by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
When asked, “In your view, what features of hearing aids are most positively correlated to customer satisfaction?” Sergi Kochkin, Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute replied, “In all my experience in conducting market research in the hearing health care industry, I’ve never come across a factor as strongly correlated with customer satisfaction as the directional feature in hearing aids.”
He further explained, “When you combine advanced digital–which can be taken to mean ‘better hearing comfort in noise’–with a quality directional system–which means ‘better hearing in noise’–you arrive at a pretty good solution for hearing loss.” (Reported in The Hearing Review, October, 2005 p. 30.)
Therefore, if you are going to get new hearing aids, insist on hearing aids that both effectively reduce background noise and also have good directional microphones for use in noisy situations. You will be much happier with your new hearing aids if you do so. At the same time, don’t forget to insist that your hearing aids have good t-coils in them too.