If you are in a crowded restaurant, on a congested train platform, or walking along a major downtown street, there are situations where the noise around you is overpowering. For the hearing aid users, the problem of background noise can be immense. It’s a big challenge to differentiate one sound from the background noise. Fortunately, many newer hearing devices are incorporating a digital noise reduction feature, a type of technology that helps block out unwanted sounds so you can focus on the things you want to hear.
Hearing aids that utilize digital noise reduction technology are able to pick up on the unique differences between speech and noise. If a person is talking to you in a quiet room, the device knows that the signals it is picking up are speech signals. However, when conversing in a noisy environment, your digital noise reduction equipped hearing aid can tell that there is unwanted sound present. Once your device picks up on sounds that may interfere with your ability to follow a conversation, it automatically lowers the volume in the noisy channels.
There is no hearing aid that can completely block out noise interference, but this function can still go a long way when it comes to lessening the frustration that comes from communicating in noisy areas. People who use this feature tend to find that background noise becomes less overpowering while speech patterns become easier to hear and understand.
Digital noise reduction technology works best when the background noise it is combating is fairly constant. While digital noise reduction may not be completely effective in reducing the impact of loud music or nearby conversation, it can greatly reduce steady sounds such as an air conditioner or a motor.
To give your digital noise reduction capable hearing aid the best chance at succeeding, use common sense measures in conjunction with technology. If dining in a crowded restaurant, for example, consider asking to be seated in a quieter part of the room or request that the music playing overhead be turned down.
Digital noise reduction technology isn’t a fix for all background noise problems, but every little bit helps and the technology continues to improve every year.