Imagine the following situation: you are sitting in a noisy restaurant, the table is full of friends who you have not seen for a long time. Drinks arrive and one of your friends sitting a few seats away from you starts to tell a joke. Everyone at the table is listening to the joke.
You hear the beginning, and you have the feeling that this is a good one. Then you start to hear only fragments of the joke. Suddenly all your friends are laughing and you have no idea why.
Understanding speech when there is background noise can be challenging for anyone, even with ‘normal’ hearing. Imagine then how much more frustrating this situation can be for your clients with hearing loss. They will find it especially difficult. In this scenario of a noisy restaurant when the speaker is at the other end of the table, hearing aids alone are not likely to be enough.
How to approach this with your clients
One way to discuss this with your clients who you suspect are having difficulties understanding speech in noise, can be to ask them; “Do you want to be able hear the punchline of a joke in a noisy restaurant? If the answer is yes, you should consider using a remote microphone.”
Roger technology was designed to address speech understanding in noise. There is an assortment of Roger microphones to choose from, with use cases ranging from one-on-one conversations to large-scale meetings and events with multiple active talkers, as in the restaurant, and are ideal for use in classrooms, the workplace, and everywhere in between.
The Roger NeckLoop is a wonderful new option because it is compatible with virtually any hearing instrument with a telecoil program. With its light weight and detachable neck loop in two lengths, it is a comfortable and suitable option for adults and children older than 8 years old.
The difference between understanding 27% and 81% speech in noise2
Using a Roger system composed of a Roger NeckLoop and a Roger microphone can make the difference between hearing ¼ of what is being said and more than ¾ of what is being said.2 The results come from a study including varied brands of hearing aids in a simulated meeting situation with 60 dB background noise. On average, the 14 test subjects understood 27% using hearing aids alone and 81% using hearing aids in combination with this Roger system.
“Why would I choose to hear less?”
After testing performance with hearing aids alone and hearing aids in combination with this Roger system, the test subjects were asked which option they preferred. In 100% of the cases, test subjects preferred the option with hearing aids and the Roger system, regardless which brand of hearing aid worn. One of the test subjects summarized it in a very simple way: “Why would I choose to hear less?”
Offering something extra
Roger technology might not be for everyone, but our job as hearing care professionals should be to take the time to explain and demonstrate Roger technology for all our clients, no matter what brand of hearing aid they are wearing. We should offer the option of getting the punchline the next time they are sharing jokes with friends in a noisy restaurant.
To learn more about the study, we invite you to read a recent Field Study News titled, “Speech improvement using Roger NeckLoop with different brands of hearing aids.” You can also learn more about Roger NeckLoop on our product pages.
- Thibodeau, L. (2014).Comparison of speech recognition with adaptive digital and FM wireless technology by listeners who use hearing aids. American Journal of Audiology, 23(2), 201-210.
- Lejon, K. A. and Smith, C. (2021) Speech improvement using Roger NeckLoop with different brands of hearing aids. Phonak Field Study News. Retrieved from: www.phonakpro.com/evidence. Accessed March 26, 2021.