Binaural hearing systems
Two ears are better than one
For most people struggling with hearing loss, two hearing aids (a binaural system) are better than one.
Binaural hearing systems make it easier to locate the source of a sound, or determine in which direction the sound is coming from. Also known as sound localisation, this skill is automatic for people with normal hearing but as your hearing deteriorates, the ability to pin point the source of sounds also diminishes. This can have a significant effect on day to day life. For example, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine from which direction traffic is coming from, in which room the telephone is ringing, or where to find the person calling our name. It also makes listening in the presence of background noise much less effective.
Wearing one hearing aid may seem to be sufficient in a quiet situation, but when noise is present, or there are competing sounds, one hearing aid is often not enough. Many people try to continually turn up the volume control to make up for the lack of sound, but generally this does not help. Turning up the volume can make all sounds louder, not necessarily clearer or less distorted. Binaural hearing systems generally require less volume, giving a more natural sound to voices and music.