Evaluation of headphone effects on performance in LiSN & Learn auditory training software
Lo, Chi Yhun
McMahon, Catherine M.
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Spatial processing is the ability to use binaural cues to separate and group sounds that are important for everyday listening. Spatial processing disorder (SPD) is the reduced ability to utilize binaural cues to segregate sounds. LiSN & Learn is auditory training software designed to remediate SPD, and in its current form, can only be administered with a specific type of headphone (Sennheiser HD 215). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect that various headphones had on spatial processing ability in LiSN & Learn, with the aim of allowing for flexibility of choice, and increase access to the program. Fourteen participants played training games across a counterbalanced test-retest design that measured speech reception thresholds (SRTs) across 7 headphones. The results indicate the effect of the headphone was relatively minor, and performance in spatial processing had a strong correlation with the ability of the headphone to reproduce high frequencies. As such, it is recommended that any commercially available headphone with a high-frequency response broadly similar to a Sennheiser HD 215 is suitable for use with LiSN & Learn.