August 9, 2013
Florida residents agree with Consumer Report on Hearing Aids.
By Dan Gardner M.S., CEO Audiology
Today’s review of a hearing aid study that Gardner Audiology and Dr. Judith Reese completed 6 years ago agrees with Consumer Reports recommendation that consumers should purchase hearing aids that have a directional microphone feature. Directional microphones were the only technology proven to manage background noise in hearing aids. At that time directional microphones were not a standard feature on most behind the ear hearing aids with thin tube open fittings. We wanted to compare consumer satisfaction with hearing aids using directional microphone verses those that did not.
Subjects and Procedures
Participants were both new and experienced hearing aid users. They completed a pre-fitting survey, were evaluated, and fitted with loaner field study aids that had directional microphones. Following a four week trial the participants completed a post-fitting survey.
A review pre and post fitting surveys from 215 study participants showed that both new hearing aid users and previous hearing aid uses reported significant improvement in speech understanding in quiet and noisy situations when they wore hearing aids with directional microphones as compared to hearing aids without directional microphones.
Today’s Hearing Aids
Most hearing aid manufacturers now include directional microphones on all models of aids except those that fit deep inside the ear canal. I agree with Consumer Reports. Based on interviews with thousands of patients since our first study 6 years ago, I know that directional microphones provide the best value in hearing aids. Most of our patients enjoy the benefits of directional microphones in today’s hearing aids.