OBJECTIVES Otitis media with effusion (OME) is the presence of non-purulent inflammation in the middle ear. Hearing impairment is frequently associated with OME. Pure tone audiometry and speech audiometry are two of the most primarily utilised auditory assessments and provide valuable behavioural and functional estimation on hearing loss. This paper was designed to review and analyse the effects of the presence of OME on children's listening abilities. DESIGN A systematic and descriptive review. STUDY SAMPLE Twelve articles reporting frequency-specific pure tone thresholds and/or speech perception measures in children with OME were identified using PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, ProQuest and Google Scholar search platforms. RESULTS The hearing loss related to OME averages 18-35 dB HL. The air conduction configuration is roughly flat with a slight elevation at 2000 Hz and a nadir at 8000 Hz. Both speech-in-quiet and speech-in-noise perception have been found to be impaired. CONCLUSIONS OME imposes a series of disadvantages on hearing sensitivity and speech perception in children. Further studies investigating the full range of frequency-specific pure tone thresholds, and that adopt standardised speech test materials are advocated to evaluate hearing related disabilities with greater comprehensiveness, comparability and enhanced consideration of their real life implications.