Shure MV88 Used for Hearing Assistance

Shure MV88 Used for Hearing Assistance

MV88 Mounted to Apple iPhone

For anyone with a hearing impairment, noisy environments present a difficult challenge.  At the recent AES show in New York City, a customer visited the Shure booth.  He held an iPhone with an attached MV88 M/S Stereo Microphone, and he had Shure SE315 earphones inserted in his ear canals.  I thought he was recording interviews for a podcast, but that was not the case.  He was using the equipment for hearing assistance.

He explained to me, “I was recording engineer for many years.  Monitoring tracks at high SPL (sound pressure level) eventually damaged by hearing.  I typically wear hearing aids but at a noisy trade show all I perceive is a dull roar of noise if I use hearing aids. To carry on a conversation, I needed to have a microphone proximate to the talker’s mouth, or I have to stand uncomfortably close to the talker. 

“When I saw the MV88, I wondered if it could be employed in monitor mode for this purpose.  Indeed, it can. The forward-facing cardioid mic (the Mid mic) of the MV88 helps to isolate the talker’s words.  I position the MV88 near the talker, pointed at his mouth, and we can carry on a conversation at normal levels. Plus, the SE315 earphones do a great job of attenuating the acoustic noise entering my ears

“At first, I used only the cardioid mic – monitoring in monaural. When I tried monitoring in stereo, speech intelligibility got better.  Now I monitor in stereo all the time.  It also helps me recognize when someone is speaking to me from the left or from the right.

“I know the MV88 was not developed for hearing assistance, but for me it works wonders in a noisy environment.  Please pass on this concept to others who may face the same issue.”

Related information:

Arcana – mysterious or specialized knowledge
By monitoring in stereo, selective listening is more easily achieved as the brain can focus on the desired conversation. Research shows that a person wearing two hearing aids understands speech significantly better than a person wearing one hearing aid, particularly in a noisy environment.