Binaural Hearing: Why We’re Made with Two Ears Instead of One

Binaural Hearing

A Greek Stoic philosopher in the name of Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” True enough, don’t you think? Imagine how better the world can be if everyone learns how to listen saying anything.

But hasn’t it ever come into your mind the actual reason why each one of us were made with two ears? Can the organ not fulfill its hearing functions with just half the pair? What if one ear is unable to hear, would anything be different? Furthermore, would losing one’s capability require two hearing aids to perceive sounds better?

Read on to find answers to these.

Localisation

Isn’t it amazing how our body is able to distinguish where a particular sound is coming from? We just know where to look the moment we hear someone calling our name. When we’re driving, we easily recognise where an ambulance siren is coming from so you know where to make way for. We’re capable of these for the reason that we have two ears. This process is known as localisation wherein the ears transmit the sound waves to the brain. Our ears work best when they are working as a pair.

Wider Range

Allow us to relate hearing with our vision. Try this quick exercise. Close one eye and try to look in the direction of the closed eye. Notice how there are some areas that you cannot see? Like our hearing, our left ear cannot properly hear the sounds from the right side and vice versa. This limits the range of sounds that you can hear. Having two ears that are perfectly working gives us a 360-degree listening experience.

Sound Quality

Think of your ears as speakers of a sound system. If only one speaker is working, the quality of the sound isn’t as loud and clear as compared to having two well-functioning speakers.

Better Overall Hearing Experience

One strong feature that our pair of ears have is the ability to filter important sounds from background noise. It allows us to recognise which sounds to disregard and which ones to pay attention to. With two ears, hearing is just basically better. You are able to understand speech better because of the improved clarity. You are also more able to listen to louder sounds.

Easier on the Ears

When only one ear is functioning, it is forced to do work for two ears. Now, that must be hard for this single ear. With two ears, there is not much pressure and weight of work for either one. You don’t strain one ear by exerting much effort in listening.

Similarly, two hearing aids instead of one won’t use as much power as compared to one hearing aid. The power required for the comfortable level can now be achieved at a lower power cost because you don’t have to volume up as much.

To know more about your ears and get yourself a pair (and we do mean a pair) of hearing aids, you may visit Listening Lab at our Lavender, Bishan or Simei branches. Feel free to contact us at +65 6817 5100.