What is speech mapping, and how can it help me?
Speech mapping is a mechanism for fine-tuning hearing aids with the specific volume at each pitch to maximize your ability to understand speech (according to international standards).
Each person’s ear canal is uniquely shaped. Some may be twisty and narrow; or large and straight and all combinations in-between. These differences may affect the volume of different pitches reaching your eardrum affecting speech understanding. Fine tuning the volume of these pitches will allow for the best access to speech sounds.
The procedure has been around a while, but many people have never heard of it.
Let’s take a closer look at who might need speech mapping, how it works, and why it matters.
Who might benefit from speech mapping?
Hearing aid technology and hearing aid accessories have made a world of difference in helping people of all ages communicate their best, but some patients who use hearing devices might still experience difficulty understanding speech. In our experience, many people in that situation have found that speech mapping improves their ability to understand critical speech and it is why we use speech mapping when fitting all our new hearing aids.
How does speech mapping work?
During the mapping process, a skinny tube with a tiny probe microphone is placed in your ear canal along with the hearing device — don’t worry, it’s painless! We then play a standardized stimulus through a speaker.
The microphone allows us to precisely measure:
- The sounds your hearing aids are producing at your eardrum
- The way your device’s current settings are processing speech
We then see on the computer monitor exactly where the speech is falling within your audible range and can adjust your devices accordingly.
Why do I need speech mapping?
Maximizing your hearing devices involves tailoring them to your specific listening needs. Speech mapping can play an important role in that, helping you more clearly perceive and understand the critical voices in your everyday life. As a practice committed to empowered communication, helping you hear on your terms is important to us. We want you to hear your best so you can live your best.
If you haven’t experienced speech mapping and want to hear your loved one better, we highly recommend a visit to see how this valuable diagnostic procedure might support your listening goals.