Peter's Hearing Demo

Half of peter's face with hearing aid

I was recently discussing my hearing loss with my housemates and they expressed interest in learning more about what it is like to have hearing loss. So I decided to make a few audio clips to give them a small taste of what it is like to have hearing loss and now I'm making those clips available to the wider world.

I constructed these first by attempting to match a filter with my audiogram, and then by adjusting the filter bit-by-bit until I could hear no difference whatsoever between the original and the filtered clips, even with my hearing aids in. That doesn't necessarily mean that these clips are actually what I hear, but they might give you a little bit more of an idea. All of the clips go back and forth between unchanged and filtered, for about 10-15 seconds for each section.

The first clip is just an audio recording of me talking with my housemate Amanda. In the clip I describe a little bit of how hearing loss works, but unfortunately I think I wasn't especially clear on some of the details. The gist is that high-frequency hearing loss results in a reduced ability to resolve different sounds, so hearing in noisy situations is much more difficult, even with amplification. Without further ado, here is the clip of Peter and Amanada talking.

Next I decided to do two songs, one classical and one contemporary. WARNING: the volume of these clips is a bit louder than the conversation. The first is one of my favorites, from John Tavener's "Protecting Veil", the Resurrection movement.

The second song is another great song, "Believe" by Mumford and Sons.

If you have more questions about what it is like to live with hearing loss, I'd be more than happy to answer them. Long story short, despite challenges from a society that expects people to have "normal" hearing, I feel like hearing loss has given me some of my best attributes, such as (ironically) the ability to listen well.