Professor Brian Moore and his team at Cambridge University, including PhD students Marina Salorio-Corbetto and Sara Madsen, are studying how hearing loss affects the perception and enjoyment of music and how music listening is influenced by the use of hearing aids.
Hearing aid designers have always prioritized making speech more audible and intelligible in both quiet and noisy situations, especially in modern digital hearing aids. However, people often use their hearing aids to listen other kinds of sounds, in particular music – including some professional musicians. Hearing aids that are optimized for listening to speech may not be ideal for listening to music and some musicians complain that their digital hearing aids are not as good as their old analogue aids when it comes to listening to music.
Professor Moore and his team are trying to clarify the problems experienced by people using hearing aids to listen to music and to identify if there are particular types of music that create special difficulty. They are also trying to determine how beneficial current hearing aids are when listening to music and to establish whether this benefit is related to degree and type of hearing loss.
Their ultimate aim is to improve how music is perceived and enjoyed through hearing aids, by altering the way that sound is processed in the aids themselves. They hope to be able to develop a special program for use in hearing aids that can be selected when listening to music. To do this, they are conducting an online survey to gather information about people’s experiences when listening to music using hearing aids.
The research is important because:
- Hearing aids are designed to improve hearing of speech, but little attention has been paid to improving their use in listening to other sounds such as music.
- Many people use their hearing aids to listen to music but find that they are unable to enjoy music as they would like to.
- Digital hearing aids are very versatile – programming them to process music as well as they process speech should be possible but research is needed to identify how this can best be achieved.
- The results should help in improving hearing aids for music listening in the future.
Are You Interested in Taking Part in this Research?
Are you a hearing aid user aged 18 or above? Do you use your hearing aids to listen to music? Ff so, you can help Professor Moore and his team by taking part in this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/musicandhearingaids
It shouldn’t take long to complete, and all your responses will be anonymous. The survey will be running until the end of June 2013.
For More Details
For more information on this project, you can contact Professor Brian Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EB.