Specification of absorbed-sound power in the ear canal: Application to suppression of stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions

Douglas H. Keefe, Kim S. Schairer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


An insert ear-canal probe including sound source and microphone can deliver a calibrated sound power level to the ear. The aural power absorbed is proportional to the product of mean-squared forward pressure, ear-canal area, and absorbance, in which the sound field is represented using forward (reverse) waves traveling toward (away from) the eardrum. Forward pressure is composed of incident pressure and its multiple internal reflections between eardrum and probe. Based on a database of measurements in normal-hearing adults from 0.22 to 8 kHz, the transfer-function level of forward relative to incident pressure is boosted below 0.7 kHz and within 4 dB above. The level of forward relative to total pressure is maximal close to 4 kHz with wide variability across ears. A spectrally flat incident-pressure level across frequency produces a nearly flat absorbed power level, in contrast to 19 dB changes in pressure level. Calibrating an ear-canal sound source based on absorbed power may be useful in audiological and research applications. Specifying the tip-to-tail level difference of the suppression tuning curve of stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions in terms of absorbed power reveals increased cochlear gain at 8 kHz relative to the level difference measured using total pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-791
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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