UCL Ear Institute



UCL AB-York Crescent of Sound Lab

AB York Crescent of Sound, photo by Philip Meech/ Action on Hearing Loss…

The AB-York Crescent of Sound is a test environment comprising of hardware and software for assessing spatial hearing in clinical populations. It is a nine speaker array with a central speaker positioned at 00 azimuth, and four speakers on either side of the crescent configuration at 150, 300, 600 and 900. The system is computer controlled and has a clinical and a research interface to allow for the easy use of standard clinical measures as well as for the development of clinical research resources.

The UCL system was provided to Dr Debi Vickers, as part of a collaborative research project with Professor Quentin Summerfield, University of York. The project was funded by an Action on Hearing Loss grant and looked at ‘A longitudinal comparison of outcomes for hearing-impaired children with either bilateral hearing aids or bilateral cochlear implants’. Dr Rosie Lovett was the post-doctoral researcher carrying out the project which has led to a change in recommendations for candidacy for cochlear implants in the UK. For further details on this project please see the study page.

Related publications

  • Vickers D., Summerfield Q., Lovett, R. (2015) Candidacy criteria for paediatric bilateral cochlear implantation in the United Kingdom. Cochlear Implants International 16: S48-9
  • Lovett, R., Vickers D., Summerfield, Q. (2015) Which Children Should be Considered Candidates for Bilateral Cochlear Implantation? Ear and Hearing 36 (1), 14-23
  • Lovett, R., Summerfield, Q., and Vickers, D. (2013) Test-retest reliability of the Toy Discrimination Test with a masker of noise or babble in children with hearing impairment. Int J Audiol , 52 (6) 377 - 384.


The UCL installation is currently housed in a UCL dedicated space (labelled school of Audiology) on the premises at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital to facilitate research projects with clinical populations.

The facilities are available for hire for UCL researchers and staff in our partner hospitals. All projects have to be individually approved to ensure that the resource is optimally utilised and that research commitments are appropriately supported. All requests should be sent to Dr Debi Vickers (d.vickers@ucl.ac.uk) who will arrange for training for all individuals accessing the crescent.