Uni- and bilateral spectral loudness summation and binaural loudness summation with loudness matching and categorical loudness scaling

Maarten van Beurden, Monique Boymans, Mirjam van Geleuken, Dirk Oetting, Birger Kollmeier, Wouter A. Dreschler

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Current hearing aid prescription rules assume that spectral loudness summation decreases with hearing impairment and that binaural loudness summation is independent of hearing loss and signal bandwidth. Previous studies have shown that these assumptions might be incorrect. Spectral loudness summation was measured and compared for loudness scaling and loudness matching. Design: In this study, the effect of bandwidth on binaural summation was investigated by comparing loudness perception of low-pass filtered, high-pass filtered, and broadband pink noise at 35 Categorical Units for both unilateral and bilateral presentation. Study sample: Sixteen hearing-impaired listeners. Results: The results show that loudness differences between the three signals are different for bilateral presentation than for unilateral presentation. In specific, binaural loudness summation is larger for the low-pass filtered pink noise than for the high-pass filtered pink noise. Finally, individual variability in loudness perception near loudness discomfort level was found to be very large. Conclusions: Loudness matching is offered as a fast and reliable method to measure individual loudness perception. As discomfort with loud sounds is one of the major problems encountered by hearing aid users, measurement of individual loudness perception could improve hearing aid fitting substantially.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number5
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Psychoacoustics
  • binaural loudness summation
  • hearing aids
  • loudness perception
  • spectral loudness summation

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