Adaptive signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) tracking is often used to measure speech reception in noise. Because SNR varies with performance using this method, data interpretation can be confounded when measuring an SNR-dependent effect such as the fluctuating-masker benefit (FMB) (the intelligibility improvement afforded by brief dips in the masker level). One way to overcome this confound, and allow FMB comparisons across listener groups with different stationary-noise performance, is to adjust the response set size to equalize performance across groups at a fixed SNR. However, this technique is only valid under the assumption that changes in set size have the same effect on percentage-correct performance for different masker types. This assumption was tested by measuring nonsense-syllable identification for normal-hearing listeners as a function of SNR, set size and masker (stationary noise, 4- and 32-Hz modulated noise and an interfering talker). Set-size adjustment had the same impact on performance scores for all maskers, confirming the independence of FMB (at matched SNRs) and set size. These results, along with those of a second experiment evaluating an adaptive set-size algorithm to adjust performance levels, establish set size as an efficient and effective tool to adjust baseline performance when comparing effects of masker fluctuations between listener groups.