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Hearing aid memories: What they are and when to use them

March 1, 2018

Open up a hearing aid brochure or visit a hearing aid manufacturer’s website, and you’ll likely come across the term “memories.” Memories refers to different environmental programs that can be accessed by the hearing aid user. These memories manipulate the hearing aid’s gain, frequency response, and microphone mode (directionality) in order to provide optimal sound quality in specific listening situations. For example, an “auditorium” memory will typically increase the overall gain in order to provide ease of listening from a distance, which can be helpful in theaters and places of worship.

For many people, “Normal” is the only memory they need

It’s important to note that most current hearing aids have automatic functionality (often referred to as “adaptive technology”); they are able to assess incoming signals and make automatic adjustments to how they handle speech, background noise, and environmental sounds. This means that as you go about your day-to-day life — from a windy golf course to an important meeting to a bustling restaurant — the hearing aids will automatically adapt to provide optimal sound quality.

Many people prefer to take this “set it and forget it” approach, leaving their hearing aids in just one memory (for Starkey wearers, this is their “Normal” memory). Because the hearing aids automatically adjust to different environments, many people hear well in the majority of their daily listening situations by using just one memory.

But, there are a few situations in which your hearing professional may want to program additional memories to further enhance your listening experience:

  • Music listening: If you enjoy listening to live music, attending concerts and performances, playing an instrument, or listening to the radio at home, consider a music memory. Starkey’s music memory enhances the nuances of songs and provides a richer, fuller sound quality.
  • Phone conversations: Use of an automatic or manual telephone memory can facilitate conversations on landlines and cell phones. Some hearing devices offer ear-to-ear phone streaming, allowing you to hold the phone up to one ear and hear the conversation in both ears. Binaural phone streaming has been shown to improve speech understanding on the telephone by 10-15 percent.
  • Restaurants: There are a variety of different restaurant, crowd, and meeting memories that can improve comfort and reduce listening effort in busy environments like restaurants. Your hearing professional may be able to adjust how the hearing aid microphones perform in these memories.
  • Outdoors: Bikers, golfers, gardeners and anyone who enjoys spending time outside may benefit from an outdoors memory that reduces wind noise to the fullest extent.

Hearing aids often feature television, auditorium and car memories, as well. Memories can be accessed via a push button on-board the hearing aid or via a remote control. In the case of Starkey’s Halo iQ hearing aids, the user can change memories, create customized memories, and geotag memories to locations through the TruLink mobile application on iPhone. 

Using multiple memories can be a great way to personalize your hearing aid experience. Ultimately, a conversation with your hearing professional about your lifestyle and unique listening needs will help you determine which memories you’ll benefit from the most.

Contact us today to check out the Muse iQ hearing aids for the latest in automated technology, or the TruLink app (compatible with Halo 2 or Halo iQ hearing aids) for folks who like more control over their listening experience.

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