Restaurants Are Serving Up Sound
Have you noticed an extra helping of noise when dining out? Over the past decade, loud restaurants have become a trend. There are as many reasons to embrace the trend as there are to be irritated if you have healthy hearing; however, if you experience a hearing loss, it can be even less appetizing. Read on to learn about this trend, get tips for hearing better in these spaces, and discover how advancements in technology can create your optimal dining experience.
Why the Increase?
Sound affects us behaviorally, psychologically, emotionally, and physiologically — most of the time without us knowing it. The increase of noise in restaurants has to do with multiple factors that are both beneficial and harmful for customers.
- Research by Charles Spence, an Oxford University experimental psychology professor, found that loud background noise affects your ability to taste food, diminishing salty and sweet flavors while intensifying ultra-savory ones.
- Music at high volumes deters our ability to perceive how much liquor is in a drink, thereby changing how we think it tastes. We drink more when the music is loud and fast.
- Loud sounds make us chew faster (possibly getting us to consume more and leave the venue quicker).
- According to an article from USA Today on the topic, noise appears to alter our sense of smell as well.
- The recession forced restaurants to focus less on decor and atmosphere.
- More modern, industrial environments are on the rise, which don’t absorb as much noise.
- If the place is popular, it’s going to be louder. The more popular the restaurant, the more diners and conversation.
How Our Tech Can Help
When you have a hearing loss, these kinds of environments are especially challenging but not impossible. The following features are highlights from a variety of devices we carry that will help you hear more effectively and efficiently at your favorite spot. We’re excited to work with you to find out what technology is for you.
- Our technology works with your brain to recognize, separate, orient, and focus your hearing on the sounds around you so you experience them as nature intended.
- Our technology has the ability to make subtle adjustments for environmental changes with the touch of a finger.
- It has the ability to remember those settings for as many as 20 different locations, so the next time you return to that same place, you won’t need to make the same adjustments.
- The ability to use the iPhone® as an additional microphone by placing it on a table near your conversation partner makes it much easier to hear in crowded settings.
- Your tech can scan your environment more than 100 times per second, giving you the ability to distinguish speech from noise. The technology works binaurally (involving both ears) to recognize where sounds are coming from, giving you a more organic, complete hearing experience.
- The high processing speed allows you to differentiate between speech, noise, and volume in your sound space, letting you employ noise-reduction strategies to help lower the impact of competing background noise.
Tips for Talking in Loud Environments
- Speak up! If a conversation gets difficult to understand, ask if the person you’re talking to can slow down, speak up, and speak directly toward you. Whether you divulge your hearing loss is up to you.
- Strategic seating. Sit near a relative you’d like to talk to and who won’t mind repeating comments for you if you miss something, and sit at an end of the table where there’s less noise to potentially interfere with your conversations.
- Turn down the background noise. If you feel comfortable or think it’s feasible, ask the server to turn down distracting music in the restaurant or have them change the type of music they are playing.
- Smaller groups work better. Seating yourself around fewer people can help you focus more on what’s being said and can boost your hearing confidence.
- Tune up your equipment. Contact us about getting your devices cleaned — we’ll make sure they’re operating at peak performance.
Contact us to learn more about how advancements in hearing technology can create your optimal dining experience.
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