Practice Your Listening Skills

This application (APP) is designed to help older children and adults practise their listening skills.

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Audience

The APP will also be helpful for:

• People with hearing loss who use either hearing aids, cochlear implants, hearing implants, or any other hearing assisted listening device to improve their hearing

• People who have had damage to their auditory system following a stroke or similar neurological injury

• People learning a new language who want help in understanding words spoken to them in the new language

General Information

The APP consists of 3 levels – PRACTISING, CHALLENGING and DIFFICULT. Each level consists of 5 modules, with 10 Pairs of Words (PoW) per module.

The APP is available in many languages & accents including,

Simplified

Khmer

African, Australia, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, North America, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore and South Africa

Canadian and France

Austria and Germany

Cantonese

Bahasa

Japanese

Korean

Bahasa Standard, Bahasa Chinese, Bahasa Indian

Mongolian

Burmese

Russian

Argentina, Castellano and Colombia

Traditional

Thai

Vietnamese

Each accent includes one female and one male voice.

To ensure appropriate listening conditions for each word recorded are met, techniques common in the audio and video industry were applied. Loudness normalization procedures were used, and each word recorded was adjusted at a specific Loudness Unit Full Scale (LUFS) level to combat varying loudness when listening to the various languages & accents of female and male voices.

In CHALLENGING and DIFFICULT levels, there is the opportunity to complete modules with concurrent BACKGROUND NOISE. This is to replicate real-world conditions and will be especially helpful for those with hearing loss or neurological injury.

15 different BACKGROUND NOISE conditions are included. There is also the option to upload one preferred BACKGROUND NOISE of choice in MP3 format.

The APP can be used with live sound, or through Direct Audio Input (such as a Bluetooth connection to earphones, or directly to hearing assisted listening technology). This feature allows those who use the APP to practise without disturbing others around them.

Recent generations of hearing aids, hearing implants or hearing assisted listening devices, have direct Bluetooth connection. This feature is particularly useful for those with Single Sided Deafness who are practising with hearing technology on their newly implanted ear.

When using live sound, the APP measures AMBIENT NOISE, i.e. the AMBIENT NOISE present around the listener. If AMBIENT NOISE is considered too loud, the APP will advise the listener to move.

The APP includes a measurement of COMFORT LEVEL. During this measurement the sentence “We are now testing your comfort level, please adjust the bar to the left for quiet or the right for loud until you can hear the voice easily” is played.

This feature ensures that while working with live sound or DAI, the loudness of voices is at the optimal level.

In CHALLENGING and DIFFICULT when using BACKGROUND NOISE, there are 6 Levels of predefined background noises available:

  1. Very Soft (app. SNR +20dB)
  2. Soft (app. SNR +15dB)
  3. Medium (app. SNR +10dB)
  4. Loud (app. SNR +5dB)
  5. Very Loud (app. SNR 0dB)
  6. Extreme (app. SNR -5dB)

These are set by a calculation of SIGNAL (voice) to NOISE (background noise) RATIO, in short SNR.

The SIGNAL in the APP are the female & male voices of the different Languages & Accents. The NOISE in the APP is the 15 different and one optional BACKGROUND NOISE.

For better understanding, the SIGNAL to NOISE RATIO or SNR is calculated

Example 1: the voice speaks at 60dB (SIGNAL) and the air-conditioning sound in the background is at 40dB (NOISE). 60dB minus 40dB: SNR is +20dB

Example 2: the voice speaks at 50dB (SIGNAL) and the air-conditioning sound in the background is at 55dB (NOISE). 50dB minus 55dB: SNR is -5dB

Working with Live Sound

In this condition, digital data is converted and played through the loudspeaker of the mobile device. Sound is picked up from the microphone of the mobile device and converted into digital data.

While the APP is equipped with features to minimize variation, this may occasionally occur as the accuracy of sounds played and measured depends solely on the quality of the loudspeakers and microphones on the mobile device.

The APP guides the listener through the following steps

Step 1: Choose Direct Audio Input or not. If not:
Step 2: measure AMBIENT NOISE
Step 3: adjust the COMFORT LEVEL

Starting at CHALLENGING and DIFFICULT levels, the APP guides the listener through these further steps:

Step 4: choose BACKGROUND NOISE either ON or OFF, if ON:
Step 5: select the BACKGROUND NOISE LEVEL
Step 6: select the type of BACKGROUND NOISE

When a complete level (consisting of 5 modules) is finished and subject to purchase of that option, results can be obtained and sent to the registered email address.

Results consist of

  • Personal and statistical data
  • Level and modules used
  • AMBIENT NOISE measured for each PoW played
  • Comfort level measured when a PoW played

Working with Direct Audio Input (DAI) / Bluetooth

In this condition, digital data is sent from your mobile device directly to hearing aids, cochlear implants, hearing implants or hearing assisted listening devices with Bluetooth capabilities.

In DAI/Bluetooth mode, the microphone and loudspeaker of the mobile device are disabled. Measurements of AMBIENT NOISE, Comfort Level measured and Background Noise level measured, are therefore also disabled.

The APP guides the listener through the following steps

Step 1: choose Direct Audio Input (DAI) input or not, if YES:
Step 2: adjust the COMFORT LEVEL

Starting at CHALLENGING and DIFFICULT levels, the APP guides the listener through these further steps:

Step 3: choose BACKGROUND NOISE either ON or OFF, if ON:
Step 4: select the BACKGROUND NOISE level
Step 5: select the type of BACKGROUND NOISE

In DAI/Bluetooth, digital data communicate directly between devices and loudness normalized words form the basis for further processing of loudness levels.

The SIGNAL (voice) is adjusted according to the COMFORT LEVEL and the predefined Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of the BACKGROUND NOISE level (No. 1 to 6). In this way the NOISE (background noise) is set to the applicable level.

The APP is equipped with an algorithm to calculate NOISE via SNR. However, due to issues beyond the APP control such as the connection between devices and/or technical features & capabilities of mobile device and/or hearing assisted listening device used, there may be variations in the final NOISE levels perceived or played.

Analysis and Interpretation of Results

Results may be used for consultations with professionals such as Speech & Language Therapist or Auditory Verbal Therapist. They are then able to analyse and interpret results and give advice on what appropriate actions could be taken next.

Direct Audio Input

PDF Sample
Excel Sample

Live Sound

PDF Sample
Excel Sample

Download

To download the APP scan the QR code below for iOS/Apple or Google/Android device.