Aim: The aims of this study were to examine the music perception abilities of Cochlear Nucleus Hybrid (acoustic plus electric stimulation) cochlear implant (CI) recipients and to compare their performance with that of normal-hearing (NH) adults and CI recipients using conventional long-electrode (LE) devices (Advanced Bionics: 90K, Clarion, CIIHF; Cochlear Corporation: CI24M, CI22, Contour; Ineraid). Hybrid CI recipients were compared with NH adults and LE CI recipients on recognition of (a) real-world melodies and (b) musical instruments. Patients and Methods: We tested 4 Hybrid CI recipients, 17 NH adults, and 39 LE CI recipients on open-set recognition of real-world songs presented with and without lyrics. We also tested 14 Hybrid CI recipients, 21 NH adults, and 174 LE CI recipients on closed-set recognition of 8 musical instruments playing a 7-note phrase. Results: On recognition of real-world songs, both the Hybrid recipients and NH listeners were significantly more accurate (p < 0.0001) than the LE CI recipients in the no lyrics condition, which required reliance on musical cues only. The LE group was significantly less accurate than either the Hybrid or NH group (p < 0.0001) on instrument recognition for low and high frequency ranges. Conclusions: These results, while preliminary in nature, suggest that preservation of low-frequency acoustic hearing is important for perception of real-world musical stimuli.

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