Masking release in children and adults with hearing loss when using amplification

Marc A Brennan, Ryan W McCreery, Judy Kopun, Dawna E Lewis, Joshua Alexander, Patricia Stelmachowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study compared masking release for adults and children with normal hearing and hearing loss. For the participants with hearing loss, masking release using simulated hearing aid amplification with 2 differentcompression speeds (slow, fast) was compared. Method: Sentence recognition in unmodulated noise was compared with recognition in modulated noise (masking release). Recognition was measured for participants with hearing loss using individualized amplification via the hearing-aid simulator.Results: Adults with hearing loss showed greater masking release than the children with hearing loss. Average masking release was small (1 dB) and did not depend on hearing status. Masking release was comparable for slow and fast compression. Conclusions: The use of amplification in this study contrasts with previous studies that did not use amplification. The results suggest that when differences in audibility are reduced, participants with hearing loss may be able to take advantage of dips in the noise levels, similar to participants with normal hearing. Although children required a more favorable signal-to-noise ratio than adults for both unmodulated and modulated noise, masking release was not statistically different. However, the ability to detect a difference may have been limited by the small amount of masking release observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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