Speech perception in noise: Masking and unmasking

Document Type


Publication Date



Speech perception is essential for daily communication. Background noise or concurrent talkers, on the other hand, can make it challenging for listeners to track the target speech (i.e., cocktail party problem). The present study reviews and compares existing findings on speech perception and unmasking in cocktail party listening environments in English and Mandarin Chinese. The review starts with an introduction section followed by related concepts of auditory masking. The next two sections review factors that release speech perception from masking in English and Mandarin Chinese, respectively. The last section presents an overall summary of the findings with comparisons between the two languages. Future research directions with respect to the difference in literature on the reviewed topic between the two languages are also discussed.