Binaural hearing is the term to describe hearing with both ears. Our brain uses information received from each ear to help us hear well. Specifically, our brain uses information about the intensity of the sound reaching each ear, the time that the sound reaches each ear and even the phase of the sound.
Our brain uses the data from each ear to help us localize a sound source. Being able to localize the source of a sound is important for safety reasons. We also need two ears to hear well in noisy situations. People with normal hearing in both ears are more likely to hear better in noisy environments. This ability to hear well in noise if often referred to as the “Cocktail party effect.” Hearing from both ears also makes it easier to hear sounds at a distance. Finally, listening with two ears is simply easier and more relaxing for the listener.
Individuals who wear only one hearing aid are at a definite disadvantage and are often frustrated when trying to hear well. Two hearing aids will provide the listener with a more natural listening experience and allow the listener to feel more relaxed in social situations.