Is the real-ear to coupler difference independent of the measurement earphone?

Kevin J. Munro, Vanessa A. Salisbury

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Direct measurement of real-ear hearing aid performance can be obtained using a probe tube microphone system. Alternatively, it can be derived by adding the real-ear to coupler difference (RECD) to the electroacoustic performance of the hearing instrument measured in a 2-cc coupler. Inherent in this derivation is the assumption that the RECD measured with one transducer can be applied to a coupler measurement performed with a different transducer. For the RECD procedure to be valid, it should be independent of the measurement transducer. The Audioscan RM500 is an example of a commercially available real-ear measurement system that incorporates a clinical protocol for the measurement of the RECD. The RECD can be measured on the Audioscan RM500 using a standard EAR-Tone ER-3A insert earphone or the Audioscan's own RE770 insert earphone. The aim of this study was to compare the RECDs obtained with these two earphones. The Audioscan RM500 was used to measure the RECD from the right ears of 18 adult subjects ranging in age from 22 to 36 years (mean 25 years). Measurements were made with the EAR-Tone ER-3A and RE770 insert earphone and three earmould configurations: (1) the EARLINK foam eartip; (2) a hard acrylic shell earmould with the same length of acoustical tubing as the foam ear-tip (25 mm); and (3) the shell ear mould with the appropriate length of tubing for a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid fitting (approximately 35-45 mm). The results show that the mean RECD was around 3 dB higher at 1.5 kHz with the foam ear-tip when measured with the RE770 earphone than when measured with the ER-3A earphone. The same magnitude of difference was obtained with the shell earmould and 25-mm tubing; however, this increased to 9 dB when the tubing was increased to around 40 mm for a BTE fitting. The difference in mean RECD with the two earphones was statistically significant on a repeated-measures ANOVA for every earmould configuration (p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)408-413
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


    • Real-ear to coupler difference (RECD)


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