Solange, myself and Mike, another audiologist colleague at Phonak decided to do some tests. We used our mannequin, “KEMAR,” a standardized head and torso model that has mechanical ears, for the test and recorded what the hearing aids sounded like in various test conditions.
Specifically, we wanted to determine how well cyclists with hearing loss can hear, and how hearing aid settings and cycling sweat caps can affect the hearing.
For the first recording, we fit Kemar with hearing aids set to a standard program, and a helmet, but with with no sweat cap. For the second part, we covered the hearing aids with a sweat cap and added the helmet.
To simulate bike riding, we used a fan to create different wind speeds and wind noise, as well as played traffic noise through the speakers.
What we determined, is that by combining physical barriers like sweat caps with custom hearing aid settings of wind cancelers and noise cancelers in hearing aids, there can be a big difference in listening comfort when cycling.
Take a listen to these 4 recordings to give you an idea to how making these small changes can help.
If you enjoy bike riding and have hearing loss, we suggest you ask your audiologist to test some of these hearing aid settings for cyclists.
To learn more, read Ask Anna: Can I enjoy cycling with a hearing loss?