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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Effectiveness of Directional Microphones and Noise Reduction Schemes in Hearing Aids: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

Bentler, R. A. (2005).
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 16(7), 473-484.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized intervention studies and descriptive studies investigating the effectiveness of directional microphones and noise reduction schemes in hearing aids.

Question(s) Addressed:

Do experienced/trained users of hearing aids with directional microphones report better amplification outcomes in daily life than users of hearing aids without directional microphones?

Population: Adults with hearing impairment.

Intervention/Assessment: Hearing aids with directional microphones

Number of Studies Included: 9

Years Included: Not stated



  • Management
    • Hearing
      • Hearing Aids - Directional Microphones
        • “Based on the data reviewed herein, directional microphones offer additional advantage over amplification alone. That advantage appears to be optimized by both a user-controlled switch and training regarding environment-specific use. The noise reduction feature, with all the various manufacturer-specific implementation, shows a modest inclination toward improved listening ease in select environments. More studies specifically designed to address that feature are necessary before its effectiveness is understood and the results are conveyed to the clinical population” (p. 482).

Keywords: Hearing Loss, Directional Microphones, Hearing Aids

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

ASHA Corporate Partners