The Hearing Aid Features You Need to Hear Better in Noise

Spending more money on a hearing aid doesn’t guarantee you will obtain the features you need to hear better in noise. These are the features to look our for when buying a hearing aid.

Navigating the cacophony of a bustling restaurant, the hum of a crowded street, or the lively chatter at a family gathering can be a challenge for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for those with hearing loss. Thankfully, modern hearing aids are equipped with advanced technologies designed to enhance hearing in noisy environments. However, buying the most expensive hearing aid doesn’t necessarily mean the device will have the features you need to hear better in noise. In fact, some manufacturers provide excellent features in their mid-range hearing aids, so knowing what you need will help you to make the right choice.

Here are the features you need in your hearing aid to give you the best chance of hearing better in a noisy environment:

1. Beamforming Directional Microphones
Beamforming directional microphones are a revolutionary feature in hearing aids that significantly enhance speech understanding in noisy environments. Unlike a lot of the features promoted to help you hear well in noise, there is good evidence to show the significant benefits of this technology. Beamforming Directional Microphones create a directional beam, focusing on sounds coming from a specific direction—usually in front of the user—while reducing the noise from other directions.

2. Adaptive Directionality

A lot of hearing aids can automatically adjust the directionality based on the environment, ensuring optimal hearing regardless of the noise source’s location. When this technology is used in conjunction with a Beamforming Directional Microphone, then it works even better.

2. Noise Reduction Algorithms
Noise reduction algorithms play a crucial role in improving hearing in noisy environments. These algorithms analyse the incoming sound, differentiate between speech and noise, and reduce the background noise without affecting the clarity of speech.

3. Speech Enhancement Technology
Speech enhancement technology complements noise reduction by specifically amplifying speech frequencies. This feature assists the user to hear and understand speech more clearly, even when there’s significant background noise.

4. Binaural Processing
Binaural processing involves the communication between the hearing aids in both ears, allowing them to work together to better process sound.

5. Automatic Scene Analysis
Automatic scene analysis allows hearing aids to recognize and adapt to different acoustic environments automatically. This feature ensures that the hearing aids provide the best possible hearing experience without manual adjustments. This is often referred to as Environmental Classification.

7. Connectivity Features
Modern hearing aids come equipped with various connectivity features that can enhance hearing in noise. These can include Remote Microphones that can be placed closer to the sound source, such as a speaker or a conversation partner, and transmit the audio directly to the hearing aids, bypassing the surrounding noise.

The advancements in hearing aid technology have significantly improved the ability of individuals with hearing loss to hear well in noisy environments. Features like beamforming directional microphones,, noise reduction algorithms, speech enhancement, binaural processing, automatic scene analysis and connectivity options work together to provide a comprehensive solution. These innovations not only enhance speech understanding but also contribute to a more comfortable and natural hearing experience, allowing users to engage confidently in various social settings.

For anyone struggling with hearing in noisy environments, exploring these features with an audiologist can lead to a better quality of life and more enjoyable interactions, enabling you to live life to the full. A lot of these features are available from some manufacturers in the mid-range priced hearing aids. Remember, spending more money doesn’t guarantee your device has all of the features you need, so consulting with an Audiologist who thoroughly understands the differences between manufacturers and technology levels is essential to ensure you get the best value for money.