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Directional Microphones: Advantages and Disadvantages

Directional microphones are the only proven way to help hearing impaired people understand speech better in the presence of background noise. Even normal hearing people have problems understanding speech in the presence of background noise -- and this is even more difficult for someone with hearing loss.

Directional microphones help the hearing instrument focus on the sounds in front of you and use less amplification for the sounds behind you. For example, one situation in which directional amplification would be useful is if you are conversing with someone sitting across the table in a restaurant. Directional amplification allows more amplification to be applied to the person you are facing, while less amplification would be applied to the sounds coming from behind you.

Directional microphones are highly desirable in hearing instruments since understanding speech in the presence of noise is a major complaint for hearing impaired people. Most digital hearing instruments available today have directional microphones as a standard feature, and sometimes they can be offered as an option.


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