Considerable research on speech intelligibility for cochlear-implant users has been conducted using acoustic simulations with normal-hearing subjects. However, some relevant topics about perception through cochlear implants remain scantly explored. The present study examined the perception by normal-hearing subjects of gender and identity of a talker as a function of the number of channels in spectrally reduced speech. Two simulation strategies were compared. They were implemented by two different processors that presented signals as either the sum of sine waves at the center of the channels or as the sum of noise bands. In Experiment 1, 15 subjects determined the gender of 40 talkers (20 males + 20 females) from a natural utterance processed through 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 16 channels with both processors. In Experiment 2, 56 subjects matched a natural sentence uttered by 10 talkers with the corresponding simulation replicas processed through 3, 4, 8, and 16 channels for each processor. In Experiment 3, 72 subjects performed the same task but different sentences were used for natural and processed stimuli. A control Experiment 4 was conducted to equate the processing steps between the two simulation strategies. Results showed that gender and talker identification was better for the sine-wave processor, and that performance through the noise-band processor was more sensitive to the number of channels. Implications and possible explanations for the superiority of sine-wave simulations are discussed.