A crossover trial comparing wide dynamic range compression and frequency compression in hearing aids for tinnitus therapy

Shirley Anne Hodgson, Regina Herdering, Giriraj Singh Shekhawat, Grant D. Searchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: It has been suggested that frequency lowering may be a superior tinnitus reducing digital signal processing (DSP) strategy in hearing aids than conventional amplification. A crossover trial was undertaken to determine if frequency compression (FC) was superior to wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) in reducing tinnitus. Method: A 6–8-week crossover trial of two digital signal-processing techniques (WDRC and 2 WDRC with FC) was undertaken in 16 persons with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss and chronic tinnitus. Results: WDRC resulted in larger improvements in Tinnitus Functional Index and rating scale scores than WDRC with FC. The tinnitus improvements obtained with both processing types appear to be due to reduced hearing handicap and possibly decreased tinnitus audibility. Conclusions: Hearing aids are useful assistive devices in the rehabilitation of tinnitus. FC was very successful in a few individuals but was not superior to WDRC across the sample. It is recommended that WDRC remain as the default first choice tinnitus hearing aid processing strategy for tinnitus. FC should be considered as one of the many other options for selection based on individual hearing needs.Implications of Rehabilitation Hearing aids can significantly reduce the effects of tinnitus after 6–8 weeks of use. Addition of frequency compression digital signal processing does not appear superior to standard amplitude compression alone. Improvements in tinnitus were correlated with reductions in hearing handicap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Frequency compression
  • hearing aids
  • tinnitus
  • trial


Dive into the research topics of 'A crossover trial comparing wide dynamic range compression and frequency compression in hearing aids for tinnitus therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this