Improvement of sound source localization abilities in patients bilaterally supplied with active middle ear implants

Viktor Koci, Josef Seebacher, Viktor Weichbold, Patrick Zorowka, Astrid Wolf-Magele, Georg Sprinzl, Kurt Stephan

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

7 Citations (Scopus)


CONCLUSIONS: Patients, who are bilaterally supplied with active middle ear implants, perform slightly better in sound localization tasks than when unilaterally aided or unaided.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of bilateral use of active middle ear implants on sound source localization in the horizontal plane in patients with a sloping moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

METHODS: Ten adults supplied with Med-EL Vibrant Soundbridge systems (VSB) in both ears participated in the study. Four listening conditions were tested: unaided, aided with VSB on left or right ear and on both sides. In each condition the subjects had to judge the direction of broadband noises delivered randomly across a semicircular array of 11 loudspeakers arranged in an anechoic chamber.

RESULTS: When unaided or bilaterally aided, the subjects localized on average 40% of the stimuli correct; when unilaterally aided (left or right), this rate dropped to 20-30% in either condition. Precision of sound localization was highest when bilaterally aided, i.e. the mean RMS angular error was 10°, and lowest when unilaterally aided, i.e. 15°. This is in line with bilateral hearing aid users, who show similar performance in sound localization tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-698
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jul 2016


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ossicular Prosthesis/statistics & numerical data
  • Sound Localization
  • Vibrant Soundbridge
  • bilateral implant
  • Middle ear implant
  • sound source localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Improvement of sound source localization abilities in patients bilaterally supplied with active middle ear implants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this