Systematic Evaluation of the T30 Neurostimulator Treatment for Tinnitus: A Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial with Open-Label Extension

Deborah Ann Hall, Robert Henryk Pierzycki, Holly Thomas, David Greenberg, Magdalena Sereda, Derek James Hoare*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Tinnitus is often triggered by cochlear damage and has been linked with aberrant patterns of neuronal activity. Acoustic Coordinated Reset (CR®) Neuromodulation is a sound therapy hypothesised to reduce tinnitus symptoms by desynchronising pathological brain activity using a portable acoustic device (the T30 neurostimulator). We report results of a pivotal trial to test the efficacy of this intervention. This two-centre, double-blind randomised controlled trial with long-term open-label extension, was undertaken between February 2012 and February 2014 in the UK. Participants were 100 adults with tinnitus as a primary complaint, recruited through hearing clinics and media advertisements. Intervention was the device programmed either with the proprietary sound sequence or placebo algorithm, fit by one of five trained audiologists. Minimisation software provided group allocation (1:1 randomisation), with groups matched for age, gender, hearing loss and tinnitus severity. Allocation was masked from participants and assessors during the trial. The primary measure of efficacy was change in tinnitus symptom severity between groups, measured using the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes were other measures of tinnitus symptom severity, health-related quality of life, and perceptual characteristics (pitch, loudness, bandwidth) at 12 weeks, and Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire at 36 weeks (open-label extension). A statistician blinded to the allocation conducted an intention-to-treat analysis that employed linear regressions on minimisation variables, trial centre and intervention group, with multiple imputations for missing data. The study was registered on (NCT01541969). We screened 391 individuals and assigned interventions to 100 eligible participants. The primary outcome was not statistically significant between groups (mean group = −0.45, 95% CI −5.25 to 4.35; p = 0.85), nor were any of the secondary outcomes. Four adverse events occurred during the trial. Analysis of tinnitus symptom severity data collected across the 24-week open-label extension showed no statistically significant within-group changes after 12, 24, or 36 weeks treatment with the proprietary sound sequence. While individual participants may benefit from sound therapy, Acoustic CR® Neuromodulation did not lead to group-mean reductions on tinnitus symptom severity or other measures compared to placebo, or over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number317
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Acoustic CR neuromodulation
  • Neural synchrony
  • Neuromodulation
  • Quality of life
  • Sound therapy
  • Tinnitus disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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