We spend a lot of time on hear discussing difficulties with speech in noise. Wondering if this could simplify the search for a solution for many. Get a Speech in Noise test like Quick SIN. If results suggest the need for a S/N ratio greater than 10dB, plan on using a supplementary microphone system, like Resound MultiMic or Phonak Roger. If 0-5dB, likely hearing aids with good noise reduction can help. 5-10dB–maybe. A decent chance hearing aids might do it, but also a good chance that supplementary microphones would be needed.
Totally agree! Speech in Noise is just about the #1 issue for most of us here, and it would be great to have a benchmark against which one would not have to GUESS, but rather would KNOW: it’s time for some other extraneous assistive listening device.
Short of that (or maybe even related to the issue!) is my dream of being able to literally stream ALL sound coming into my ears. Not sure how that could be accomplished given the small size of aids and the batteries that would need changing or charging up every few hours, eh?
But still: the whole point of a hearing aid is to HEAR all sound better. For me, that improvement is dramatic when streamed right onto my eardrums! No comparison with putting a phone on “speakerphone” mode vs just streaming the call into my aids directly.
Now, like Rip Van Winkle, I need to go to sleep for 40 years until someone figures this all out!
Heh. You know what the most common response is when I suggest this to a patient? “No, I won’t use something like that.”
I get that tangentially from all the people who don’t want to use a separate streaming device, but it seems like people with “poor” Quick SIN results should be told that their hearing aids shoud do well in quiet, but won’t cut it in noise. Seems like with enough separation in microphones and enough computing power it could be accomplished (if the aids could hone in on the voice (loudest voice I’d guess) and use the separation in mics to remove or reduce everything else), but I don’t imagine that happening for awhile. I get the impression that Resound MultiMic and Phonak Roger are superior to Oticon, Signia, Widex and Starkey’s remote microphones. Any truth to that or am I the victim of marketing?
^^^ Your observation has me reflecting on more than 30 years of audiological visits I’ve had. No offense to all the qualified, experienced fitters out there, but there is not adequate testing of the patient BEFORE they walk out of the clinic with their aids.
For example, the audiologist should play a “party scene” video on a monitor and ask the patient to follow a conversation. That is a real-life situation that would likely involve some lip-reading AND actually being able to hear speech in noise.
Another thing that should be tested is using one’s phone - have the patient call a friend or family member and see if they can understand the conversation. Have them call a different person on the phone right in the exam room there! Yes, many times we with aids have to grab a phone or get the phone chucked over to us. Can we HEAR on phones other than our cellphone?
Finally, make sure the patient can hear a TV program. I mean, how expensive would it be for a fitter to have a laptop or TV right there in the exam room and see if the patient can hear programs without a streamer. Then set up a streamer for the TV (and phone) and see if the patient likes that better.
Instead, I get the feeling that patients are sized up by their fitter/audiologist and perhaps not given the benefit of the doubt about the devices available to make life easier.
Yes, I too would hesitate to be tethered to a Roger Pen, grasped in my right hand like Bob Dole, or have to ask anyone at a table with me to put a necklace on so I can hear them better - absolutely! The Gear Monkey part is not appealing. But on the other hand, if these devices were demonstrated … well, some of us could actually be convinced about their benefits!
I do these demos constantly. We have great roger pricing which makes it super accessible, if only people were more open to it.
My general experience, when I think about it, is that new users aren’t ready for it. I have much more success getting experienced users to accept a demo and then use it successfully. And I don’t mean REALLY new users who are just dealing with hearing aids being generally overwhelming, I mean users who are on their first hearing aid, but maybe a few years in. I suppose even getting hearing aids in the first place takes a few years of discomfort before someone is ready. Recognizing that they aren’t going to be enough in noise takes a few years again, even if someone tells you straight up right from the start that it is not going to be enough.