Signia’s ‘Mask Mode’ Feature: Clearer Face Mask Hearing.

Hearing problems when talking to face mask wearers

A special button in the Signia app revolutionises hearing aid wearers’ hearing experience (amidst the COVID-19 pandemic) one of Signia’s many innovations designed to enhance your hearing performance.

Whether you are hard of hearing (or not), you will probably have noticed that it can be more difficult to understand what people are saying when they are wearing a face mask. Unfortunately, this has become an increasing and prolific problem, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This can be very challenging, especially for those hard of hearing – nobody wants to constantly ask others to repeat themselves or ask them to remove their mask so they can be understood.

Signia’s solution to this new problem was first introduced mid-2020 and has since been enhanced and refined further: ‘Mask Mode’ in the Signia app. Compatible with all Bluetooth-equipped Signia Xperience hearing aids, this revolutionary feature enables hearing aid wearers to better understand what people wearing face masks are saying. Activated by a simple tap of a button in the app, the Mask Mode will be available for as long as the pandemic lasts.

How do face masks make it harder to understand what is being said?

You might be wondering “why this ‘Mask Mode’ feature is so important right now”? The answer is that while face masks and physical distancing are both vital to help us protect each other from coronavirus, they also pose a serious challenge to speech intelligibility for anyone – even with a mild hearing loss.

Hearing problems when talking to face mask wearers

By covering the mouth, face masks not only restrict important visual cues that many people with hearing loss rely on (including lip-reading), but they are also proven to significantly muffle speech signals! This means that even people with normal hearing might experience reduced hearing ability of about 30% when talking to someone who is wearing a mask.

Signia’s latest insights have shown that with the most commonly used types of masks, this is particularly critical in the hearing range of around 4000 Hz and so the ‘Mask Mode’ was enhanced accordingly. This update shows how Signia continuously translates its audiological insights into technological innovations to enhance your hearing performance.

Removing muffled sound without removing the mask

Signia’s innovative Mask Mode has offered a dedicated solution to the problem of understanding people with face masks. It is available in the Signia app under the ‘Universal hearing program’ and appears on the screen as a button with a face mask icon at the top right next to the volume slider (as below).

Signia App Mask Mode

You can easily activate Mask Mode by tapping the button, which then turns from grey to red. While it is switched on, the hearing aids optimally capture the sound of the speech signals so that the words sound clearer – and any background noise is reduced to help you understand what is being said. The result: You can remove the muffled sound without removing the mask!

When you have finished talking to the person wearing a mask, you can easily deactivate ‘Mask Mode’ by simply tapping the button again, and it turns back to grey.

Try it out for yourself!

If you would like any further information regarding this amazing tool, or how we can assist with your hearing requirements, please feel free to call us any time on 020 8150 7178 or email us at [email protected], and we will do our best to meet your needs.