What is directional hearing?

What is directional hearing?

Ear structure

Directional microphones inside hearing instruments are more sensitive to picking up sounds in certain directions and allow hearing instrument users to focus on certain sounds, specifically the most important sounds they want to hear.

You may have heard of the “cocktail party effect”: if you are in a noisy place, you can still hear someone pronounce your name at a normal volume. That’s because your brain and ears are working together to ignore background noise and hear the important things louder.

Directional microphones can work in different ways. A microphone can be made directional by adding ports on both sides of the sound receiving sensor. Sounds coming from both sides, which are often background hum, cancel each other out and allow the listener to concentrate on sounds coming from one direction.

Hearing characteristics

Within the degrees of directionality in hearing aids for the hearing impaired, we find the Intelligent Directional Pattern. Also known as Adaptive Directionality, this type of directional system allows a greater degree of customization for cases in which there are different transmitters during conversation.

In short, the main difference between omnidirectional and directional hearing aids is that with omnidirectional hearing aids, sounds are perceived in their own environment, while with directional hearing aids it is possible to discriminate between noise and speech.

Hearing function

Hearing aids with directional technology are characterized by two microphones in charge of detecting where the sound comes from, amplifying the sounds coming from the front and filtering the sounds coming from the back, facilitating the conversations of hearing aid users in situations where there is a lot of background noise.

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There are different models of directional microphones, such as omnidirectional microphones, which have the same sensitivity in all directions, receiving any sound wave with equal intensity regardless of its direction of origin.

In the case of directional microphones, preference is given to sounds coming from only one direction in space, and their sensitivity decreases as sound waves come from more lateral or posterior directions.

In short, the difference between omnidirectional hearing aids and directional hearing aids is that with the former, sounds are perceived with the background noise of the environment itself and with the latter, it is possible to discriminate between noise and speech.

Human auditory system

This group of four intelligent features work together to analyze the patient’s listening environment and make the necessary variable adjustments so that he or she can actively participate in any conversation, no matter where he or she goes.

SpeechPro allows speech to be optimally located and understood from all directions, even in the most demanding listening environments – conversations in noise and in crowded places.

Patients will automatically enjoy clearer conversations in the most difficult listening situations. Thanks to binaural spatial processing, SpeechZone activates maximum directionality, with a real focus on speech when the hearing instruments determine that they are speaking to us from the front in a noisy environment.

Log It All is an industry-first solution that collects real-life patient data so you can lead evidence-based conversations about your lifestyle and technology level choices.

What is directional hearing?
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