OF THE many abilities possessed by the human ear, one is of prime biologic and social importance. That is the ability to hear the human voice. Many writers have pointed out the nice correspondence between the physical dimensions of speech and the stimulus regions to which the ear is most sensitive. Designers of hearing aids strive first and foremost toward improved intelligibility of speech. The American Medical Association gives speech reception exclusive consideration in its notation system for auditory deficiency.
In spite of this emphasis on speech, however, the actual clinical testing for speech reception at the present moment lags far behind the testing for reception of other kinds of sound. In reliability and validity the procedures for testing reception and discrimination of pure tones, or of bands of noise, are both superior to the usual procedures for testing speech reception.
This does not mean that reception of speech for
HARRIS JD. SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SPEECH RECEPTION TESTING. Arch Otolaryngol. 1949;50(4):388–405. doi:10.1001/archotol.1949.00700010400003