The goal of the present work was to report and investigate the performances of a new iterative reconstruction algorithm, using a model observer. For that, a dedicated low-contrast phantom containing different targets was scanned at four volume computed tomography dose index (CTDIvol) levels on a Siemens SOMATOM Force computed tomography (CT). The acquired images were reconstructed using the ADMIRE algorithm and were then assessed by three human observers who performed alternative forced choice experiments. Next, a channelised hotelling observer model was applied on the same set of images. The comparison between the two was performed using the percentage correct as a figure of merit. The results indicated a strong agreement between human and model observer as well as an improvement in the low-contrast detection when switching from an ADMIRE strength of 1–3. Good results were also observed even in situations where the target was hard to detect, suggesting that patient dose could be further reduced and optimised.