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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Air versus bone conduction: an equal loudness investigation.

Air conduction (AC) versus bone conduction (BC) loudness balance testing was conducted at frequencies of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, and 4 kHz for two groups: 23 normal hearing subjects and eight subjects with a mild to moderate pure sensorineural hearing loss. Narrow-band noise was presented interchangeably between earphones and a bone transducer fitted to the subjects. Loudness matching was carried out at each frequency and at the levels 30-80 dB hearing level (HL) (10 dB steps) in the following manner: the sound pressure from the earphones was fixed and the subject adjusted the output level of the bone transducer for equal loudness by bracketing the standard. The results revealed somewhat different loudness functions for AC and BC sound with a 6-10 dB difference in the AC and BC loudness functions for the normal hearing group over the dynamic range 30-80 dB HL at the frequencies 250-750 Hz. At the higher frequencies, 1-4 kHz, the difference was only 4-5 dB over the same dynamic range. Similar results were obtained for the sensorineural hearing-impaired group. The difference between the AC and the BC loudness functions may originate from changes with level of the AC sound path, e.g. contraction of the stapedius muscle, but also distortion from the bone transducer and tactile stimulation could have contributed to the results seen.[1]


  1. Air versus bone conduction: an equal loudness investigation. Stenfelt, S., Håkansson, B. Hear. Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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