Evaluating the Benefit of Hearing Aids in Solving the Cocktail Party Problem

Nicole Marrone, Christine R. Mason, Gerald Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The benefit of wearing hearing aids in multitalker, reverberant listening environments was evaluated in a study of speech-on-speech masking with two groups of listeners with hearing loss (younger/older). Listeners selectively attended a known spatial location in two room conditions (low/high reverberation) and identified target speech in the presence of two competing talkers that were either colocated or symmetrically spatially separated from the target. The amount of spatial release from masking (SRM) with bilateral aids was similar to that when listening unaided at or near an equivalent sensation level and was negatively correlated with the amount of hearing loss. When using a single aid, SRM was reduced and was related to the level of the stimulus in the unaided ear. Increased reverberation also reduced SRM in all listening conditions. Results suggest a complex interaction between hearing loss, hearing aid use, reverberation, and performance in auditory selective attention tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-315
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Amplification
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • hearing aids
  • informational masking
  • reverberation
  • selective attention
  • spatial benefit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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