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The cocktail party effect

Timothy C. Hain, MD Page last modified: June 18, 2009

People with hearing loss often compain of greater difficulty in understanding speech, when there are competing sounds sources such as other people talking in a restaurant or party, or loud music.

There are several reasons for this --

The cocktail party effect denotes the advantage that a listener gains from having two ears separated in space when separating a signal from auditory noise.

In humans, when the speaker and noise come from different locations, there can be an improvement of up to 18 dB. (Gatehouse, 1987; Saberi et al, 1991).

 

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Copyright August 3, 2016 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on August 3, 2016