Saturday, August 17, 2019

Hearing Better in Noise Lately?

Since most people had still struggled to understand speech in noise, we went to Florida (and soon to Las Vegas) to learn more about new technology to hear better in noise:

Las Vegas
While we're not "Vegas people" per say, or normally gravitate to the heat in Florida, one of the perks of owning a professional medical office is having our Hearing Aid manufacturers regularly send us all over the country (all expenses paid) to learn about the latest and greatest in Hearing Aid Technologies.

We recently enjoyed a 5-Star resort in Florida and a great side-trip-tour to the Everglades. Our next destination is Las Vegas for Sept/2019. (Of course we can't resist a show to see The Blue Man Group since were already there).

On this next trip (after a nice swim at the resort pool) we will be focusing on the advances of rechargeable Hearing Aids and new exciting developments on Hearing better in noise, which has been an ongoing struggle with many hearing loss patients.

Recently, hearing aids have finally become better at separating noise from speech in busy restaurants etc. Previous hearing aids have had some level of noise reduction, but not enough intelligent noise reduction without impairing the sound of the person talking with you, while in those environments. Thus, they did take down a little noise, but they also made the person speaking with you sound a bit muddy; like they were under water.

The key to noise reduction (and this takes incredible processing) is to reduce noise without reducing the person's voice who's speaking with you.

Hearing Aid Technology

As mentioned earlier, most hearing aids have not been doing a good job at this demanding task; the top manufacturers like ReSound have been getting our past concerns, and thus spending millions on figuring out just how to make a hearing aid so smart, that is "knows" the difference between noise and the human voice. And not just a any human voice, but the voice that is speaking with you.

It's very difficult for a Hearing Aid processor to actually take out the distant human voices of those who are not speaking with you, while retaining the voice of those who are talking with you. After all, those distant voices are a large part of the noise that's hindering your understanding of speech.

One of the many things that impressed me as a professional audio engineer of 35 years, was this new ability of the ReSound Linx Quattro series to record the actual noise environment that you enter, analyze it, and then reduce it so you can understand the companions who are speaking to you.

Better Hearing in Noise

So this new advancement is not just analyzing any noise, but the actual noise you are presently in. This is huge since environmental noise can vary from one place to another. So thanks to this modern technique, you can now have the actual noise you would had been struggling with be reduced as you enter into it; and at the same time, have your companion's voice enhanced for ease of understanding their words.

So when you hear of someone complaining that their hearing aids amplify all the noise and voices together (making it very hard to understand words) now you can tell them there is new technology that has transformed the way people comprehend speech in noisy areas.

This new "wow" factor has taken our hearing aids to a whole new level of listening enjoyment and speech understanding...

We look forward to the next learning experience as part of our commitment to help people hear better in noise!