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Int J Audiol. 2011 Jul;50(7):477-90. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2011.572083. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Measuring spectral and temporal resolution simultaneously: a comparison between two tests.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Audiology, Academic Medical Center (AMC) , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.



Spectral- and temporal-resolution tests are seldom used in clinical practice despite their proven relevance for patients' speech understanding in noise and expected importance for hearing-aid fitting. The aim here was to investigate and compare two clinically applicable tests ('tone test' and 'sweep test') that measure both spectral and temporal resolution simultaneously.


Experiments were conducted monaurally via headphones. After examining test-retest reliabilities and learning effects we compared results from tone and sweep tests to results from conventional spectral and temporal-resolution tests and to speech perception in noise scores.


A group of five normal-hearing listeners (aged 18-42 years, median 19) and 15 (sensorineurally) hearing-impaired listeners (aged 20-68 years, median 56).


It was found that the tone test corresponded much better to the conventional methods than the sweep test. Relating spectral and temporal-resolution results to speech perception in noise scores showed that the tone test seems to be slightly more relevant for speech perception than the sweep test.


It can be concluded that the tone test (after modifications we suggest, based on our findings) is a fast and reliable test that is suitable for measuring spectral and temporal resolution in a clinical setting.

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