Study Finds Support for Classroom Acoustics Standards (ANSI/ASA, 2010)
A recently-published study by Frank Ingelhart evaluated the speech perception performance of 23 children with cochlear implants and 23 children with normal hearing through the speech frequencies (500-4000 Hz). Speech perception testing was completed in a classroom environment at three different reverberation times—0.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds, and 0.3 seconds.
These reverberation times were chosen by the author to represent an average classroom reverberation time (0.9 seconds), ANSI/ASA recommendations for normal hearing children (0.6 seconds), and ANSI/ASA recommendations for those with auditory problems (0.3 seconds). Results revealed that both groups of children obtained significantly better performance at the reverberation time of 0.6 seconds compared to the reverberation time of 0.9 seconds.
While the children with cochlear implants obtained significantly better performance with a reverberation time of 0.3 seconds compared to 0.6 seconds, the children with normal hearing did not. The author does state that there are some caveats regarding testing that should be considered. For further details, as well as additional procedures completed as part of this study, readers are referred to the full article.
American National Standards Institute/Acoustical Society of America. (2010) Acoustical performance criteria, design requirements, and guidelines for schools (ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010). Melville, NY: Acoustical Society of America.