Performance of Directional Microphone Hearing Aids in Everyday Life
07 August 2020 (online)
This study explored the use patterns and benefits of directional microphone technology in real world situations experienced by patients who had been fitted with switchable omnidirectional/directional hearing aids. Telephone interviews and paper-and-pencil questionnaires were used to assess perceived performance with each microphone type in a variety of listening situations. Patients who used their hearing aids regularly and switched between the two microphone configurations reported using the directional mode, on average, about one-quarter of the time. From brief descriptions, patients could identify listening situations in which each microphone mode should provide superior performance. Further, they reported encountering listening situations in which an omnidirectional microphone should provide better performance more frequently than listening situations in which the directional microphones should be superior. Despite using the omnidirectional mode more often and encountering situations in which an omnidirectional microphone should provide superior performance more frequently, participants reported the same level of satisfaction with each microphone type.