Loudness and Clarity

This subject is one we talk about daily: the difference between loudness and clarity. While these two words might seem to be interchangeable, in the world of hearing aids, there is a clear difference (no pun intended).

Loudness vs. Clarity

For most people, if they can’t hear the TV, or a streaming movie, they are told to make it louder. If you can’t hear someone speaking, you might ask them to speak up. And we are all familiar with the phrase “loud and clear..

So what’s the difference? Well, when discussing hearing aids, it’s first important to understand how we lose our hearing. Instead of thinking about hearing as an overall volume, we need to think more about its structure. Enter my favorite analogy, the piano. On the left hand side of the piano, there are the low frequency keys or low pitches. On the right hand side are the higher pitches. When we think about hearing, particularly speech, this is where it gets interesting. Each speech sound will be in its own pitch range with some variation depending on the person.

Back to hearing loss. Most folks will lose their hearing in the higher pitches first. If you are exposed to a good amount of noise on a daily basis, that tendency is even more pronounced. In speech, most of the consonant sounds, like the s, t and th sound, lean toward the high pitch range. So the worse your hearing is in the high pitches, the more difficult it is to understand.

Here’s how it all applies to hearing aids. If all we do is increase the volume, it is likely for patients that speech sounds still will not be clear as you were expecting. This is because you are not getting an appropriate amount of high frequency power. This is the main problem for patients with hearing aids. Either the hearing aids didn’t have the ability to give the appropriate amount of high frequency power, the provider did not have equipment or the skill set to program the hearing aids appropriately, or some combination of both.

At Amdahl Hearing, our providers provide a level of expertise that is unsurpassed. We also have the history and reviews to back it up.

If your ultimate goal is clarity, please give us a call at 320.252.0094, look us up online at amdahlhearing.com or email us directly at info@amdahlhearing.com

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.