The goal of this investigation was to determine the potential benefit of using electromagnetically coupled frequency modulation (FM) neck-loop receivers to address common communication difficulties of adults and adolescents with cochlear implants (CIs).
Fourteen participants with CIs used the neck-loop FM receiver for a trial period and participated in pre- and posttrial sessions consisting of speech-recognition-in-noise measures with and without the FM system and a subjective rating scale. Most participants also recorded their experiences during the FM-system trial period in a journal.
The results suggested significantly improved speech recognition in noise with the neck-loop FM system before and after the trial period, with no changes in performance between test sessions. On average, the rating scale and journals revealed improvements with the FM system, relative to the CI alone, in noisy environments or situations at a distance from the primary talker or sound source.
The results of the study suggest that neck-loop FM receivers significantly improved speech recognition in noise and everyday listening challenges of people using the CIs in 2 separate test sessions. Additional research is warranted for other types of neck-loop receivers and CI sound processors.