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Recently, a patient reported that he had forgotten that ice clinks in a glass. He and his wife went out to dinner to celebrate his first set of hearing aids. When he picked up his water glass he was pleasantly surprised to hear the ice clink. Even more interesting, that glass of water tasted really good!!

He was not imagining things. It turns out that sound plays an important part in our ability to enjoy what we eat. Chips that sound crunchy and crackly taste better than quiet ones. Fizzy sounds make our beverage taste fresh, not stale. When we eat, we eat with all of our senses: how our food looks, smells, tastes, feels and sounds affects our overall pleasure and satisfaction.

Research by Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist out of the Cross Modal Research Lab at the University of Oxford in the UK has shown that the pitch and volume of the noise made when biting into Pringles chips affected people’s perception of how fresh they were. Louder, higher-pitched crunch noises were rated by eaters to be 15% fresher on average than softer, lower-pitched crunch noises.   He also found that sometimes music affects our perception of food: Pavarotti and Vivaldi go well with pasta, Taylor Swift enhances Chinese Food, and Jazz intensifies Sushi and Thai foods.

So…… the take-away here would be, sound plays an important part in our enjoyment of many aspects of life, not just hearing conversational speech. Not only will we enjoy time spent with friends and family when we are able to hear them well, we will also enjoy the shared meals. Hearing well keeps you connected to life. Just listen to the ice clink in your glass!!

- Associates In Hearing HealthCare
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