Colorado Springs

Audiology, Inc.


Phone  719.520.1155


Dr. Gene McHugh

Licensed Audiologist

in Colorado


Mountain Time USA


9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Closed Fridays


 © Copyright 2021 






     Assuming you have two ears where hearing is about the same, you can experiment at home to better understand the importance of binaural (i.e., two-ear) hearing. First, gently close just one ear by simply pressing upon the fleshy part in the front of your ear canal (called the tragus). Close the ear canal to eliminate sound from entering the ear.  Close that ear for about ten minutes while you watch TV or listen to the radio, or speak with your spouse.  Then, after a full ten minutes, remove your finger.  Was there a difference?

    There are many advantages associated with binaural (two ear) listening and, more importantly, there are problems associated with wearing only one hearing aid if you are indeed a candidate for binaural amplification.

      Localization - knowing where the sound came from - is only possible with two ears, and just about impossible with one ear. Localization is not just a sound quality issue; it may also be a safety issue. Think about how important it is to know where warning and safety sounds (sirens, screams, babies crying, etc.) are coming from.

    Enhanced discrimination in noise.  Research shows that using both ears together tends to impact how well we hear in noisy environments.  Binaural hearing permits you to more effectively, attend to the desired signal while squelching or paying less attention to undesired sounds such as background noise.  The squelcing effect is "central" (i.e., affected by the brain) most likely in the area of the reticular formation in the cerebellum.  This is similar to binocular vision.

Reference:  The Contribution of Brainstem and Cerebellar Pathways to Auditory Recognition, McLachlan, N. & Wilson, S.   Published online 2017 Mar 20. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00265