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What does the QuickSIN test measure? My score was 8. What does this result mean? Is my problem my hearing or my brain?

John Coverstone, AuD

Board Certified in Audiology

27 September 2019 - 4.61K Views

QuickSIN is a speech in noise test. It determines the signal-to-noise ratio (s/n) at which you can understand speech. The test begins at a positive signal-to-noise ratio (the words are much louder than the noise) and presents a sentence at that level. Subsequent sentences are presented at lower signal-to-noise ratios until the patient can no longer repeat any words. We calculate a score that is 25.5 - total words repeated correctly (note: we do not score all words, just 5 key words identified for each sentence). There is a bunch of science behind all this, but we ultimately achieve a score than can be interpreted as follows:

0 - 3 dB s/n = normal (or near-normal)

3 - 7 dB s/n = mild signal-to-noise ratio loss

7 - 15 dB s/n = moderate signal-to-noise ratio loss

> 15 dB = severe signal-to-noise ratio loss.

All these scores correspond to the difficulty you have hearing speech in noise. There are diagnostic implications and treatment implications for an audiologist. Many of use do this test routinely, but particularly if someone has a complaint about difficulty understanding that does not match their hearing acuity. For example, we occasionally see people who have normal hearing with tones, but tell us they have difficulty understanding conversation. One reason for this might be a history of blast trauma from explosions. The peripheral (sensory) hearing system recovers, but there can be neurological damage that affects hearing. This will show up in this test and might warrant a trial with a low-gain hearing aid(s).

Another reason for doing this test to guide our recommendations for treatment. If you are a candidate for amplification (and being in the moderate or severe s/n loss category definitely makes you a candidate), an audiologist might recommend devices with directional microphones more strongly because of poor performance on the QuickSIN. This will improve your ability to hear in background noise.

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Kristen Kramer, AuD


27 September 2019 - 4.6K Views

The answers above are good responses describing the test and what the results mean.  I would add that I like to do the QuickSIN without and then again with the hearing aids.  This gives the patient reassurance that the hearing aids are helping in noise.  If there is not a significant improvement the Audiologist may consider adjusting the programming, changing the dome/venting of the earpiece, or adding an assistive device as suggested above.
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Vincent D'Auria, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

27 September 2019 - 4.61K Views

QuickSIN is a speech in noise test. The test is performed by having sentences presented all at the same level while background noise gets louder and louder with each sentence. Your score of 8dB SNR indicates that you need the speech to be 8 decibels louder than the competing background noise to  understand. A SNR of 8dB means that if you require hearing aids that directional microphones alone may not be enough in noisy environments. Additional assistive listening devices such as a remote microphone may also help. 
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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

27 September 2019 - 4.61K Views

QuickSin is a measurement that reflects your ability to understand speech when there is background noise. It allows for providing realistic expectations when choosing technology.  Hearing in noise is often the biggest consumer concern. Yes, we hear with our brain and we all have different abilities.   Your results suggest that for improved listening in noise, a solution that offers dual microphones will give you the extra help you need.  And if two microphones are not enough,  there are additional accessories to assist.

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