Or should I call this post “Let’s get rid of the Freakin Noise 2: FM Systems”.
I talked about Directional Microphones and how they can reduce the noise but about 4-5 dB. This technology is great for folks that have up to a moderate (50 dB HL) hearing loss.
But for people with moderate-severe (60 dB HL) losses or greater, you need more than directional microphones on your hearing aid.
Here’s why. Many times we find ourselves in places where the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is 0 dB. This means that the noise around you is the same loudness and the person you want to listen to. Think about a restaurant or bar with all sorts of people blabbing away. They are the same loudness as your spouse or buddy in front of you.
When you have a moderate-severe hearing loss, you need a SNR of 7 dB or greater to understand. So if a directional microphone gives you a 4 dB improvement, that’s still not enough.
An FM system gives you a 15-25 dB improvement. Now you can converse much easier in this noisy environment.
Here’s a link to a section on the Phonak Website that explains how FM systems work. But the key to getting the most out of an FM System is knowing how and where to use them. Here are the places that I personally use mine:
- Coffee Shop (Tim Hortons…mmmmm)
- Skiing Lessons
- Kayak Lessons
- Listening to iPod
- GPS in car
- Bass Guitar Practicing
- Live shows
- Tour guides
- and more