According to the World Health Organisation, more than 15% of us live with some degree of hearing reduction. On top of this, more than 1.1 billion people aged 12 to 35 have early signs of hearing reduction due to the noise of everyday life. We’ve all heard of hearing 'loss', hearing ‘reduction’, and hearing ‘problems’.
It all sounds a bit negative, don’t you think?
But what if, instead of trying to solve a ‘problem’, we could use the right tools to unlock our hearing and achieve the full potential of our experience of sound? That’s what we call making Hearing Gains.
Hearing gains is simply termed as the practice of making good decisions to promote your hearing potential (gains) and achieving hearing wellness in the process. It can be as simple as reducing the volume of your morning alarm beforehand, just because you always fall asleep, keeping it too close to your ears every night.
When it comes to hearing, no two people are the same. Your mate Jenny might want to hear you more clearly at the packed pub after work, whilst your cousin John might be more interested in the latest music tech. Meanwhile, Simone at work can’t sleep with the ringing in her ears that won’t go away after last week’s concert!
We’ve hit the streets, talked to experts, and done extensive research into the headphones, earphones, hearing aids and Hearables markets. Having collected the data, we’ve discovered that making Hearing Gains depends on three things: the space you’re in, how your ears process sound, and the devices you’re using.
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Believe it or not, the noise around us, even if it’s just two people chatting nearby, can reduce productivity and concentration by as much as 60%. It can even affect our heart rates and the way food tastes!
We’ve all been to that bar where you have to shout all night to be heard. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Hearing Gains can be made by engineering the space around us. This might be by shaping spaces like nightclubs so that we can better hear each other by the bar but prioritize the boom of the music on the dance floor.
Or, we can make Hearing Gains simply by choosing a quiet restaurant over a loud one!
We all know about looking after our eyes, but what about our ears?
We all experience sound differently. It may seem crazy but only 20% of us who could benefit from hearing devices have one. And the average time for someone to seek and adopt treatment is between 7 and 10 years! Worrying when you consider that untreated hearing reduction is one of the leading causes of dementia.
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The first Hearable device was launched on Kickstarter in 2014. In fact, the term ‘Hearable’ was coined by our very own Nick Hunn! Since then, the development of amazing tech you can wear to achieve your Hearing Gains has seriously taken off.
Devices that augment your hearing to clarify speech, let you hear the train conductor over your music, or cancel out specific sounds altogether are all emerging to have as much of an impact as the advent of the mobile touchscreen!
With the sheer number of devices now on the market, there’s something for everyone.
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It’s a good question, and one we’ve asked too. But what we’ve discovered is that whilst addressing these three areas individually will have an impact, the real sweet spot to fully realise your experience of sound lies when all three of them are working in tandem.