Essentials of Modern Hearing Aids: Selection, Fitting, and Verification

First Edition

Todd A. Ricketts, Ruth Bentler, H. Gustav Mueller

Details: 888 pages, B&W, Hardcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-853-1

© 2019 | Available

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Essentials of Modern Hearing Aids: Selection, Fitting, and Verification is a comprehensive textbook, ideal for graduate-level amplification courses in audiology programs. It also is the ultimate go-to reference for anyone fitting and dispensing hearing aids. This is truly an "A to Z" textbook, with topics including audiologic prefitting testing, needs assessment and treatment planning, hearing aid selection, verification, orientation and counseling, post-fitting follow-up, and real-world validation. Moreover, a substantial portion of the book reviews the underlying up-to-date design and function of digital hearing aid components, circuitry and processing, the wide assortment of hearing aid features, and the many algorithms that make these features work successfully.

The world-renowned authors have included numerous prefitting and post-fitting tests that can be conducted along with step-by-step protocols for their administration and scoring. They also review the selection of hearing aid styles and fitting arrangements, explain the process of obtaining an ear impression, and making critical decisions regarding earmolds and hearing aid plumbing. Essentials of Modern Hearing Aidsprovides guidance for selecting prescriptive fitting approaches and detailed protocols for the use of behavioral measures and real-ear speech mapping to both verify the fitting and assess special hearing aid features. Follow-up care and validation options also are reviewed, with detailed guidelines for using a wide range of outcome measures.

Key Features

  • Included throughout the text are short paragraphs identified as "Technical Tips," "Key Concepts," "Things to Remember," "Points to Ponder," and "Soapbox" for quick reference.
  • The text covers both foundation and direct clinical application.
  • The veteran authors have over 100 years of combined experience in day-to-day patient care and clinical research.
  • The book is infused with humor throughout!
  • The text comes with a PluralPlus companion website with many of the forms and scoresheets needed to facilitate the pre- and post- fitting measures described in the text as well as PowerPoint slides with all of the figures from the text arranged by chapter.

Written in an accessible and easy-to-read style, this text includes not only reference information, but also tools supported by research and clinical experience. The information is presented in a way that is both accessible to clinical students with little experience in the field and with enough depth for even the serious hearing aid researcher. The text is also appropriate as a handy companion for busy clinicians - a friendly resource where they can quickly find critical information needed for the next patient.

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, speaks with Todd A. Ricketts in the April 2018 issue of The Hearing Review about a range of topics including best practices in hearing aid fitting.

Read the interview here.


"A text for the ages is how one can describe “Essentials of Modern Hearing Aids”. For one, the book is sure to stand a certain test of time. But more so, it is described as such, because the book is written for the different ages of man (or woman) (i.e. student, beginning clinician/practitioner, mid-level professional, or lifelong learner and educated teacher of students). Additionally, the content covers both the adult and paediatric populations regarding various aspects of amplification and, might I add, quite thoroughly. For a book that asserts in its title to cover the essentials, at a length of some 800-plus pages there is no telling how comprehensive the unabridged edition might have been.

In all seriousness though, the layout and flow of the textbook are progressive yet traditional. To me, its length means that hearing aids and, more importantly, their provision are not the simplest of matters when higher forms of quality delivery and patient care are carried out. The textbook begins with the foundation of evidence-based practice and then the chapters march through a series of conventional steps and processes in the provision of hearing aids. The steps and processes are written with up-to-date descriptions and recent supporting references from peer-review research. All of which creates a modern approach to hearing aids. . . .

I will close this review with a comment on available supplements to this textbook which sets it apart from other textbooks on hearing aids. The textbook includes access to a companion website with files to aid the lecturer in the creation of teaching material such as prepared slides of tables and figures. Availability on the companion website means more students in varied training programmes can receive the same high-quality educational material. Such material can lead to not only better-educated professionals but also more practicing professionals with a flexible repertoire of clinical abilities. Deservedly so, this textbook is worthy of the world as its stage. Its educational information and practical wisdom will guide you through the many ages of becoming and being an audiologist."
Earl Johnson, US Department of Veterans Affairs, East Tennessee State University, Mountain Home, TN, USA in the International Journal of Audiology (Feb 2019)

20Q: Hearing Aid Verification - Will AutoREMfit Move the Sticks?

Read Gus Mueller and Todd Ricketts' interview from AudiologyOnline here.



From This Week in Hearing

This Week in Hearing co-host, Dr. Bob Traynor, is joined by special guest, Dr. Gus Mueller, to celebrate 50 years since his first hearing aid fitting as an audiologist in the US Army stationed at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. The pair reflect on how the methods and techniques used to fit hearing aids 50 years ago have changed and evolved over the decades. Dr. Mueller also offers his thoughts on the current state of hearing aid fittings and the potential benefits and drawbacks of self-fitting technology.


Chapter 1. Evidenced-Based Practice

Chapter 2. The Audiologist and Hearing Aid Provision

Chapter 3. Understanding the Hearing Aid Candidate

Chapter 4. Speech Acoustics

Chapter 5. Pre-Fitting Tests Using Frequency-Specific Measures

Chapter 6. Pre-Fitting Testing Using Speech Material

Chapter 7. Self-Assessment Scales for Pre-Fitting Testing

Chapter 8. Hearing Aid Styles and Fitting Applications

Chapter 9. Ear Impressions, Earmolds, and Associated Plumbing

Chapter 10. Hearing Aid Hardware and Software: The Basics

Chapter 11. Signal Classification and Sound Cleaning Technologies

Chapter 12. More Hearing Aid Features and Algorithms

Chapter 13. Electroacoustic and Other Quality Control Techniques

Chapter 14. Prescriptive Formulas and Programming

Chapter 15. Behavioral Assessment During Clinical Fittings

Chapter 16. Probe-Microphone Measures: Rationale and Procedures

Chapter 17. Probe-Microphone Measures: Clinical Uses

Chapter 18. Hearing Aid Orientation and Troubleshooting

Chapter 19. Validation: Self-Report Outcomes

Chapter 20. Supplemental Information: Corrections, Conversions, and Calculations


Todd A. Ricketts

Todd A. Ricketts, PhD, CCC-A, is a professor at Vanderbilt Medical Center, the vice chair in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, and the director of the Dan Maddox Hearing Aid Research Laboratory. He is a fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Ricketts' research focuses on various aspects of hearing, hearing aids, and cochlear implants, and he has published more than 100 articles and book chapters on the topics. Although Dr. Ricketts grew up a Midwesterner and completed his academic training at the University of Iowa, he left the plains and cornfields for the beautiful hills and trees of Tennessee, which he has made his home for almost twenty years.

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Ruth Bentler

Ruth Bentler, PhD, CCC-A, is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder at the University of Iowa. A native Iowan, Dr. Bentler did not stray far from her roots, as her 40-year professional career has been at the University of Iowa, where she also obtained her professional degrees. She is a fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology. As the director of the Hearing Aid Laboratory for Basic and Applied Research, Dr. Bentler has been involved in numerous research endeavors involving the effectiveness of modern hearing aid features. She teaches graduate courses related to hearing aids and adult auditory rehabilitation, and has published more than 100 articles and book chapters on the topic.

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H. Gustav Mueller

H. Gustav Mueller, PhD, is a professor of audiology at Vanderbilt University and has faculty appointments at the University of Northern Colorado and Raush University. He also serves as the senior contributing editor for AudiologyOnline and consulting editor for Plural Publishing. He is a founder of the American Academy of Audiology and a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Dr. Mueller has co-authored numerous books, including the recent Plural publications: Essentials of Modern Hearing Aids, Speech Mapping and Probe Microphone Measurements, and Modern Hearing Aids (Volumes I and II). Dr. Mueller is the co-founder of the popular website and he resides on a North Dakota island, just outside of Bismarck.

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Purchasers of this book receive complimentary access to supplementary materials hosted on a PluralPlus companion website.

To access the materials, log in to the website using the URL located inside the front cover of your copy of Essentials of Modern Hearing Aids.

To access the student materials, you must register on the companion website and log in using the access code located inside the front cover of your textbook.

To access the instructor materials, you must contact Plural Publishing, Inc. to be verified as an instructor and receive your access code.

Tel: 866-758-7251 (toll free) or 858-492-1555

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