Back to Basics: Digital Noise Reduction

Back to Basics: Digital Noise Reduction

What is Digital Noise Reduction?

Noise reduction systems are designed to improve comfort in noise, not necessarily your ability to hear in noise. They are activated to minimize background sounds such as fans, refrigerator hums, etc. While the digital noise reduction systems between hearing aid models all differ, the common goal is to distinguish between speech and noise in the listener’s environment, and to reduce the noise in the environment.

How do they work?

  • In general, the algorithms used to distinguish between speech and noise between hearing aid manufacturers are different. However, all strategies try to exploit the differences in the makeup of speech and the makeup of noise to distinguish what sounds are speech, and what sounds are noise.
  • There are varying degrees of noise reduction; based on the level of technology of the hearing aid, normally the more sophisticated the aid the better the noise reduciton system.
  • Once the hearing aid has labelled each sound as “speech”, or “noise”, it works to minimize the effect of noise in the environment.
  • If activated on your hearing aid by your audiologist, the noise reduction system will work automatically in the background and does not require input from the hearing aid user.

What does it mean for you?

Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) helps improve comfort in noise, but doesn’t help you hear clearly in noise. If refrigerators, air conditioners, etc are botherseome and distracting, than the digital noise reduction system can help!