Hearing is the brain's primary connection to the outside world, active 24/7 in every direction.
This comprehensive hearing assessment has been designed to profile each aspect of your hearing, to ensure that – wherever possible – every link in the chain is playing its role effectively.
Tell me about this service...
An Audify® hearing profile measures not only what you hear, but how you hear – by looking at the hearing chain itself.
You'll gain invaluable insight into the individual characteristics of your own hearing as well as coming away with a better understanding of how your brain works with the information it receives.
Having such a comprehesive snapshot of your hearing today enables you to track future changes in your hearing's performance, and to ensure you always continue to harness its full potential in every area of life.
What does a hearing profile involve?
PART A: The Building Blocks
These are the main building blocks of hearing perception, and we use them to build up our overall image of sound. The better the building blocks, the better the overall image...
We begin by mapping your entire hearing range from 125Hz up to 16kHz. By contrast, a conventional hearing test or hearing check only measures between 250Hz and 8kHz, so it misses many of the frequencies important for female speech, children's speech, and working out where a sound is coming from.
We chart the contours of your hearing acuity using third octave bands (instead of the traditional ‘half octave bands’) so we are effectively using twice the resolution to analyse your hearing acuity in much finer detail.
Next we measure your hearing speed. Your hearing's ability to encode the timing within sound is crucial to working out where a sound has come from, in keeping track of separate sources of sound (so it can pull out one sound from background noise), and working out the difference between individual speech sounds.
We then assess your pitch differentiation, which is your ability to recognise how one pitch of sound differs from another. Not only is this something useful for listening to music, but pitch provides important information about the context, nuances and emotional content of speech.
Finally, we measure the tuning of your hearing. Do you hear individual tones purely, or are they distorted? Do you hear the sounds precisely, or are they off key?
PART B: Putting it all together
We now see how you assemble all the pieces together into something useful you can use out in the real world...
The speech we hear is constructed from individual building blocks called phonemes. Before we can assemble these building blocks into actual words we first have to detect and recognise these phonemes, and tell them apart from one another.
For example, [b] and [p] sound very similar, as do [s] and [f]. So did we hear fit or sit? Did we hear bit or pit? If our hearing is unsure, then the responsibility shifts to other parts of the brain, which must then try to work out the correct word from context...
Our brains assemble speech sounds into something that makes sense to us, using a combination of strategies that include context and memory. It's a bit like filling in a crossword using the available clues. But does the brain assemble this information correctly, or is it possible we are mishearing without realising it?
Speech in a quiet environment is much easier than trying to extract from background noise or other interference. But our ability to do so is crucial for following conversation in background noise such as restaurants or in the car.
How well can you work out which direction a sound is coming from? We sometimes think that this is only important if we are crossing the road or working out where we've left our phone!
But actually our ability to localise sound (i.e. work out where it is coming from) is how we build up a map of the sounds around us, which then enable us to focus in on one sound separate from another. This skill underpins our ability to follow conversations in groups and background noise.
There are two aspects to attention we are looking at here. Firstly, how well can you concentrate on a single speaker? Are you able to follow what they're saying, or do you lose concentration part way through? And how quickly can you react to a new sound whilst you are concentrating on something else?
Memory plays a huge role in hearing, particularly when a listening situation becomes more challenging, such as when we're in background noise, or the sound we are listening to is distorted, such as over a poor phone connection. We have to be able hold in our memory the words and sentences that have gone before in order to make sense of whatever comes along next.
Is this service for me...
...if I have never had my hearing profiled?
Yes, definitely. And we would recommend you do so as soon as possible. That way you'll have an indispensable comparison for any future changes in the performance of your hearing, enabling you to quickly home in on where any future problem lies.
...if I'm not experiencing any problems with my hearing?
Yes, because you have a tremendous opportunity – whilst your hearing is still performing at its peak – to explore and capture ‘forever’ what your hearing is fully capable of. The performance of our hearing can change for any number of reasons, so you may not have the same opportunity tomorrow.
...if I am experiencing difficulties with my hearing or listening ability?
Yes. A hearing profile will pinpoint where the problem lies and provide invaluable insight into the best way to address the problems you are experiencing. It is far more precise than a traditional hearing assessment which tends to lump all factors in together.
...if I have already had my hearing profiled?
Once you have had your hearing profiled for the first time, we would recommend updating your profile every ten years, up until the age of 50. We would then recommend re-profiling every 5 years unless our Audivisors advise you otherwise.
You can book your Hearing Profile below...
(Or give us a call on 0333 772 0333 if you prefer.)