The main aim of this study was to use spectral smearing to evaluate the efficacy of a spectral ripple test (SRt) using stationary sounds and a recent variant with gliding ripples called the spectro-temporal ripple test (STRt) in measuring reduced spectral resolution. In experiment 1 the highest detectable ripple density was measured using four amounts of spectral smearing (unsmeared, mild, moderate, and severe). The thresholds worsened with increasing smearing and were similar for the SRt and the STRt across the three conditions with smearing. For unsmeared stimuli, thresholds were significantly higher (better) for the STRt than for the SRt. An amplitude fluctuation at the outputs of simulated (gammatone) auditory filters centered above 6400 Hz was identified as providing a potential detection cue for the STRt stimuli. Experiment 2 used notched noise with energy below and above the passband of the SRt and STRt stimuli to reduce confounding cues in the STRt. Thresholds were almost identical for the STRt and SRt for both unsmeared and smeared stimuli, indicating that the confounding cue for the STRt was eliminated by the notched noise. Thresholds obtained with notched noise present could be predicted reasonably accurately using an excitation-pattern model.