To successfully infer a speaker's emotional state, diverse sources of emotional information need to be decoded. The present study explored to what extent emotional speech recognition of 'basic' emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, pleasant surprise, sadness) differs between different sex (male/female) and age (young/middle-aged) groups in a behavioural experiment. Participants were asked to identify the emotional prosody of a sentence as accurately as possible. As a secondary goal, the perceptual findings were examined in relation to acoustic properties of the sentences presented. Findings indicate that emotion recognition rates differ between the different categories tested and that these patterns varied significantly as a function of age, but not of sex.