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The Barn Owls Hearing

When you look at the big eyes and fluffy feathers of a barn owl, it can be hard to believe that this bird is an incredibly accomplished hunter. But thanks in part to its phenomenal hearing that’s exactly what it is. A barn owl’s hearing allows it to catch a tasty treat even on the darkest of nights. While most of us don’t need to go out and hunt our dinner at night, learning more about the way a barn owl hears has led to amazing technological applications in the hearing aid industry.

One thing that makes the barn owls hearing so phenomenal is the placement of their ears. One ear is ever so slightly higher than the other. While this may not seem like much, this allows the lower ear to monitor what is happening on the ground, while the other ear can listen out to what is happening above the owl. As the sound arrives at one ear a fraction of a second before the other, this allows the owl to locate the source of the sound with incredible speed and efficiency. How is this “owl principle” being applied to hearing ad technology?

Many scientists and engineers have been inspired by a barn owls hearing to develop “directional microphones” which allow us to locate the source of noise with precision, as well as differentiate noise interference from the noise we want to focus on. This means that just as an owl can focus on a noise of a mouse scurrying through the grass even on a loud windy night, your hearing devices can help you follow a conversation with a friend or loved one even in areas where there may be some distracting background noise.

Like an owl, our quality of life is much improved by our ability to hear. Hearing well allows us to identify sounds around us and helps us to be safe. It allows us to communicate with old friends and make new ones. If you feel your hearing has deteriorated and could stand to be a little more “owl like” please call Hearing Sense today on 8331 8047 for a free consultation and hearing aid trial!

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