In the past, the perceptual balance of test lists for the Freiburg monosyllabic speech test (FBE) was frequently evaluated without producing consistent results. Until now, the studies used very diverse methods and did not accurately follow the standardized specifications. In this study, therefore, the perceptual equivalence of test lists was verified with a large group of participants ... [Show full abstract] according to the standard ISO EN 8253-3.
A total of 160 suitable otologically normal subjects were recruited at two institutions, each of whom listened to all test lists of the FBE using predefined measurement conditions. The subjects were divided in three groups depending on the transducer used for test list presentation (headphones “HDA 200” and “TDH 39”, as well as free-field loudspeaker, “FF”). Lists that deviated were identified using the approaches specified in the standard.
The reference curve for FBE was not met by any group. While the “HDA 200” group indicated 4.6 dB lower thresholds, results for the “TDH 39” and “FF” groups showed 1.2 and 2.5 dB higher thresholds, respectively. For an average speech recognition score of 44.3 %, test lists 5, 11, 12, and 15 lay outside the calculated tolerance range of 4.5 to −4.4 percent points. The same lists also deviated when calculating discrimination functions and therefore do not fulfill the criteria for perceptual equivalence.
In the future, lists identified as deviating from the norm should not be used. The results of this study only partly agree with results from former studies.