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Wearing Hearing Aids in Windy Situations -- No Longer a Problem

05/28/2015

Until now, wind has been the natural enemy of many hearing aid wearers. Not only are the wind noises themselves disturbing, the flow of air also creates annoying rustling in hearing aid microphones. The latest Siemens hearing aids — Pure®, Motion™, and even tiny Insio™ — are now equipped with technology that addresses both of these problems at the same time. As a result, hearing aid wearers are now able to enjoy outdoor activities even on windy days.

Wearing hearing aids outdoors can be challenging

When you wear hearing aids, even a light breeze can cause irritating noise and disrupt your ability to understand speech. Hearing aids need to identify wind noises as interference and suppress them. Less effective methods for combating wind noise have been around for some time, but our new technology reliably and efficiently reduces wind interference. It even activates itself automatically, without any need for action on your part, as soon as wind springs up.

Our new technology helps solve another problem caused by wind — one with which you’ll be familiar from watching television news. When filming outdoors, reporters use a special attachment to protect their microphones from wind and reduce whistling noises. Since it’s not possible to simply add a protective sleeve to hearing aid microphones, our development team had to come up with an electronic solution.

How does wind suppression technology work?

First of all, the hearing aids identify wind noises as interference and suppress them as much as necessary. In addition, wind tends to reach your ears at different intensities. As the hearing aids in your left and right ears continuously exchange information about incoming audio signals, they now recognize which sections of the signals are affected from each side. They can then replace the wind-damaged signals with their clearer counterparts from the other side.

For example, imagine you’re involved in a conversation with a friend while walking outside. The wind starts blowing harder as you stroll. Your hearing aids detect the breeze and attenuate (suppress) the wind noises coming at you from both sides. If the wind is primarily coming at you from your left side, the noise would become particularly noticeable on that side, making it harder to hear out of your left ear. If your friend’s voice can be heard more clearly using your right ear, your hearing aids will detect this and send the clearer speech signals into your left ear, too. This allows you to follow a conversation considerably better in windy environments. Later, when you turn around to walk home, your hearing aids will detect that the direction and intensity of the wind has changed, and will adapt to the new conditions immediately. And all of this happens completely automatically, without compromising battery life!

Siemens hearing aids offer a noticeably more efficient solution to the wind issue, which has been a major problem for hearing aid wearers for years — especially those who enjoy outdoor activities. We encourage you to talk to your hearing care professional about our latest smart hearing aids and find out more about our innovative wind suppression technology.

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