Recent improvements in speech recognition for profoundly deaf cochlear implant patients have suggested that some severely hearing-impaired people would be more successful with a cochlear implant than a hearing aid. In order to investigate this possibility, a detailed investigation of the aided speech perception performance of people with severe hearing losses (n=30) was conducted. Speech recognition tests included 24 consonant recognition, 11 vowel recognition, CNC words, CUNY sentences, and the Connected Speech Test. Significant correlations (p<0.01) were found between pure-tone thresholds and speech recognition test results. A large proportion of the variance in the scores was not accounted for by this factor. Other factors, such as the configuration of the hearing loss, type of pathology, use of contextual cues, and age will be discussed. Comparisons of mean scores were made between the group of severely hearing-impaired people and a comparable group of multiple channel cochlear implant users. It was found that the severely hearing-impaired group performed better (p<0.01) than the group of cochlear implant users in the consonant, vowel, and word recognition tasks. Conversely, in assessments of sentence recognition the cochlear implant group performed better (p<0.01) than the group with severe hearing impairment.