The Words-in-Noise (WIN) test with multitalker babble and speech-spectrum noise maskers
The Words-in-Noise (WIN) test uses monosyllabic words in seven signal-to-noise ratios of multitalker babble (MTB) to evaluate the ability of individuals to understand speech in background noise. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the criterion validity of the WIN by comparing recognition performances under MTB and speech-spectrum noise (SSN) using listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss. The MTB and SSN had identical rms and similar spectra but different amplitude-modulation characteristics. The performances by the listeners with normal hearing, which were 2 dB better in MTB than in SSN, were about 10 dB better than the performances by the listeners with hearing loss, which were about 0.5 dB better in MTB with 56% of the listeners better in MTB and 40% better in SSN. The slopes of the functions for the normal-hearing listeners (8-9%/dB) were steeper than the functions for the listeners with hearing loss (5-6%/dB). The data indicate that the WIN has good criterion validity.