The perception of the stereo effect in bilateral and bimodal cochlear implant users and its contribution to music enjoyment.
OBJECTIVES:In this clinical study, stereo perception of music samples and its contribution to music enjoyment in CI users is investigated. It is studied in free field as well as direct audio presentation. METHODS:20 bilateral and 9 bimodal CI users performed stereo detection tests and music enjoyment ratings. Music was presented either in mono or in stereo in free field or with direct audio presentation. Stereo detection was assessed with a 3-AFC paradigm. Music enjoyment was studied with scale ratings. RESULTS:For bilateral CI users, stereo detection increased from 52% correct in free field to 86% with direct audio presentation. Increased music enjoyment with improved stereo detection was obtained. Bimodal CI users could not identify stereo sounds. Music enjoyment did not increase for stereo presentations in bimodal subjects. DISCUSSION:For bilateral CI users, improved stereo detection might increase music enjoyment with direct audio presentation, which is likely due to bypassing the room acoustics. In bimodal CI users, no clear improvement was found, which is likely attributed due to the different hearing losses and therefore individually different interaural frequency overlaps between the hearing aid and the cochlear implant. CONCLUSION:Direct audio presentation is an efficient method to improve music enjoyment in bilateral CI users.