Listeners are surrounded by sounds all day, from all different directions. Directional Systems* help people focus their listening on the things they want to hear—the important sounds happening right in front of them.
What is Directionality?
The term “directionality” refers to a hearing aid’s sensitivity to sounds coming from different directions. If you imagine a listener in the middle of a circle, you can imagine that sounds near the center (closer to the listener) will not need to be amplified as much as sounds coming from the edges of the circle, or farther away from the listener. The following graphs help illustrate this concept of directionality.
When there’s no particular source for a sound, directional systems will apply amplification equally around the listener. For example, when a listener is in a quiet place reading a book, there’s no key sounds the hearing aid needs to focus on. This is called the Omni Directional pattern.
With Omni Directionality, sounds from all locations around the listener are amplified the same.
Just because a sound is coming from a particular location doesn’t always mean you want to hear it. Directional Systems help focus on desirable sounds—typically the ones you’re facing. So, if a sound comes from a single, fixed location from behind, Fixed Directionality helps reduce that sound. It then applies the most amplification to sounds in front. A dinner conversation is a great example: you want to focus on the conversation from your friend facing you, not on the conversations of other diners around you.
Fixed Directionality amplifies sounds in front of the listener and gives less amplification to sounds behind and to the sides of the listener.
What if the source of a sound is changing? You might be listening to different people around the room or another friend joins you at the dinner table. In that case, Adaptive Directionality comes into play. The system analyzes incoming sounds with remarkable speed to determine the location of the loudest sound. It also takes into account four different frequency regions, adjusting the amplification for the loudest sound in each region independently. This gives the best results for the listener in each frequency region. Adaptive Directionality helps bring focus to the person speaking, while keeping other sounds from being distracting. It’s ideal in dynamic environments like a day at the office or going out on the town.
With Adaptive Directionality, incoming sounds are constantly, quickly analyzed. The system instantly focuses on specific sounds within a given frequency region.
Hybrid Adaptive Directionality
Hybrid Adaptive Directionality most closely mimics how a healthy, open ear canal performs. It is specifically designed to keep speech sound clear while addressing challenging conditions such as wind or environments that have an echo. Hybrid Adaptive Directionality combines Adaptive and Omni Directionality patterns. It “fixes” amplification on low frequencies and constantly adapts to higher frequencies to help reduce noise while maintaining important environmental cues.
Hybrid Adaptive Directionality uses both Adaptive Directionality and Omni Directionality to maintain important sounds while reducing noise from wind or reverberating sounds.
*Sonic products may feature one or more Directional System technologies; see product specifications for details.
Directional Systems help you hone in
on the important sounds in front of you.
Take noise down a notch
Besides Directional systems, Sonic offers Noise Reduction technologies to help you hear speech better.