Tips for better hearing in restaurants

Time to Read: 3 minutes


Friends eating at a restaurant  and looking happyWith more and more of Australia opening up, one of the first things many of us will want to do is go back to our favourite restaurants.

Unfortunately, that may mean being exposed to more noise than you’ve been used to over the past few months.

As Emma has explained in a recent video, there is an explanation why restaurants are particularly noisy, but here we share some quick tips that will help you enjoy dining out with friends.

Pick a quiet time - you might see if the restaurant has an earlier setting. Dining outside the times when people usually make their booking has lots of advantages. If there are fewer people booked at the time, you’re more likely to get the table you want, as well as more personalised service from your waiter. And, in terms of your hearing, fewer people means fewer sounds competing for your attention. For dinner, you may decide to book for 6.30pm, instead of 7.30pm. For lunch, you might book for 11am or 2pm to beat the midday crowds.

Book a specific table - Christo has some great tips on which table to pick, but in summary, ensure that the table is away from the entrance and away from the kitchen. If the weather is pleasant, you might even consider an outdoor table because sound disperses better. Ideally, your favourite restaurant has tablecloths and soft furnishings which help absorb sound and make it easier to hold conversations.

Choose the best seat at the table - the best seat is one which allows you to see everyone’s face clearly. Ensure your back is to the room which ensures the noise is behind you which allows you and your hearing aids to pick up the conversation. If possible, make sure the person you want to talk to doesn’t have a wall behind them which will bounce the sound back.

Use a little extra help if you need it - sometimes you and your hearing aid will need a little more help in especially noisy restaurants . Assisted listening devices such as a Phonak Roger Select, or an Oticon Connect Clip will also help direct conversations directly to your ear. Or, another option is to consider an app like Chatable which streams conversation to your hearing aids and has been especially designed for use in restaurants.