Purpose: The SAMBA 2 BB audio processor for the BONEBRIDGE bone conduction implant features a new automatic listening environment detection to focus on target speech and to reduce interfering speech and background noises. The aim of this study was to evaluate the audiological benefit of the SAMBA 2 BB (AP2) and to compare it with its predecessor SAMBA BB (AP1).
Methods: Prospective within-subject comparison study. We compared the aided sound field hearing thresholds, speech understanding in quiet (Freiburg monosyllables), and speech understanding in noise (Oldenburg sentence test) with the AP1 and AP2. Each audio processor was worn for 2 weeks before assessment and seven users with single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD) participated in the study. For speech understanding in noise, two complex noise scenarios with multiple noise sources including single talker interfering speech were used. The first scenario included speech presented from the front (S0NMIX), while in the second scenario speech was presented from the side of the implanted ear (SIPSINMIX). In addition, subjective evaluation using the SSQ12, APSQ, and the BBSS questionnaires was performed.
Results: We found improved speech understanding in quiet with the AP2 compared to the AP1 aided condition (on average + 17%, p = 0.007). In both noise scenarios, the AP2 lead to improved speech reception thresholds by 1.2 dB (S0NMIX, p = 0.032) and 2.1 dB (SIPSINMIX, p = 0.048) compared to the AP1. The questionnaires revealed no statistically significant differences, except an improved APSQ usability score with the AP2.
Conclusion: Clinicians can expect that patients with SSD will benefit from the SAMBA 2 BB by improved speech understanding in both quiet and in complex noise scenarios, when compared to the older SAMBA BB.
Keywords: BONEBRIDGE; SAMBA 2 BB; Speech enhancement; Speech understanding in noise; Unilateral deafness.