Noise-complaints at restaurants
Think about the top complaint you might have when dining out. It might range from poor service to overpriced meals or the restaurant might be too crowded.
Another common criticism is loud noise levels in a restaurant.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and we've got some suggestions on choosing the right restaurant if you or your significant other have difficulty hearing.
A hearing aid user and lifelong New Yorker, named Gregory Scott, decided to tackle this challenge. He developed SoundPrint. It's a free iPhone app that has been described as the "Yelp for Noise".
How it works
If you need to find a quiet spot where you will be able to hear others without struggling, you can use the SoundPrint app and search for a restaurant or public place that would be appropriate to have a conversation.
The app uses data from people who ranked and reviewed these places and shares that information with the user, similar to a Yelp review. This data is used to precisely measure the volume and rank venues from quiet, to moderate or loud.
The SoundPrint app allows anyone hard of hearing, to research how quiet or noisy it is in local restaurants, coffee shops, or bars. It features a sound level meter that can measure noise levels. A user can measure sound levels and then submit them to SoundPrint's database. When the database receives more submissions it makes that data stronger, therefore more reliable.
The creation of the SoundPrint app
Scott described the general difficulty of dating in New York City and added the challenges of hearing loss on top of that. Noise levels in the average bar and restaurant are louder than other venues. It's important to be able to find a quieter setting.
For Scott, typing in a search for "quiet" places, usually ended up being too loud. Music was blasting throughout the area or the spande had poor acoustics. Tables that were placed too closely made it more difficult to follow a conversation and forced everybody to speak louder.
Making a connection with your date was even more difficult, so it was apparent that the website reviews for these venues were inaccurate.
Scott first decided to use sound level meters in order to hear noise levels and compose his own personal list of quiet spaces. After his friends asked to see the list, the app was created.
The purpose of the app was to generate a feeling of community for those who want a quiet space to visit.
The SoundPrint app is for people with any range of hearing
It's become more and more difficult to locate a quieter area to visit. Most restaurants today are meant for fun and entertainment.
Modern interior designs have less absorbing elements like carpets, drapes, or tablecloths. A study has shown that venues tend to turn up the volume of music because customers are likely to purchase more drinks or eat quickly, which results in higher turnovers.
Loud noises have become normalized. No matter how good their hearing is, everyone can benefit from the app. Many users can hear perfectly fine, but just want a quiet place to visit.
If you would like to use the SoundPrint app you can download it for free here.
If you, or a loved one, experience difficulty with hearing, even when visiting a calm and quiet space, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer top-name-brand hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.