Background noise, music and hard walls that turn the restaurant into a noisy, echo chamber. It all makes conversations with your dinner companions difficult or impossible.
In part, that’s because even the best hearing aids have trouble separating the voices of your companions from the sounds of other conversations around you. All that hubbub submerges the voices you want to hear.
Another major factor is the acoustic design (or lack thereof) of most restaurants and bars. Many owners prefer a loud establishment. They crank the music up, use reflecting surfaces such as concrete walls or mirrors that amplify the general noise. They want to create a lively, busy ambience.
So a couple of tips for anyone looking for a little peace and quiet on a night out:
They are known as “The Big Six” for a reason. Together they control about 98% of the global market for hearing aids.* And it’s a big and rapidly growing market that brings in about six billion dollars annually.
The late, great Dr. Oliver Sachs was at his office one day when his assistant announced she was leaving work early to “go to choir practice.” Sachs said no problem, and wished her well. It was only after she left that he began to wonder.