The aim of the present study was to investigate how well the virtual psychophysical measures of spatial hearing from the preliminary auditory profile predict self-reported spatial-hearing abilities.
Virtual spatial-hearings tests (conducted unaided, via headphones) and a questionnaire were administered in five centres in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. Correlations and stepwise linear regression models were calculated among a group of hearing-impaired listeners.
Thirty normal-hearing listeners aged 19-39 years, and 72 hearing-impaired listeners aged 22-91 years with a broad range of hearing losses, including asymmetrical and mixed hearing losses.
Several significant correlations (between 0.24 and 0.54) were found between results of virtual psychophysical spatial-hearing tests and self-reported localization abilities. Stepwise linear regression analyses showed that the minimum audible angle (MAA) test was a significant predictor for self-reported localization abilities (5% extra explained variance), and the spatial speech reception threshold (SRT) benefit test for self-reported listening to speech in spatial situations (6% extra explained variance).
The MAA test and spatial SRT benefit test are indicative measures of everyday binaural functioning. The binaural SRT benefit test was not found to predict self-reported spatial-hearing abilities.