OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of a large number of repetitions on the most comfortable level (MCL) when doing the acceptable noise level (ANL) test, and explore if MCL variability is related to central cognitive processes. DESIGN: Twelve MCL repetitions were measured within the ANL test using interleaved methodology during one session using a non-semantic version. Phonological (PWM) and visuospatial working memory (VSWM) was measured. STUDY SAMPLE: Thirty-two normal-hearing adults. RESULTS: Repeated measures ANOVA, intraclass correlations, and the coefficient of repeatability (CR) were used to assess the repeatability. Repeated measures ANOVA and CR indicated poor agreement between the two first repetitions. After excluding the first repetition, analyses showed that the MCL in the ANL test is reliable. A negative association was found between PWM and MCL variability indicating that subjects with higher PWM show less variability. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that, after excluding the first repetition, the MCL in the ANL test is reliable. A single repetition of the MCL in the ANL test should be avoided. If an interleaved methodology is used, a single ANL repetition should be added prior to the actual testing. The findings also suggest that MCL variability is associated to PWM but not VSWM.
International Journal of Audiology, 2014, Vol 53, Issue 11, p. 787-95