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The Curious Case Of The Air Fryer and The Hearing Aids

One of our clients, Sheila, brought her adult daughter, Jo, in this week to her hearing aid check-up appointment. So Trevor asked how it was all going. “A little too well” said Jo, rolling her eyes and smiling. Then she told him “The Story of The Air Fryer and The Hearing Aids…”

Sheila, a lovely lady in her eighties, visits Jo and her family every Sunday for a Sunday Roast. It was Jo who, after many years of having to shout and repeat herself due to her mother’s declining hearing, managed to convince her to come to angli-EAR Hearing to get checked out.  Trevor fitted her with a pair of Phonak P90’s following a Full Diagnostic Assessment which had confirmed Sheila has hearing loss in both ears.

Last weekend, Sheila, with her P90’s proudly in place, sat at the dining table at the end of the kitchen, enjoying a cup of tea and chatting to Jo. Jo, standing next to her new air fryer, was looking flustered.

“Mum”, she said. “You are going to have to speak up. I can’t hear you over the noise of the air fryer.”

“Oh”, said Sheila and spoke louder.

“No Mum, I still can’t hear you. See, you stand here next to the air fryer and I’ll sit over there at the table and you can see what I mean. The noise of the air fryer drowns you out, you are going to have to shout” and they swapped places.

Sheila, now standing by the air fryer while Jo spoke at a quiet volume, shook her head.

Then, nonchalantly taking a sip of tea, said “I can hear you perfectly clearly, dear. You want to get yourself down to angli-EAR Hearing!”

Jo, although very amused with the irony of the situation, asked Trevor why this might be so? Jo had had a Full Diagnostic Test herself at angli-EAR Hearing and passed with flying colours, so why could she not hear over the background noise and her mother has no issues at all?

The answer, Trevor explained, is due to the Directional Microphones on advanced hearing devices such as the Phonak P90’s and also a very clever feature in the software technology of the device called “Speech in Noise”.  This speech enhancement feature allows the user (Jo’s mum) to hear speech clearly when faced with a very challenging background environment, in Sheila’s case: the air fryer noise.

Directional microphones in Sheila’s hearing devices cleverly zoned in on Jo, recognising her as the source of the speech, and a super-fast computer chip in the hearing aid microphones analysed the sound.

This Dynamic Noise Cancellation ability of her mother’s hearing aids ensured that speech is delivered to both of her ears at the correct volume and clarity, with reduced interference from the background noise of the air fryer. This smart feature, all happening at the speed of sound, means that significantly less hearing effort is required by the wearer to hear speech clearly.

Modern hearing devices don’t just “turn up the volume”, Trevor explained. They are powerful gadgets that perform millions of calculations per second as they monitor and process sounds. They ensure that you are hearing, with clarity, what you need to hear and tune out background noises that you don’t.

As for Jo, well, so that her mother isn’t the one shouting and repeating herself these days, she’s decided to use the nice, quiet slow cooker on Sundays instead!