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Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hearing Aids Technology that Tackles Background Noise

Technology wires

Back in the day, The Bionic Woman used her super hearing to save the world. And sometimes a cat. In the 70’s it seemed futuristic that someone could focus hearing technology on something they specifically wanted to hear. Well, the future is here. Today's hearing technologies have made amazing strides in working with natural hearing to compensate for challenging background listening environments.

For decades hearing science has quietly compiled and improved technologies as diverse as those used in the military, in music, and computers. All of these fields have gone into designing hearing instruments that align and work with your natural hearing. That’s not to say you’ll be able to hear a cat meowing from a tree three blocks away, but today’s hearing instruments can:
• Focus in on the sounds you want to hear while diminishing those you don’t want to hear
• Help you hold conversations with family members and friends while at a restaurant, on a hiking trail, or in a sailboat
• Let you use cell phone apps to adjust your hearing aids to specifically align with your natural hearing and in specific situations
• Maintain and active and social lifestyle without fear of feeling left out or having to ask for things to be repeated
• Keep whole hearing health which stimulates parts of your brain functions at the highest levels

Different manufacturers have different technology features and programs that allow you to focus on what you want to hear. Here is a list of some different manufacturer technologies for background noise:

  • Oticon's Speech Guard E: The E is represents "elevated performance." This feature is Oticon's most advanced that not only delivers clear sounds in stable environments, but adjusts to sudden changes in environment and works to preserve “the important details of speech” when there are disturbances such as background noise. This preservation, according to the manufacturer, "helps to reduce the effort required to understand speech and makes it easier for...users....to follow and engage in conversations intuitively and with less effort – even in challenging, noisy environments such as crowds with multiple speakers."
  • Phonak's AutoSense OS: Less a features and more an automatic operating system that continually and seamlessly compensate for changes in the listening environment. Here is a video, complete with creepy robot voice, from the manufacturer that explains this technology:
  • Widex's Sound Class Technology: Sound Class is designed to help a person hear what they want to hear while diminishing distracting or unwanted noises. According to the manufacturer this technology, "instantly assess the sound environment to suit each individual’s unique sound situation and hearing loss." The cool thing about this technology is that it is based on a huge Sound Library that allows the hearing aid to be programmed to detect your sound environment. According to an article on this technology, "So if you are with a group of people, they will know to focus on speech rather than background noise – but if you are in the forest, there will be more focus on the little things, like the leaves crunching beneath your feet."
  • These new technologies are just a sample of some of the amazing science that has been invented to more naturally work with your existing hearing. If you'd like to learn more about other hearing aid technologies, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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