A§E (pronounced [eis] like the play card ace) is a set of psycho-acoustical tests to be used by the professional audiologist.  It is conceived to test hearing impaired children and adults who are typically aided with a conventional hearing aid, cochlear implant or other device.  Most tests are speech- and language independent and supraliminal (above-threshold).  It is recommended to use A§E with a conventional audiometer.  No additional equipment is required. A§E can also run with an amplifier and loudspeakers or even with nothing else than a set of good quality multimedia loudspeakers.

A§E comprises 5 modules:

1. The “classical” A§E tests based on speech sounds used in:

a. a two-choice (yes/no) phoneme detection test;

b. a phoneme discrimination test in an oddity paradigm;

c. a closed set phoneme identification test using a picture-pointing response;

These tests aim to assess the coding of spectral information.

All sounds that are used are phonemes that are common in many languages.  All phonemes have equal durations and were rms-balanced in the beginning[1], but corrections based on subjective loudness balancing have been made by 30 normal hearing volunteers. For the discrimination and identification tests intensity roving is applied in a range of ±3 dB, meaning that a random gain ranging from -3 dB to +3 dB is applied to a given phoneme when it is presented. This should eliminate the intensity cues that still remain after all this equalizing and due to the persisting differences in the temporal profile of different phonemes.

2. The intonation tests consisting of:

a. The prosody tests: sentence intonation and word stress pattern;

b. Three same/different tests with synthetic sounds: harmonic complexes, harmonic intonating sounds and disharmonic intonating sounds

These tests aim to assess the low frequency coding with special interest for the temporal fine structure coding.

They contain low frequency spectral cues, basically differences of the fundamental frequency ∆F0, either alone or in combination with differences of the corresponding harmonics 2F0, 3F0 and 4F0.  The reference F0 = 200 Hz for all tests.  The presentation level is 70 dB SPL with roving of ±3 dB. 

3. The loudness scaling test

This test aims to assess the intensity coding.

It consists of a typical loudness scaling task at 250, 1000 and 4000 Hz, assessing the loudness growth function of the (aided) cochlea. The test stimuli are narrow band noises centered at 250, 1000 and 4000 Hz presented at different levels. The results provide useful feed-back for the programming of the hearing device (hearing aid or cochlear implant).

4. Localization test

This test aims to assess the central integration of binaural stimulation with cochlear implants.

It is a binaural localization test for which only 2 loudspeakers are required.  It is based on interaural level differences (ILD’s) roving around presentation levels of 60 dB SPL.  The localization test assesses the localization capacity of the listener, giving an indirect view on the central integration of the binaural signal.

5. Localization test

This is a state of the art digital speech audiometric module. It allows you to upload any speech test you have on CD and to play and score it on the screen.

All test results are presented in comprehensive tabular or graphical charts. They can be printed, saved and exported. Remarks can be added to each test item.

A§E contains an underlying database keeping track of each patient’s test results.  This database however has limited functionality.  For full data management functionality, it is recommended to use Audiqueen in combination with A§E®. 

A§E Diamond also contains the audiometric module. This module allows seamless integration to perform audiometry with Otocube (Otoconsult), Equinox/Affinity (Interacoustics, Affinity Suite required!) or Aurical (Plus) (Otometrics).

For more information about localization, please check the A§E Manual or check out our A§E Videos

[1]  Only the plosives /p/, /t/, /k/, /b/ and /d/ are not loudness balanced and are shorter in duration. They have been added as a test tool to be used by the audiologist a his/her own discretion