To investigate the effects of aging on loudness perception, equal-loudness-level contours were derived from loudness estimates for pure tones with various combinations of frequency and sound pressure level. The listeners were young and older adults who had otologically normal hearing. Comparison of the contours between listener groups revealed a large difference at frequencies higher than 1,000 Hz, indicating that substantial effects of age and gender existed: older listeners were less sensitive to high-frequency tones than young listeners. In addition, older males were even less sensitive to those tones than older females. Recruitment of loudness was also observable for older listeners at high frequencies. These findings suggest that the use of frequency-weighting A, which is based on the hearing characteristics of young people, in noise evaluation is questionable when senior citizens are assumed to be the listeners. Another method that takes the effects of aging into account should be developed to estimate the loudness of sounds perceived by older listeners more accurately.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics