A comparison of ear-canal-reflectance measurement methods in an ear simulator

Kren Rahbek Nørgaard, Karolina K. Charaziak, Christopher A. Shera

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Ear-canal reflectance has been researched extensively for diagnosing conductive hearing disorders and compensating for the ear-canal acoustics in non-invasive measurements of the auditory system. Little emphasis, however, has been placed on assessing measurement accuracy and variability. In this paper, a number of ear-canal-reflectance measurement methods reported in the literature are utilized and compared. Measurement variation seems to arise chiefly from three factors: the residual
ear-canal length, the ear-probe insertion angle, and the measurement frequency bandwidth. Calculation of the ear-canal reflectance from the measured ear-canal impedance requires estimating the ear-canal characteristic impedance in situ. The variability in ear-canal estimated characteristic impedance and reflectance due to these principal factors is assessed in an idealized controlled setup using a uniform occluded-ear simulator. In addition, the influence of this measurement variability on reflectance-based methods for calibrating stimulus levels is evaluated and, by operating the condenser microphone of the occluded-ear simulator as an electro-static speaker, the variability in estimating the emitted pressure from the ear is determined. The various measurement methods differ widely in their robustness to variations in the three principal factors influencing the accuracy and variability of ear-canal reflectance
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1350–1361
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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