Compact discs containing WAV files have been considered a superior way for audiologists to test patients for many years. That is because WAV files are high quality, but this file type has a drawback. Although it can be saved to computers, it tends to be too bulky to conveniently import to certain devices. That is why the general public quickly latched onto the MP3 file type. However, it has a drawback too. In order to make the file size smaller, the audio is actually compressed. Some in the audio industry believe the compression on MP3 file types compromises quality. That presents a big question for the audiology community: Would the quality of MP3 files produce different test results?
Recent research by Jennifer M. Brace and Robert W. Keith gives audiologists more confidence to use MP3 audio file types for testing. The study was based on twenty normal listeners using Auditec’s NU-6 Ordered by Difficulty Version II and found no significant difference between testing using a compact disc (WAV files) or MP3 files. This finding allows audiologists more freedom to test on their preferred devices.
Does this mean you should ditch your CD player or computer and trade it for an MP3 player? Maybe or maybe not. Since CDs are high quality and easy to use, it may be worthwhile for some audiologists to continue to use them. Other audiologists may need to travel and find smaller devices work best. Auditec permits customers to make one backup of purchased recordings for their own personal use. Customers now have a choice to make their backup as a WAV file or MP3.
Auditec, Inc. is proud to be a small business with a long history. We have been serving professionals with auditory test materials in a variety of formats since 1972.
Long before the Sony Walkman was invented, Auditec sold its auditory test recordings on reels.
Next, Auditec sold auditory test materials on cassette tapes. Believe it or not, we still get requests for this discontinued format. At one point in time, Auditec even made its recordings available on digital audio tapes (DATs).
Now, Auditec provides quality audio recordings on compact discs. Customers can combine multiple recordings to one disc and play it using their CD player or computer.
MP3s are a convenient next step for professionals who want to use portable equipment that does not take up a lot of space like iPods, iPads, and MP3 players. (This article was edited on March 23, 2017 to include recent research by Jennifer M. Brace and Robert W. Keith.) Recent research has concluded normal listeners tested using the mp3 audio files of speech discrimination tests produce the same valid results as when tested using the wav audio files on compact discs.
Auditec offers a wide selection of products including word recognition tests (in English, Spanish, and French), auditory processing tests, and auditory training programs. We sell 80 tests in over 200 variations. Some of our most popular recordings are the NU-6 Ordered by Difficulty Version II, Spanish Auditory Test CD, and Constraint Induced Auditory Therapy (CIAT).
Auditec is always in search of additional tests for our catalog. If you have a test that is recorded, researched, and ready to sell, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get your test into the hands of other audiologists by designating Auditec, Inc. as your primary test manufacturer and distributor.