Signia has revealed a new setting for its hearing devices which is designed specifically to improve audibility for situations where the user must communicate with another person wearing a face mask.
This, the hearing aid specialist claims, is the world’s first hearing device setting specifically for this scenario.
The company also revealed that to activate the setting does not require in-person adjustments with a hearing care professional.
The development comes after a Signia study of people with normal hearing revealed that they find it 30% more difficult to hear a person wearing a face mask.
Tish Ramirez, Audiologist at Signia, commented: “The hearing challenges presented by face masks became obvious pretty quickly into the pandemic, so Signia developed the first-of-its-kind Face Mask Mode to help those with hearing loss better communicate in this new reality.
“When this setting is activated, the hearing aids optimally capture the sound of the speech signals, enabling the words to sound clearer and reducing any background noise to help the wearer understand what is being said.”
Signia also noted that face masks can hinder lip reading and facial expressions, so recommends a number of methods for overcoming communication difficulties at this time.
These include: rephrasing speech rather than repeating; facing the person you are talking to; using face shields instead of opaque masks; and writing down information to avoid miscommunication.