Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


Compression for Clinicians
A Compass for Hearing Aid Fittings

Third Edition
Theodore H. Venema
416 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 6 x 9"
Release Date:
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Compression for Clinicians: A Compass for Hearing Aid Fittings, Third Edition explains many developments that have taken place in the world of hearing aid compression, fitting methods, and real ear measurement. The text aims to make difficult concepts easier to understand and to explain in plain language many topics pertaining to compression. Directional microphones and digital features of noise reduction, feedback reduction, and expansion are also covered. The third edition recognizes two distinct clinical populations of sensorineural hearing loss: mild to moderate, on one hand, and more severe, on the other. These two clinical populations are well served by a corresponding pair of compression types: wide dynamic range compression and output limiting compression. Another double distinction held throughout the text is the two-part task for all hearing aids: providing gain and also increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. Gain is addressed by compression, while listening in noise is addressed by directional microphones and digital noise reduction.

The Third Edition:

  • Includes new chapters on common clinical encounters (Chapter 1), real ear measurement (Chapter 5), and adaptive dynamic range optimization (Chapter 10)
  • Distinguishes between "sensory" and "neural" hearing loss and devotes a separate chapter to each of these types of sensorineural hearing loss
  • Contains updated coverage of digital hearing aids, directional microphones, and digital noise reduction
  • Retains a strong focus on the historical development of compression from yesterday's analog hearing aids to digital hearing aids of today

Compression for Clinicians is intended for those studying to become hearing health care professionals, including audiologists and hearing instrument practitioners. It is also intended for practicing clinicians who simply want to refresh their knowledge base concerning hearing loss and hearing aids. Clinically relevant and very thorough, it provides a compass in the world of compression hearing aids.

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, speaks with the author, Dr. Ted Venema about this new edition in The Hearing Review. Read the interview here


  • Lorienne M. Jenstad, School of Audiology & Speech Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, International Journal of Audiology (2017):
    "The chapters are easy to read, using very accessible language, light-hearted asides and humour, along with clear and memorable analogies. The author does an excellent job of briefly introducing later topics and referring back to earlier concepts, so that the reader always has a good roadmap of the overall picture. . . . I particularly recommend it for students who need an accessible and clear introduction to complex topics, as a way to ease them into a mind frame of being ready to delve deeper into the topic. The book is also potentially useful for instructors of amplification, providing ideas for classroom teaching. Finally, I can recommend this book for practicing clinicians who need a quick, easy-to-read reminder of topics related to hearing aid processing and verification, or who are looking for examples of how to explain difficult concepts to their clients."

  • Jeffrey DiGiovanni, PhD, Ohio University, . (REVIEW OF PREVIOUS EDITION):
    "This type of book could easily find a niche with Audiologists or hearing-aid dispensers...with some refocusing, it could easily become a classroom text or clinical reference guide to hearing aid fittings."

  • Rebecca Henning, PhD, University of Wisconsin, . (REVIEW OF PREVIOUS EDITION):
    "Venema's text covers compression in more depth than Dillon's text, and Venema covers the topic in a format that is easy to understand. Venema presents a difficult topic in a user-friendly format."

  • Roger Green, British Journal of Audiology (REVIEW OF PREVIOUS EDITION):
    ""Everything you wanted to know about compression but were afraid to ask.""

  • Amy Nichols, AuD, PhD, University of South Alabama, DOODY'S (March 2018):
    "**Description** This book explains the many developments that have taken place in hearing aid compression, fitting methods, and real ear measurement since the previous edition of 2006. New topics are discussed in an easy to understand fashion that is clinically applicable. **Purpose** The purpose is to provide hearing healthcare providers with a better understanding of how hearing aids process stimuli, fitting methods, and verification methods. This updated edition was certainly needed and the objectives are clearly met. **Audience** The audience is hearing healthcare professionals who are studying or practicing. This book is perfect for both practitioners and students. The book is easy to read and clearly outlines the clinical applicability of each topic. The author is an expert in this area who has written numerous textbooks. **Features** This book enables readers to gain a better understanding of complex hearing aid signal processing, such as compression, directional microphones, digital noise reduction, and verification measures. The best aspect of this book is how the author makes difficult concepts understandable for practitioners and students alike. Complex anatomy and physiology are discussed to provide readers with a review, but also to tie topics together. **Assessment** This is an invaluable book for students and young practitioners and an excellent update to the previous edition. Very practical and well written. 5 Stars!"


Chapter 1. Common Clinical Encounters: Do We Really Know Them?
Chapter 2. The Cochlea and Outer Hair Cell Damage
Chapter 3. Inner Hair Cell Damage, Traveling Wave Envelopes, and Cochlear Dead Regions
Chapter 4. Early Hearing Aid Fitting Methods: Why So Many?
Chapter 5. Verification with Real Ear Measures: Yesterday and Today
Chapter 6. Compression and the DSL and NAL Fitting Methods
Chapter 7. Compression in Analog Hearing Aids: Historical Development
Chapter 8. Compression and Other Features in Digital Hearing Aids
Chapter 9. Clinical Benefits of Directional Microphones Versus Digital Noise Reduction
Chapter 10. Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimization: An Alternative to WDRC

Appendix A. Classes of Hearing Aid Amplifiers, A, B, D, and H: Where's Class C?
Appendix B. Answers to Review Questions of Chapter 7

About The Author

Theodore H. Venema

Theodore H. Venema, PhD, earned a BA in Philosophy at Calvin College in 1977 and an MA in Audiology at Western Washington University in 1988. After 3 years as a clinical audiologist at The Canadian Hearing Society in Toronto, he completed a PhD in Audiology at the University of Oklahoma in 1993. He was an Assistant Professor at Auburn University in Alabama for the next 2 years. From 1995 to 2001, he was a corporate audiologist at Unitron, based in Kitchener, Ontario, where he conducted field trials and gave presentations, domestically and abroad. From 2001 through 2006, he was an Assistant Professor of Audiology at Western University in Ontario. In 2006, he initiated, developed, and implemented the Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. He moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 2013, where he was part owner of a clinical audiology practice with NexGen Hearing. As of September 2015, Dr. Venema has been teaching on a part-time basis with the online HIS program at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Venema continues to give presentations on various topics of hearing, hearing loss, and hearing aids at many state and provincial hearing aid associations.

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