Hearing with 2 ears is better

If you have hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss), then you are most likely a candidate for two hearing devices. Here are some benefits to consider:

Better intelligibility

By wearing two hearing devices rather than one, selective listening is more easily achieved. This means your brain can focus on the conversation you want to hear. Research shows that people wearing two devices routinely understand speech and conversation significantly better than people wearing one device. Speech intelligibility is improved in difficult listening situations when wearing two hearing devices.

Better directionality

This is called localization. In a social gathering, for example, localization allows you to hear from which direction someone is speaking to you. Also, localization helps you determine from which direction traffic is coming from or where your children or grandchildren are playing. Simply put, with binaural hearing, you will better detect where sounds are coming from in every situation.

Better sound quality

When you listen to a stereo system, you use both speakers to get the smoothest, sharpest most natural sound quality. The same can be said of hearing devices. By wearing two devices, you increase your hearing range from 180 degrees with just one aid, to 360 degrees. This greater range provides a better sense of balance and sound quality. Wearing two hearing devices generally requires less volume than one. The need for less volume results in less distortion and better reproduction of amplified sounds.

Wider hearing range

A person can hear sounds from a further distance with two ears, rather than just one. A voice that's barely heard at 3m/10ft with one ear can be heard up to 12m/40ft with 2 ears.

Better sound identification

Often, with just one hearing device, many noises and words sound alike. But with two devices, as with two ears, sounds are more easily distinguishable. Keeps both ears active resulting in potentially less hearing loss deterioration Research has shown that when only one hearing device is worn, the unaided ear tends to lose its ability to hear and understand. This is clinically called the auditory deprivation effect. Wearing two devices keeps both ears active.

Less fatigue

More binaural hearing device wearers report that listening and participating in conversation is more enjoyable with two devices, instead of one. This is because they do not have to strain to hear with the better ear. Thus, binaural hearing can help make life more relaxing.

Balanced hearing

Two-eared hearing results in a feeling of balanced reception of sound, also known as the stereo effect, whereas monaural hearing creates an unusual feeling of sounds being heard in one ear.

More tolerable to loud sounds

A lower volume control setting is required with two hearing devices than is required with one. The result is a better tolerance of loud sounds.

Reduced feedback 

With a lower volume control setting the chances of hearing device feedback is reduced.

Tinnitus masking

Most people who suffer from tinnitus find significant relief when wearing two hearing devices. If a person with tinnitus wears a device in only one ear, there will still be ringing in the ear that does not have a hearing device.

General user preference

An overwhelming majority of consumers who have hearing loss in both ears, choose two hearing devices over one, when given the choice to hear binaurally. Research with more than 5,000 consumers with hearing loss in both ears demonstrated that binaurally fit subjects are more satisfied than people fit with one hearing device.

Logically, just as you use both eyes to see clearly, you need two healthy ears to hear clearly.

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