But the researchers also found it interesting that the group with normal hearing had 100% preference for PureSound, since this indicates that lower delay is perceived as more natural sound.
Throughout the walk, the participants were guided through inside and outside scenarios, including traffic noise, quiet sounds, speech, own voice, noisy surroundings and specific brief and broadband sounds.
In all 20 individual sound scenarios, the majority of participants preferred PureSound. The researchers also found that the preference for PureSound was approximately on the same level for most sound categories, ranging between 70% and 84% - except for traffic noise, which was at 100% preference for PureSound.
PureSound is "more natural"
The participants who preferred PureSound for overall sound quality indicated that they mainly preferred PureSound because it included "less noise", sounded "more natural", and was "clearer" and "more nuanced/detailed".
The reasons for preferring PureSound in individual sound scenarios echo the same themes of "less noise" and "more natural", while other prominent reasons included "pleasant", "clearer", and "less tunnel/seashell sound".
Still, some participants found the standard delay to be more "more natural" than PureSound. Interestingly, these participants were mainly experienced hearing aid users who are used to listening with standard delay - and are probably more likely to recognize it and expect it as part of the listening experience.
Standard delay still relevant for users with severe hearing loss
The study concludes that the ultralow delay with PureSound was the preferred choice for a large majority of participants across situations. But the researchers also note that PureSound is most suitable for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, because these users are both more likely to wear open or vented fittings and to be disturbed by the comb-filter effect.
In contrast, people who have a more severe hearing loss are less likely to be disturbed by the comb-filter effect and might benefit more from the Universal program - Widex's standard delay program - which allows more gain.
To serve all users, both PureSound and Universal are programs included in the WIDEX MOMENT™ hearing aids.
What is ZeroDelay™ Technology and PureSound™?
Learn more about ZeroDelay and PureSound here