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In this letter, we consider cooperative spectrum sensing based on energy detection in cognitive radio networks. Soft combination of the observed energies from different cognitive radio users is investigated. Based on the Neyman-Pearson criterion, we obtain an optimal soft combination scheme that maximizes the detection probability for a given false alarm probability. Encouraged by the performance gain of soft combination, we further propose a new softened hard combination scheme with two-bit overhead for each user and achieve a good tradeoff between detection performance and complexity.