The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition

Paper Info
Page count 7
Word count 2146
Read time 9 min
Topic Health
Type Essay
Language 🇬🇧 UK

Executive Summary

  • Supra-threshold distortions are clarified in noisy backgrounds that utilize individuals’ various listening abilities.
  • In high noise frequencies, a rise in the hearing threshold capacity vastly contributes to hearing impairment identification.
  • As the threshold levels are increased, some components in the speech signal decline, these affect the overall speech excellence leading to a reduction in its decoding.
  • Major impairments are because of increased threshold levels and speech recognition constraints.


There have emerged complains from individuals claiming that people do not hear their conversations not knowing these individuals have impaired hearing capabilities. The individuals facing hearing constrains often have constraints in comprehending information. This may prompt the speaker to raise their voices in an attempt to pass their information and stress on the issue desired to be raised. Hearing impairments can be articulated to distorted sound remittance as from a poorly tuned radio. This view is varied to an individual who fails to listen properly and have constraints because in the listener has no hearing impairments but the medium that transmits the sound appears distorted. Various barriers often limit the transmission of sound and speech decoding (Danhauer & Singh, 1975). These may be articulated to general physical impairments or limitation of the sound quality transmitted (Festen and Plomp 1982, 654). These factors indicate that there are various forms of sound response impairments. A person may have difficulty in hearing forms because of physical disability in hearing or the sound may present forms of distortion from the media transmitting the sound. There are factors that determine speech understanding and when a barrier exists, there may be minimal understanding of the message (Divenyi & Haupt, 1997, 191). When these problems are available, understanding the message may be difficult to discern no matter the level of sound emitted to drive the point across. Supra-threshold qualities are often influenced by external factors and in hearing, a situation that may involve critical listening and hearing reveal the specific barrier that contributes to the hearing constraint. Audibility is an attribute that significantly influence the quality of a speech. This factor is influenced by the source of the sound or background noise that creates a disturbance in the clarity of the speech. The threshold level determines normalcy in a message and speech decoding prompting the nature of audibility available to the party required to receive the information. The quality and length of speech to the ear mostly determines audibility with prolonged utterance of sounds boosting the needed message result. The bulk of the band is mainly determined via a frequency ranging from 200-9000 Hz because it is assumed that an individual band possesses specific influence to speech quality (Moore 2000, 198). The constituents of every band further leads to the overall quality of speech to produce the desired output.

Proposition B

Moore uses this proposition to identify the ability of various sensorineural capabilities and indicates that individuals possessing mild-moderate mutilation in hearing require a highly placed level of speech composition. The particular speech needed to relay the message is channeled to a higher level than their capability to hear to pass the message more effectively. When the high level is not achieved, environmental entities that distort the speech quality would vastly reduce the speech quality to the normal ear limiting the message content. Audibility is therefore influenced by the noise emanating from the environment making it participate better than ordinary ears. These factors negate supra-threshold ability in speech relay because the external factors influence speech quality reducing the desired result. Temporal resolution and frequency needed to relay the exact sound to the ear becomes unstable and reduced vastly via the methods that create speech distortion. Moore explains further that a moderate sensorineural capability is a condition promoting hearing impairments and using correctors to improve speech quality may prove futile. If the problem lied in the source of sound or external factors influences, simply applying hearing aids or elevating transmitter quality would boost overall sound acquisition and better understanding. However, supra-threshold ability varies between people according to their ability to hear and decode the speech relayed (Moore, 2000). This paper seeks to prove that individuals hearing ability is affected by their hearing impairments and a change in the quality in the sound transmitter may further hinder the listening process. It seeks to explain the importance of an individual’s supra-threshold ability in hearing importance towards the clear acquisition of speech, looking at the propositions involve and applying the proposition B intensely. However, there should be consideration on hearing impairments and their influence towards speech recognition when environmental noise is elevated lifting further the threshold hearing level. This mostly applies when the noise is at higher frequencies.

Literature review

The clarity of the speech and the desire of the body to list the hearing threshold capability mostly influences the various hearing impairments often witnessed. However, the factors limiting clarity in speech perception are rarely indicated in the purity of its audiogram, hence a consideration into the importance of supra-threshold ability in clear speech perception. Mostly speech recognition is impaired when the sound is emitted at higher frequencies causing a significant loss of hearing ability (Lutman, Gatehouse & Worthington, 1989, 325). Moreover, the combination of auditory abilities and speech selection contributes to a precise result in the quality of the speech decoded by the listener. It is most evident that background noise often affects the quality of the speech and is related to a clear resolution of this entity in a quieter environment. Majorly, speech recognition is limited in an environment with background noise prompting the hearing threshold to be raised which may result in various hearing impairments. The raised hearing threshold level affects the reception of various speech contents deeming them inaudible. Speech identification in noisy grounds is further articulated to a low level of reception especially from their source making the listener lose key information that may be needed to decode the message. Low speech components may also distort information relays. In most cases, higher frequency sound compositions mark the information content and stand out when the message is relayed bringing clarity to the component of the speech content. This applies in the identification that most writers explain the likely deterioration measures in including critical bandwidth and variety of tuning entities flattened (Van Rooij & Plomp, 1990, 2614). Generally, the spread of sound barriers like the environmental background distortions leads to the elevated level of message masking limiting the content in speech clarity.

Hearing aids are usually applied to improve the efficiency in speech clarity providing a platform that boosts message decoding. However, they may contribute little to improve clarity in comfortable sound level that may need no form of alteration. Supra-threshold alterations that are a result of hearing impairments are least influenced by elevated threshold alterations via sound amplification. Signal processes involved in sound amplification may help shed evidence involved in the quality that leads to hearing impairments. This includes a debate that critically analyzes the hearing capacity of a person suffering from impairments in his hearing ability especially on exposure to an environment that holds higher noise levels (See Appendices fig. 1, George, Festen & Houtgast, 2006, 2297). There are distinctive speech indicative qualities that are mainly influenced in an environment that possesses the most background noise distortions. The speech compositions in individuals are influenced by the source that transmits the sound and the environmental distortions that contribute to the quality of the final sound relayed. The analysis in speech signals is attributed to the auditory and non-auditory compositions that hold the bulk in speech quality generation influencing general speech quality. This paper further illustrates the presence of a strong relationship between supra-threshold speech acquisition and the individual’s threshold ability in hearing. The more the supra-threshold level in an individual, the strain in hearing threshold ability is positively impacted. An important analysis is realized in environments with high noise loss that bring hearing impairments, which may increase hearing loss ability. These conditions prompt individuals to apply the use of hearing aids that help in improving speech quality. An environment that prompts hearing aid provides a need to possess supra-threshold ability to reduce the use of hearing aids. Most of the background noise may not be eliminated by applying the use of these gadgets because they may only improve the chances of hearing loss as they elevate the total composition of the noise in the environment under consideration. The only means sufficient to reduce noise loss may lie in killing the background noise. Therefore, the quality influencing hearing impairments lie in various individuals’ hearing ability that varies across various persons and is never constant (Mullins and Bangs, 1957).

Numerous challenges such as CB levels when using comb-filtered noise and variable vowel compositions in a certain speech may be variable and are highlighted in various individuals especially those having hearing impairments. Compositions articulated within the evaluation of audiograms carry great importance in identifying differences in these individuals. People normally possess variable audiogram levels in their speech recognition process and may vary across personnel especially of different age settings. Other research indicates that in an individual, there may be variable hearing abilities of their ears with one capable of hearing better and this prompts the use of variable analysis when considering hearing impairment varieties (Fensten and Plomp, 1980, 53). There is a need to note that in highlighting speech recognition in a noisy platform, convectional audiometric steps need undertaking. Average threshold levels of 0.5 – four Kilohertz normally imply a correlation existence while considering the majority of the conventional thresholds. Moreover, speech identification capacity in various individuals is impacted by the amount of spectral quality at 0.5 kHz, particularly in speech emanating in the background with variable noise distortions. These factors highlight the relationship that exists as stated. An individual’s hearing threshold is affected by the available auditory capabilities when considering the supra-threshold level. These factors may, however, fail to find a relation in speech identification (Lutman, Gatehouse& Worthington, 1989).

In individuals with cochlear impairments, there exists a difficulty in speech relay. Most speech output towards an individual with moderate impairments is clear especially in a silent room with a constant frequency in the sound. However, when the frequency is affected especially when having more than one speaker, the speech quality may be lowered. Another limiting factor is certainly in the background noise that vastly limits their hearing quality. Individuals with poor hearing capability have a different approach to this scenario because their impairment is mainly constant. A quiet room or multiple speakers may not influence their hearing ability in any means since they already have a low level of supra-threshold. They find a means in speech recognition by reading the lips rather than applying the sound from the speakers. Therefore, they may need a 50% level of increase in their hearing impairment correction to increase language perception. The abilities are highlighted by speech reception threshold (SRT) or sometimes dB that also entertains an explanation in higher speech recognition where individuals require minimal correction to their message decoding. The overall speech composition and means to relay them normally varies across individuals with different hearing threshold levels, mostly determined by speech quality and the level of background noise (Moore, 2000). As stated, in a case where a 50% correction is required, improving the proportions by 1 dB would mean a significant 7 to 9% correction. Even the slightest alterations in SRT would imply a significant elevation in the hearing impairment constraints that limit the capability of certain individuals (Moore, 2000). There are various illustrations of hearing impairments and their means of adjustment. Individuals suffering from Cochlear hearing loss need a speech-background noise variation level of 16dB higher than in an ordinary individual. Another approach in the audibility valuation of the SRT lies in the consideration of noise as the major hindrance in speech quality. Noisy backgrounds that bring elevated distortions lead to the reduction of overall speech quality (Festen & Plomp, 1980).


Preposition B carries more argument in explaining speech distortions and cases to argue against its presentations may prove futile (Plomp & Mimpen, 1979). Major compositions in the speech lie above threshold levels. I, therefore, argue against the theory that speech distortion components below threshold level are contributed to the background noise limiting functionality to the normal listener’s ability. Audibility level in speech especially in a noisy environment can never be a factor articulated to the speech clarity especially in an individual with a normal hearing capacity. Poor noise reception and ability to decode speech are articulated to the different supra-threshold in members. If audibility affected the majority of message clarity, the solution would entail adjusting the sound source to maintain the speech clarity level boosting message deliverance. However, supra-threshold has dominated the speech clarity ability with various individuals having separate abilities.


Figure 1
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Figure 2


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Moore, BCJ 2000, Cochlear Hearing Loss: Physiological, psychological and technical issues, 2nd edn., John Willey & Sons, West Sussex, England.

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Cite this paper


NerdyBro. (2022, August 30). The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition. Retrieved from


NerdyBro. (2022, August 30). The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition.

Work Cited

"The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." NerdyBro, 30 Aug. 2022,


NerdyBro. (2022) 'The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition'. 30 August.


NerdyBro. 2022. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.

1. NerdyBro. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.


NerdyBro. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.


NerdyBro. 2022. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.

1. NerdyBro. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.


NerdyBro. "The Supra-Threshold Hearing Abilities for Speech Recognition." August 30, 2022.