Six Reasons We Hear Better with Two Ears
Hearing does not happen in your ears, it happens in your brain. Your brain requires reliable information from your ears in order to interpret sound. Using just one hearing instrument when hearing test results indicate two are needed reduces your brain’s chances of hearing and understanding by 50 percent, as well as removes your ability to perceive direction.
1. Less power is needed when two hearing instruments are worn.
When your ears work together, lower volume settings are required for comfortable hearing. You will experience greater efficiency and clarity with two hearing instruments as compared to one. Loud sounds are more comfortable and listening is less stressful.
2. Stereo listening gives depth perception.
Anyone who has enjoyed music in stereo, compared to mono, knows the difference. Mono makes all sounds seem shallow, flat and unnatural. Your brain has the ability to hear in stereo but to do so requires that sounds be delivered by both ears. Not only are sounds more natural, they can also be understood more clearly.
3. Detecting sound direction saves embarrassment and saves lives.
A listener with one ear is always wondering "where is that sound coming from?" when someone speaks. This listener has great difficulty determining the direction from which the screeching automobile is coming, unless it is seen. Hearing with two ears provides the ability to determine sound. Binaural listening gives the listener a sense of location and the ability to locate sounds not only horizontally but also vertically – 360 degrees in all directions.
4. Give your brain what it needs for auditory intelligence.
The two halves of your brain work in harmony to give you an auditory image. Just as your brain converts the two images your two eyes see into a single picture, the same special perception happens with your two ears. It is the different signal each ear sends to your brain that makes this perception possible. The sound signals travel up the brain stem via complicated pathways. Some sounds cross over and eventually stimulate the opposite side of the brain. Others stimulate the same side. These complex patterns of stimulation make up auditory intelligence. If the two halves aren’t sharing their signals, auditory intelligence is reduced. Binaural hearing instruments help the ears get the messages to both sides of the brain, thus increasing your auditory intelligence.
5. Two ears hear better in noise.
Whenever several people are talking at the same time, such as in a restaurant, it becomes more difficult to understand the people at the table with you. With one listening ear, a person hears all of the voices blending together. Voice discrimination in noise is difficult with two ears and becomes almost impossible with only one. Binaural hearing instruments give the best advantage to hearing in noise.
6. Quality of sound is better quality of life.
The majority of hearing instrument users who have worn both binaural and monaural hearing instruments report a significant difference in sound quality. Those people who now use binaural hearing instruments will tell you that "listening with two aided ears is the only way to fully enjoy the 3-D world in which we live." The advantages of superior quality sound over the burden of persistently poor sound should not be underestimated. Seize the opportunity to enhance your listening quality, should your test results indicate two hearing instruments are needed.