New technologies and binaural processing
Binaural processing with hearing aids is more than just being able to hear with both ears. New technologies for people with hearing loss allow users to have a 360-degree hearing experience that makes it easier to locate sounds. New innovative technologies are being developed so that hearing aid wearers have the most natural hearing possible. Processing algorithms for hearing aids take complex situations and analyze them so that the user can hear what is more important.
Think of the way normal hearing aids work in terms of a driving a car. Although you typically look directly in front of you to maneuver the roadways, you will need to periodically glance in the rearview and side mirrors to stay safe. Binaural fusion technology allows the hearing aid wearer to have access to all the "views" that a driver would normally have, compared with just having a direct "view" of the road.
Binaural fusion hearing aids analyze the level and types of sound in a person's environment. This technology helps wearers understand the location of the sound and the signal-to-noise ratio for speech. The technology of these devices are based in human binaural processing literature, which notes how people who do not wear hearing aids pay attention to the environment around them and process important sounds rather than background noise.
People who do not have hearing loss can detect and comprehend a sound that is coming up from behind them, even if there is a louder sound in front of them. Binaural fusion makes it possible for hearing aids to work together to comprehend all of the sounds that are in their vicinity and process them appropriately.
Hearing aids and binaural processing
Hearing aids with binaural processing cooperate together to allow a user to determine the settings for any listening environment while reducing background noise. This makes it easier to listen and concentrate on a person who is talking, which increases confidence and allows for hearing aid wearers to have less strain on their hearing. Sound quality, localization and speech understanding without distortion or delay are also major benefits.
Binaural technology allows for hearing aids to work in a two-step process to prioritize a wearer's decision making and analyzation of the environment. While the hearing aids generally pick up the loudest speech as a first priority, they "take into consideration" the background noises so a wearer can move through a conversation or environment seamlessly.