Why Is It Hard to Hear People Who Mumble


Today, I’m going to explain why it may be especially hard for you to hear people who speak softly or ‘MUMBLE’

Some of our communication partners like our spouses or kids have poor communication skills. They do things like:

-drop their voice at the end of sentences

-speak downwards with their heads

-speak with their back turned

-speak from a different room

These cause their voice to get too soft before it reaches our ears.

However, there are other reasons that you may feel like people are mumbling as well.

3 Reasons soft voices can be hard:

1. We need to hear consonants to understand what people say and to feel like what they say is clear

2. If you have any hearing loss at all, it’s likely high frequency and in this important CONSONANT range.

3. This makes it seem like you can hear words but NOT as correctly as you’d like, or like people speaking to you are ‘mumbling’

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEEL LIKE PEOPLE MUMBLE (especially more than one person):

-Arrange to have your hearing evaluated.

-If you have hearing loss, consider getting treatment because missing out on important word cues is not healthy for the brain.

-If you already have hearing aids, ensure that they are functioning correctly and that they are tuned up to your latest hearing test. Other accessories are available to help your hearing aids pick up their voices from a distance.

-Ask people to face you when speaking to you so the power of their voice has a better chance of reaching your ears and hearing aids (if you have them). We have a great communication tip card we can give them.

I hope these tips help you learn to deal with hearing soft voices more easily. Remember to check out our website and our audiology innovations youtube channel for more educational information about your hearing.

Visit or call us at 403-802-6022 for assistance with your hearing.

Stay safe and be well and take a look at one of my ‘mumblers’ below.

Dr. Carrie Scarff