Bimodal Benefit for Music Perception: Effect of Acoustic Bandwidth.


Purpose The challenges associated with cochlear implant (CI)-mediated listening are well documented; however, they can be mitigated through the provision of aided acoustic hearing in the contralateral ear-a configuration termed . This study extends previous literature to examine the effect of acoustic bandwidth in the non-CI ear for music perception. The primary aim was to determine the minimum and optimum acoustic bandwidth necessary to obtain bimodal benefit for music perception and speech perception. Method Participants included 12 adult bimodal listeners and 12 adult control listeners with normal hearing. Music perception was assessed via measures of timbre perception and subjective sound quality of real-world music samples. Speech perception was assessed via monosyllabic word recognition in quiet. Acoustic stimuli were presented to the non-CI ear in the following filter conditions: < 125, < 250, < 500, and < 750 Hz, and wideband (full bandwidth). Results Generally, performance for all stimuli improved with increasing acoustic bandwidth; however, the bandwidth that is both minimally and optimally beneficial may be dependent upon stimulus type. On average, music sound quality required wideband amplification, whereas speech recognition with a male talker in quiet required a narrower acoustic bandwidth (< 250 Hz) for significant benefit. Still, average speech recognition performance continued to improve with increasing bandwidth. Conclusion Further research is warranted to examine optimal acoustic bandwidth for additional stimulus types; however, these findings indicate that wideband amplification is most appropriate for speech and music perception in individuals with bimodal hearing.