Reading impairments have previously been associated with auditory processing differences. We examined auditory stream biasing, a global aspect of auditory temporal processing. Children with reading impairments, control children and adults heard a 10 s long stream-bias-inducing sound sequence (a repeating 1000 Hz tone) and a test sequence (eight repetitions of two pure tones of 1000 and 1420 Hz in an XYX-XYX pattern) with a variable delay interval (from 0.09 to 8 s) between the two sequences. Reading-impaired children had a significantly lower proportion of streamed responses than control children and adults. Streamed responses in reading-impaired participants differed according to their musical experience, but musically experienced reading-impaired participants were still significantly different from musically experienced controls. Reading impairments are associated with global differences in auditory integration, and musical experience needs to be considered when investigating auditory processing capabilities. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.