‘Hearing Aids for Music’ project findings presented at international conference

Dr Alinka Greasley, Associate Professor of Music Psychology, has presented findings from the ‘Hearing Aids for Music’ project,

Dr Greasley who leads the project, presented the findings at the 14th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) in San Francisco.

This biennial conference brings together researchers in fields such as acoustics and psychophysics, music education, and music in relation to health and well-being. As such, it is an excellent forum for the ‘Hearing Aids for Music’ project, which is exploring how to optimise the music listening experience of hearing impaired individuals by investigating the impact and potential of hearing aid technology.

The first study Dr Greasley presented, a clinical questionnaire, involved hearing aid users aged 21-93. Almost half of participants reported that challenges in listening to music negatively affect their quality of life, but the majority of participants had not discussed this with their audiologists. Of those who had, not all reported improvements, suggesting that audiologists might be better supported in tailoring hearing aids for listening to music and informing users of their options. An overview of the findings is available here →
The second study combined in-depth interviews with tests measuring hearing ability. The participants, hearing aid users aged 24-82, reported some distortion at higher frequencies and a reduction in tone quality, but the overall number of challenges was lower than expected and several participants reported none at all.

Overall, the current results gathered by the project show that hearing aid use varies according to the type of music being listened to, the listening context, and the user’s level of hearing impairment, musical training, and willingness to experiment with their hearing aid technology.