Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Melinda F. Bryan


Hearing loss affects many aspects of people's lives, including both communication and their ability to enjoy music. Currently, however, there is very little research on patient perception of music through hearing aids; therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference in the perceived listener satisfaction for music between a standard music program and the commonly used option for programming hearing aids (i.e., an automatic program). Data was collected using fifteen participants with symmetrical mild to moderately-severe sensorineural hearing loss with normal to near normal low frequency hearing. Participants were asked to listen to a one-minute clip of music in two different hearing aid programs (Program1= standard automatic program; Program 2= manufacturer's music program). This process was completed listening to three clips of music: a classical selection ("Clair de Lune" by Debussy), a pop selection ("California Girls" by the Beach Boys), and a listener's choice selection, which included a choice of seven songs of varying genres. After listening to each clip for 30 seconds, the participant was asked to complete a questionnaire which required participants to rate softness, brightness, volume, clarity, fullness, nearness, spaciousness, and overall impression on a 10-point scale as well as an additional questionnaire which assessed participant opinion on volume, clarity, fullness, pleasantness, and overall impression of sound quality. Results of this study indicated that participants noticed no difference in sound quality for any of the song selections when comparing the automatic hearing aid program to the music program. Furthermore, the favored program was equally divided between participants. Clinical implications/ applications will be discussed.