Adding frequency modulations (FM) cues to vocoded (AM) speech aids speech recognition for younger listeners. However, this may not be true for older listeners since they have poorer FM detection thresholds. We measured FM detection thresholds of young and older adults; and in a sentence context examined whether adding FM cues to vocoded speech would assist older adults. Young and old participants were presented vocoded sentences in quiet and multitalker-babble with/without FM cues. Older adults had elevated FM detection thresholds but received the same-size FM benefit as younger adults, showing that they have the capacity to benefit from FM speech cues.
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