Instrumentation for Audiology and Hearing Science: Theory and Practice

Second Edition

Shlomo Silman, Michele B. Emmer, Carol A. Silverman, Alexa Brody

Details: 338 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-226-8

© 2023 | Available

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Understanding the array and complexity of instrumentation available to audiologists and hearing scientists is important to students, beginning clinicians, and even seasoned professionals. The second edition of Instrumentation for Audiology and Hearing Science: Theory and Practice is a comprehensive and accessible look at instrumentation used in these fields for research and clinical purposes. The expert authors introduce the laws of physics as they relate to audiology and hearing science and explain a range of concepts in electronics directly related to instrumentation used in audiology and hearing science, such as filtering and immittance (involving admittance and impedance), explain the fundamental instrumentation concepts in mathematics, physics, and electronics in a systematic manner including only the necessary formulae and basic scientific principles.

This unique professional text presents the fundamentals of the evolution of communication systems from analog to digital, including such concepts as digital signals, sound resolution, sampling, quantization and their applications to current technology such as video calls and noise canceling head phones. In addition, the authors comprehensively cover calibration of test and research equipment and stimuli used in audiology and hearing science. They also clearly describe elements of electronics and digital technology as they apply to our everyday lives and experiences, as well as to the fields of audiology and hearing sciences.

New to the Second Edition

  • New chapters on amplification, assistive listening devices, and vestibular assessment (electronystagmography and videonystagmography), geared toward audiology and hearing science students and professionals
  • Extensive reorganization for a smoother flow of information
  • Expanded focus on evidence-based practice
  • Informed by the authors’ teaching, research, and clinical experiences, the original chapters have either been eliminated or completely updated to reflect current scientific and clinical theories
  • A PluralPlus companion website with practical step-by-step PowerPoint instruction and accompanying videos for the construction of direct- and alternating-current electrical circuits, as well as the construction of high-pass, low-pass, and band-pass filters



“I am very glad I got an opportunity to review this book as it has helped me refresh my physics basics knowledge with pictorial representation and great examples for any non-professional to understand. In addition, this book helped me to understand the connection between physics and audiology in more depth. This is a completely updated version from the original edition with new chapters added (assistive listening devices and vestibular assessment) and a reorganization of material in a more appropriate manner.
This book contains solid, up-to-date fundamentals underlying audiologic and hearing science equipment, general physics, sound energy, AC & DC circuits, filtering & electrical impedance, analog & digital communication systems. Principles and theories underlying instrumentation are integrated with the function and clinical applications of clinical and research instrumentation specific to diagnostic audiology (acoustic immittance, audiometric testing, auditory evoked potentials testing, newborn hearing screening); rehabilitative audiology (amplification, assistive listening devices); vestibular assessment (ENG/VNG); and hearing sciences which will be very useful for recent graduates as well as for experienced Audiologists. Basic protocols for the use of instrumentation were described comprehensively, and this knowledge and understanding of audiological and hearing sciences instrumentation both facilitate and enhance successful applications of this instrumentation in our day-to-day practise.
…New to this edition are instructor PowerPoint presentations for all chapters, practical step-by-step video demonstrations, and student PowerPoint explanations of how to construct direct- and alternating-current electrical circuits, and low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass filters enhances readers understanding of concepts…
…The research tools used by hearing scientists and audiologists largely involve the same instrumentation used by audiologists for clinical and research purposes. This book can serve as a basic instrumentation text for AuD and PhD students and hearing scientists and audiologists. The authors made sure that this book is a basic reference for clinicians, educators, and researchers in audiology and hearing sciences and a tool for understanding material presented in more advanced instrumentation texts. It also can function as a supplementary text for doctoral courses in amplification. I want to conclude that the authors did a tremendous job in the making this book and will be an asset to our audiology field.”

–Kuruvilla Mathew, MS, University of Toronto, in Canadian Audiologist (Jan 2023)

“This book is informative, with concise explanations of basic principles of physics and technology aiding the reader in understanding how these are related to instrumentation used within audiology and scientific aspects of hearing. A valuable text to have on the shelf as a source of information for those studying or teaching in the field of audiology.
The authors have made considerable effort with the flow of information through the chapters, beginning with the general fundamentals and gradually moving to complex theories and their use, either instrumentally or clinically.
The first few chapters allow the reader to recognise the essential underlying concepts of electricity; direct, alternating current, circuitry and its components. The next few chapters concentrate on signal processing, including analogue to digital, referencing to quantisation, sampling and filtering. The latter chapters describe the functionality of various components found in different hearing aids, integrating this into instrumentation. The additional chapters on amplification, assistive devices and vestibular assessment makes this book more complete, enveloping many of the crucial branches routinely used in the field of audiology.
Each section is well written with clarity and depth explanation. The use of diagrams, some simple but effective, allow better understanding of the various concepts…
Assistive components, such as the companion website using PowerPoint and videos, allow better comprehension of the different topics.”

–Zebunnisa H, Vanat, Lead Clinical Scientist (Audiology), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in ENT & Audiology News (January/February 2023)

About the Authors

Chapter 1. General Physics and Introduction to Sound Energy


Values to Remember

Chapter 2. Electrical Energy— Direct Current
Coulomb’s Law
Current, Voltage, and Resistance
Ohm’s Law

Series Resistance and Parallel Resistance

Direct Current Circuit

Chapter 3. Electrical Energy— Alternating Current
Phasor Representation of AC
Square Wave

Analysis of a Square Wave

Power Transmission
AC Circuit Components

Resistive AC Circuit
Capacitors and Inductors
Series Capacitance and Parallel Capacitance
Series Inductance and Parallel Inductance

Chapter 4. Filtering and Electrical Impedance
Impedance and Admittance

Low-Pass Filter
High-Pass Filter
Band-Pass Filter
Band-Reject Filter


Chapter 5. Building Communication Systems: Evolution from Analog to Digital
Loudspeaker/Earphone/Insert Receiver
Digital Communication Systems

Digital Signals

Sound Resolution

Sampling in Audio Systems
CD Players

Digital Signal Processing
Active Noise Cancellation

Chapter 6. Acoustic Immittance
Acoustic Immittance
Methods for Measurement of Static-Acoustic Middle Ear Immittance
Calculation of Acoustic Admittance of the Middle Ear

Chapter 7. Amplification
Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Components

Additional Features of Some Hearing Aids

Directional Microphones
Telecoils (t-coil)
Wireless Connectivity
Remote Controls
Ambient Noise Control

Hearing Aid Styles 
Hearing Aid Earmolds

Custom Earmolds

Earmold Materials
Earmold Impressions
ANSI Standard
Hearing Aid Couplers
KEMAR (Knowles Electronics Manikin for Acoustic Research)
Evaluating Hearing Aid Performance Using ANSI Standards


Recommended Measurements, Specifications, and Tolerances


Frequency Range
Tolerance Method for Frequency Response Curve

Tolerance Template

Harmonic Distortion
Equivalent Input Noise Level (EIN)
Examples of Current Instrumentation for the Measurement of Hearing Aid Parameters

Hearing Aid Analyzers: Test Boxes

Calibration of Hearing Aid Test Systems
Amplification for Children
Advantages of a Bilateral Hearing Aid Fitting

Head Shadow Effect
Enhanced Speech Understanding
Binaural Squelch
Binaural Redundancy
Improved Sound Quality Along with Better Spatial Balance
Improved Sound Localization
Prevention of Auditory Deprivation

Binaural Interference

Identification of Binaural Interference
Auditory Training


Chapter 8. Assistive Listening Devices

What Are Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)?

ANSI/ASA S3.47-2014

Classification of ALDs
Test Equipment
Standard Conditions
Equipment Setup
Settings of Controls
Recommended Measurements

Types of ALDs

Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems
Classroom Audio Distribution Systems (ADS)
Hearing Loop Systems
Infrared (IR) Systems
Bluetooth Technology

Comparative Analysis of ALDs

         SNR Enhancement


         Future Research


Chapter 9. Vestibular Assessment: Electronystagmography and Videonystagmography
Neurophysiologic Mechanisms Underlying ENG and VNG

The Final Common Pathway
Saccadic System
Smooth Pursuit System
Neural Integrator
Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex (VOR) and VOR Fixation
Optokinetic (OKN) Testing
Caloric Irrigations


Distance and Angle
Eye Movements
VNG Goggles

Advantages and Disadvantages of ENG and VNG
ENG/VNG Test Battery

Oculomotor Tests
Static Positional Tests and Dynamic Positioning Testing
Caloric Testing

Sample VNG from a Normal Patient

Saccadic Test Results
Results of Smooth Pursuit Testing
Gaze Testing
OKN Testing
Head-Shaking Nystagmus Test
Positional and Positioning Test Results
Caloric Testing


Chapter 10. Test Equipment Used in Audiology and Hearing Science

Standard Oscillator
Square-Wave Oscillator
Detailed Description of the Stimuli Generated by an Audiometer

Critical Band
Speech Noise
Instrumentation for Acoustic Immittance

Components of the Immittance Device

Otoacoustic Emissions — Instrumentation
Electrophysiologic Instrumentation

Auditory Evoked Potentials

Stimulus Used in Auditory Evoked Potentials (ABR)

Click Stimulus
Repetition Rate

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS)

Chapter 11. Instrumentation for Calibration and Calibration of Test Stimuli
Equipment Used for Calibration

Equipment for Calibration of Air Conduction

ANSI Requirements for Calibration of Audiometric Signals

Frequency Accuracy
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
Rise and Fall

Sound-Field Testing
Bone Conduction Calibration

Artificial Mastoid
Type 4930
Larson Davis AMC 493A

Calibration of High Frequencies
Calibration of the Acoustic Admittance Device

Calibration of Admittance Unit of Measurement
Calibration of Probe Signal Intensity
Calibration of the Activating Stimuli
Calibration of the Pneumatic System

Calibration of the Otoacoustic Emissions Probe Signal
Calibration for Auditory Evoked Potentials
Calibration for Masking Noise
Noise Levels in the Test Environment


Shlomo Silman

Shlomo Silman, MS, PhD, received his Master of Science from Columbia University and PhD in Audiology from New York University. He is Presidential Professor of Speech Communication Arts and Sciences at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY); Professor of Audiology, Doctor of Audiology Program, Graduate Center, CUNY; Professor of Hearing Sciences, PhD Program in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, CUNY; and Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He has authored and coauthored approximately 100 articles, books, and chapters. His research has been supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Silman holds two U.S. patents for a medical device with Dr. Daniel S. Arick and another two U.S. patents for another medical device with his coauthor, Dr. Michele B. Emmer. His honors and awards include being the first recipient of the American Academy of Audiology Research Achievement Award in 2000 and corecipient of the 2006 National Tibbetts Award (category of Medicine), supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and other agencies, for the development and evaluation of the EarPopper. Silman is also the recipient of a medal in 2001 from the Escola Paulista Medicina of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil, for humanitarian work with persons with hearing impairment in São Paulo, Brazil, and for scientific achievements relating to research on middle ear effusion and auditory deprivation, as well as recipient of the 2002 Journal of the American Academy of Audiology Editor’s Award. He also has served as reviewer, editorial consultant, or assistant editor for various journals, including American Journal of Audiology, Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, Ear and Hearing, Hearing Research, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Pediatrics, and Perceptual and Motor Skills.

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Michele B. Emmer

Michele B. Emmer, PhD, Professor Emerita and former Chair of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY) and former Professor of Audiology, Doctor of Audiology Program, Graduate Center (CUNY), received her Master of Science from Brooklyn College and her PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the Graduate Center of CUNY. Her interests include middle ear effusion, acoustic reflex, adult-onset auditory deprivation, acclimatization, and hearing impairment in the elderly. She published many articles on these topics in medical, audiological, and scientific journals such as Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, American Academy of Audiology, ENT Journal, and Rehabilitation R & D (Department of Veterans Affairs). She was listed in the CUNY Salute to Scholars 2 years running and received the college-wide award for Excellence in Teaching at Brooklyn College. She was coinvestigator and senior research director for several federal grants, principal investigator for two CUNY grants, and a principal investigator for a grant from the New York City Department for the Aging. Dr. Emmer holds two U.S. patents for a medical device with her coauthor Dr. Shlomo Silman. Dr. Emmer taught courses in speech and hearing for over 20 years.

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Carol A. Silverman

Carol A. Silverman, PhD, MPH, is Professor, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY; Professor, AuD Program and PhD Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY; and formerly Adjunct Professor, Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. Dr. Silverman previously held an appointment as Hearing Scientist and Epidemiologist in the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City. Dr. Silverman has authored and coauthored several books and book chapters and many peer-reviewed publications, and she has served as reviewer and editorial consultant for various journals in audiology, hearing sciences, and otolaryngology. Her research focuses on auditory deprivation; on various aspects of diagnostic audiology, including acoustic immittance and otoacoustic emissions; and most recently on binaural interference. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and her graduate degrees include an MS in Audiology from Teachers College of Columbia University, PhD in Audiology from New York University, and MPH in Quantitative Epidemiology from New York Medical College.

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Alexa Brody

Alexa Brody, AuD, is a practicing audiologist who specializes in diagnostic evaluations and hearing aid amplification in Albany, NY. She received her AuD degree from the Graduate Center of CUNY. She holds an ASHA certificate of clinical competence-audiology (CCC-A) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA). Her special interests include deaf studies, tinnitus management, hearing aids, and assistive listening devices.

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Instrumentation for Audiology and Hearing Science: Theory and Practice, Second Edition comes with access to supplementary student and instructor materials on a PluralPlus companion website.


To access the student materials, you must register the access code printed on the inside front cover of your print book on the companion website.


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


*Note for students: If you have purchased the textbook used or have rented it, your access code will not work if it was already redeemed by the original buyer of the book. Plural Publishing does not offer replacement access codes for used or rented textbooks.

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