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This American National Standard specifies a test signal designed to represent normal speech, the International Speech Test Signal (ISTS), together with the procedures and the requirements for measuring the characteristics of signal processing in air-conduction hearing aids. The measurements are used to derive the estimated insertion gain (EIG). For the purposes of characterizing a hearing aid for production, supply and delivery, the procedures and requirements to derive the coupler gain on a 2 cm3 coupler as defined in IEC 60318-5 are also specified.

The procedure uses a speech-like test signal and the hearing aid settings are set to those programmed for an individual end-user or those recommended by the manufacturer for a typical enduser for a range of flat, moderately sloping or steep sloping audiograms, so that the measured characteristics are comparable to those which may be obtained by a wearer at typical user settings. The purpose of this standard is to ensure that the same measurements made on a hearing aid following the procedures described, and using equipment complying with these requirements, give substantially the same results.

Measurements of the characteristics of signal processing in hearing aids which apply non-linear processing techniques are valid only for the test signal used. Measurements which require a different test signal or test conditions are outside the scope of this standard.

Conformance to the specifications in this standard is demonstrated only when the result of a measurement, extended by the actual expanded uncertainty of measurement of the testing laboratory, lies fully within the tolerances specified in this standard as given by the values given in 6.1. Measurement methods that take into account the acoustic coupling of a hearing aid to the individual ear and the acoustic influence of the individual anatomical variations of an end-user on the acoustical performance of the hearing aid, known as real-ear measurements, are outside the scope of this particular standard.