patients regarding realistic expectations
The QuickSIN™ Methodology
A list of six sentences with five key words per sentence is presented in four-talker babble noise. The sentences are presented at pre-recorded signal-to-noise ratios which decrease in 5-dB steps from 25 (very easy) to 0 (extremely difficult). The SNRs used are: 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0, encompassing normal to severely impaired performance in noise.
What is SNR Loss?
We are interested in the patient’s performance in noise compared to normal-hearing persons’ performance in noise. We consider this difference in performance the SNR Loss.
Similar to the definition of pure tone hearing loss, SNR Loss is defined as the dB increase in signal-to-noise ratio required by a hearing-impaired person to understand speech in noise, compared to someone with normal hearing. A normal-hearing person requires about +2 dB signal-to-noise ratio (speech louder than the background noise by 2 dB) to identify 50% of key words in sentences on the QuickSIN™ test.
The value of SNR Loss is derived from the SNR-50 (signal-to-noise ratio for 50% correct) score. A hearing-impaired person who requires speech to be 8 dB higher than the noise to achieve a 50% correct score would have a 6 dB SNR Loss.