How Hearing Aids Help Speech Recognition

Do you struggle to hear words? Do you find yourself putting in more effort to understand what is being said to you?

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Maybe your spouse or children have mentioned you’re not listening to them.  Maybe they’ve expressed frustrations you’re not paying enough attention or insisted you’re memory is worsening with time.

If this sounds like you, you may be one of the many Americans with difficulty understanding spoken words.

Men talking to each other outside

Speech Recognition and Hearing Loss

One of the biggest pain points of hearing loss is impaired speech recognition. This means it can affect how we understand and engage in conversations.

Man listens to different sounds

Sounds and Hearing Loss

There are two types of sounds: speech and non-speech.

Speech sounds, like talking, are made up of many different frequencies. Since they’re made up of so many different frequencies, they’re considered complex and hard to hear. 

Non-speech sounds, Non-speech sounds, like a door closing or leaves rustling, are simpler and easier to hear. They tend to have much fewer frequencies than speech sounds. 

The Risk of Speech Recognition Loss

As you age, your ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. This happens because the tiny hair cells responsible for these sounds in our ears break down over time.

When you miss a lot of high tones in the sounds around you, it becomes challenging to hear soft consonant sounds like ‘S’ or ‘F’ in everyday speech. You might find yourself only making out parts of words, like /am/ instead of /Sam/ or /rank/ instead of /frank/. This can lead to words sounding unclear or jumbled.

It only gets harder for your brain to connect words with the corresponding sounds as you age. You need to put in more and more effort to hear. If your brain has to work very hard to make sense of the noises you’re hearing, you can quickly become exhausted.

Conversations and Hearing Loss

It’s estimated that we spend 70% of our waking hours communicating with others.

So, if you have trouble hearing and are struggling to understand conversations, it has a big impact on your life. 

Hearing aids improve speech recognition by making it easier to hear the individual sounds that comprise speech. They also help filter out background noise so you can focus on the person who is talking to you.

couple sitting at table having trouble hearing words in conversation

Benefits of Hearing Aids for Speech Recognition

There are many benefits of hearing aids for speech recognition.

Hearing aids can: 

  • Offer special features and programs to help you recognize speech patterns
  • Amplify specific sounds and voices in loud environments and from certain directions
  • Automatically adjust to the frequency of the human voice
  • Improve your ability to perceive high and low-frequency sounds
  • Make speech and sound clearer and richer
  • Tune out ambient noise

Hearing Aid Features and Speech Understanding 

Before we get into our products, let’s review how the features of different products help with speech recognition. 

Speech-finder:  Speech-finder technology is advanced technology capable of finding and enhancing speech sounds within your environment, no matter which direction it’s coming from. Your hearing aids determine where speech is coming from and direct the microphones to focus on the speech source. 

Your hearing aids are able to quickly capture and focus on speech sounds, so you don’t miss out on the conversation.

Adaptive-directional microphones:  Adaptive-directional microphones help with something called signal-to-noise ratio. When you’re in a noisy environment, you don’t want your hearing aids to pick up all sounds equally. Instead, you want your hearing aids to pick up the signal (speech) and reduce the background sound (noise).

Adaptive microphones use one microphone to reduce unwanted noise and the other to amplify the sounds that matter most, like speech sounds. This means that even in a crowded and busy environment, you can clearly understand speech and conversation. 

Equalizers:  Equalizers allow you to adjust the sound quality of the hearing aids yourself. 

With the equalizer, you gain control of bass, treble, and mid-range frequencies. If you’re having trouble hearing certain sounds, you can easily adjust your settings based on your specific needs.

Auto-adapt:  Auto-adapt automatically adjusts to your environment to help you hear speech sounds. The hearing aid automatically cycles between 4-6 hearing aid programs, which are all designed to help you hear. The programs vary depending on the model, but can include: “Conversation In Quiet”, “Conversation In A Small Group”, “Conversation In A Crowd”, “Conversation In Noise”, “Quiet”, and “Noise”.  

Soft-speech intensifier: This technology does exactly what it says. When people speak softly, it can be difficult to understand them. The soft-speech intensifier selectively amplifies soft speech sounds so that they are easier to hear and understand. 

Tinnitus masker:  Provides tinnitus relief and reduces distraction so it’s easier to focus on speech. 

Audicus Hearing Aids and Speech Recognition 

Below are some examples of how our hearing aids address speech understanding with their high-tech features:

The Omni: 

  1. Speech finder capabilities
  2. Adaptive-directional microphones
  3. Soft speech intensifier
  4. Equalizer
  5. Auto-adapt (6 programs)
  6. Tinnitus masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

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The Spirit 

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Soft speech intensifier
  3. Equalizer
  4. Tinnitus masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

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The Wave

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Tinnitus Masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

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The Mini

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Equalizer
  3. Tinnitus masker

Red and Blue Invisible Aura Hearing Aids

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Difference Between Amplifiers and True Hearing Aids

There are two types of devices that can help with hearing loss: amplifiers and true hearing aids. 

All Audicus hearing aids are true hearing aids. They are technologically advanced and can do much more complex things than amplifiers. 

Amplifiers are less technologically advanced. They simply make sounds louder but don’t filter out background noise or focus on the sound in front of you. 

This can actually make it more difficult to hear the speech because you’re getting a lot of information all at once. 

True hearing aids, on the other hand, use technology like binaural processing and directional microphones to help improve speech recognition. 

Binaural processing is when the hearing aid uses information from both ears to process sound. It gives your brain more information to work with, which improves speech recognition.

Why Advanced Hearing Aids Are Better for Speech Recognition

If you’re struggling to understand speech, you’ll want to choose a hearing aid that’s designed to make conversations easy.

Advanced hearing aids, for example, use technology like binaural processing and directional microphones to help improve speech recognition. 

True hearing aids, as opposed to amplifiers, are designed to amplify sound evenly across all frequencies. This means that you’ll be able to hear both high and low-frequency sounds equally well. 

While this may not seem important, it’s actually essential for speech recognition as speech is made up of a range of frequencies, from low to high. 

If you can’t hear all the frequencies that are used in speech, it’s difficult to understand what someone is saying. 

True hearing aids can also be customized to your specific hearing loss. This means that they can be adjusted to amplify the sound of speech more than other sounds.

For example, the ability to reduce background noise makes it easier to focus on the sound of someone’s voice.

Why Audicus? 

Unlike many other online hearing aid companies, Audicus offers true hearing aids.

Audicus also designs technology to help with speech recognition. All of our models have features and specs meant to make understanding conversation easier for you. 

If you’re struggling to hear and understand speech, don’t wait any longer to seek help. Getting hearing aids reduces the burden on your brain. It makes it easier to communicate with those who matter most in your life. 

Audicus is an award-winning hearing health company that produces advanced hearing aids online without markups. You can order online and get them delivered right to your door.