Music perception of adult hearing aid users, compared to cochlear implant recipients

V. Looi, K. Rutledge, T. Prvan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Objectives: This study investigated music listening/appreciation from adult HA users with different levels of hearing loss (HL) (‘mild’ vs. ‘moderate’ vs. ‘moderately-severe or worse’). This data is important for the CI field, as i)
many potential adult recipients are existing HA users, and ii) many current and future recipients are/will be bimodal users. This was then compared to data collected using the same questionnaire, from adult CI recipients.
Methods: A published questionnaire developed for CI recipients was modified for this study. It had 51 questions covering music listening, sound quality of instruments/styles, listening preferences, and factors impacting on listening. The questionnaire was posted out to HA users with a i) mild HL; ii) moderate HL, and iii) moderately-severe or worse HL.
Results: 111 questionnaires were completed; 51 participants had a mild HL, 42 a moderate loss, and 18 a moderately-severe or worse loss. Overall, some significant differences were noted, predominantly between the Mild and Moderately-severe group, with fewer differences between the Mild and Moderate groups. There were significant differences between the three groups for the music styles which sounded best with HA(s), as well as between the ratings on more specific timbre rating scales used to rate each style.
A comparison of this HA cohort to the CI users from a published study using the same questionnaire provides interesting observations. The two groups spent a similar amount of time listening to music prior to their HL (HA users – Mean: 74; CI users - 72; scale 0-100 where 100 is the highest), but the HA users listen to music more now with their HAs (Mean: 70) than the CI users with their CI
(Mean: 46). Music enjoyment ratings were also similar preHL (HA users – Mean: 79; CI users – 84; scale 0-100), but HA users rated music more enjoyable with HAs (Mean: 77) than CI users with their CI (Mean: 52). The CI recipients’ overall scores for music was lower than the HA participants in this study, although pre-HL ratings and scores were similar for the two cohorts.
Conclusions: Overall results indicated little difference in music appreciation between those with a mild vs. moderate loss, however poorer scores for those with a moderately-severe or worse HL. This would suggest that HAs and/or HL negatively impact on music listening, particularly when the HL becomes more significant. When compared to CI users, HA users tended to provide higher ratings and listened to music more.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Hearing Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018
Event15th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018

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