A 2016 Consumer Reports survey found that too much noise was the most common restaurant complaint among those surveyed. Excessive noise levels even out ranked poor service, awful food, and a dirty environment as the biggest gripe. With restaurant noise levels being difficult for even normal hearing patrons, how can individuals with hearing loss possibly enjoy a dinner out? Let’s look at some tips and devices that can help you stop straining and start hearing in restaurants.
Tips for Hearing Better in a Noisy Restaurant
Your best line of defense when it comes to dining out is to research restaurants, call ahead for desirable seating, and wear hearing aids. Let’s explore these tips a little further to help you hear your best in a noisy restaurant.
Pick the right restaurant. The place you choose to dine at makes all the difference. Online restaurant reviews, such as those found on Yelp, can give you an insight into restaurant noise levels. Try searching for quiet restaurants and see if a positive review pops up close to you. It’s best to avoid restaurants with lofty ceilings and tile floors, and instead opt for places with more absorbent décor that dampens sound. It’s also best to find restaurants that are well-lit, so you can read body language and facial cues easier.
Request favorable seating. Call ahead to reserve seating that is best for conversing. Request a booth rather than a table to help block out room noise. Also, ask for seating along the outer edge of the room to help avoid sound coming from all directions. Keep in mind, we recommend sitting far away from the kitchen to reduce added commotion.
Wear Hearing Aids with Directional Microphones. Most hearing aids come with directional microphones. When activated, the microphone can cut down noise from behind you and focus on the speaker in front of you. If your dinner partner has their back to a wall, even better!
Wear Made for iPhone Hearing Aids Using Live Listen
You can use Apple products, such as your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, as a remote microphone during a noisy conversation. Simply place your Apple device on the restaurant table and send the speaker’s voice to your Made for iPhone hearing aids through Live Listen. You can significantly reduce background noise by streaming the sound picked up by the remote microphone directly into your hearing aids. Our audiologists can show you how to activate Live Listen easily in your Apple device settings.
For More Tips on Hearing in Noise or to Demo Made for iPhone Hearing Aids, Call us at (314) 227-0571!
“Made for iPod,” “Made for iPhone,” and “Made for iPad,” mean that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod, iPhone, or iPad, respectively, and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. Apple is not responsible for the operation of these devices or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards. Please note that the use of this accessory with iPod, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch may affect wireless performance.
Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and App Store are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.