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Hearing Loss Simulator

People with normal hearing – especially parents, spouses and friends of those with hearing loss – are often eager to better understand what hearing loss sounds like. While a blindfold worn around the house for an afternoon might help someone learn what it’s like to live without vision, hearing loss comes in varying degrees and forms. Simply blocking out all sound won’t provide the right information. To really understand the complex nature of hearing loss, you have to experience the loss of both volume as well as specific sounds.

Using computer simulation algorithms, we’ve put together a group of audio files that simulate what someone with sensorineural hearing loss is able to hear in specific contexts. The sound files are grouped by type, from conversations in different contexts – background noise; restaurant; traffic – to various kinds of music. For each sound clip, you can listen to what it sounds like with “normal” hearing, as well as mild and moderate hearing loss. Here’s the hearing loss simulator

Hearing Loss

Normal

graph - normal hearing

Mild

graph - mild hearing

Moderate

graph - moderate hearing

Speech

Single speaker
Dialog two speaker
Announcement in station
In a restaurant

Environmental

In the mountains
Birds singing
Frogs
Ducks
Industry
In traffic

Music

Piano
Clarinette
Classical: Beethoven
Children singing
Pop

Background Noise

Telephone

About the Hearing Loss Simulator

Which sounds, and how much of each sound a person with hearing loss misses, depends on the degree of loss. For the person who still has some hearing and is listening to speech, the missing sounds are often the consonants P, K, F, H, T, and S, and the Sh sounds. Higher voices and higher-pitched sounds are harder to hear, as well, and it’s more difficult to hear anything when there’s background noise involved. So, unlike the blindfold experiment, wearing earplugs or noise-cancelling

headphones isn’t a good way for a hearing person to experience hearing loss. If you have hearing loss, consider sharing this this page to your friends and family. It may finally show them why you need them to look at you the next time they’re asking “SO HOW ARE YOU?” at a busy restaurant.

Hamilton

16B-550 Fennell Ave. E
Hamilton, Ontario, L8V 4S9
Phone: (289) 768-6167

723 Rymal Rd. West, Unit 500
Hamilton, Ontario, L9B 2W1
Phone: (289) 768-8971

Waterloo

570 University Ave. East,
Suite 905
Waterloo, Ontario, N2K 4P2
Phone: (888) 907-1436

Cambridge

350 Conestoga Blvd Unit B3
Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 7L7
Phone: (888) 737-9976

Kitchener

520 University Ave. West,
Unit 104
Kitchener, Ontario, N2T 2Z6
Phone: (888) 979-7196