Trying to hear what your friend is saying on a noisy subway or at a crowded restaurant can be tough – even if you have normal hearing. For people with hearing loss it’s especially difficult.
Luckily hearing aids now come equipped with a speech enhancer, which uses noise reduction technology to reduce background noise and helps you focus on what you need to hear. Here’s how it works:
The definition of noise
is simple – it’s all the stuff you don’t want to hear. It’s the roar of city traffic, the chatter of other diners at the restaurant, and the noisy sound of the plane’s engine as you sit on the runway.
Identifying noise is easy. Reducing it is more difficult. How is it possible to get rid of the noise you don’t want to hear while focusing on the important stuff - like your friend’s voice or the announcement from the cockpit?
Most modern hearing aids have some sort of noise reduction system that is designed to dampen background noise. These systems vary by manufacturer – many simply dampen low frequencies to reduce the noise. Unfortunately this tactic can dampen speech along with the background noise.
We found a way around this problem with the Widex Speech Enhancer
How does a Speech Enhancer work?
The Speech Enhancer is different from simple noise reduction systems in that it doesn´t just dampen noise - it also amplifies speech.
When we listen to a sound, we are rarely in doubt as to whether it is speech or noise. The Speech Enhancer in modern hearing aids is able to distinguish the two in much the same way as our brains do – by using the fact that speech consists of a number of varying sound components that follow each other at brief intervals.
How can a Speech Enhancer help me?
The Speech Enhancer helps you focus on speech - so you don’t have to strain to hear what the guy across from you is saying at a cocktail party. By taking your level of hearing loss into account, your hearing professional can program your hearing aid to match your level of speech understanding in each listening environment.
With reduced noise levels, you will probably find it more comfortable to be in a noisy environment for a long period of time. Not only will you be less stressed – but you will be more involved as well. With better speech recognition, you’ll be able to understand and enjoy what others have to say without straining to hear through unwanted noise.