Loud Noise Disrupts Patronage and Accessibility of Restaurants and other Venues by the Hearing Loss Community
SoundPrint/American Tinnitus Association Noise Sentiment Survey Results | 2021
Our Noise Sentiment Survey uncovers concerning attitudes from over 1,800 members of the tinnitus and hearing loss communities on their feelings about patronizing noisy public venues. Do people avoid socializing in restaurants due to noise? Are patrons with hearing loss reluctant to voice their concerns with venue managers? Which types of venues feel most inaccessible due to loud noise? Read on for the results of our survey.
Excess noise prohibits patronage at public venues by the hearing loss community.
Over 68% of respondents have left a venue due to noise. Of those who left, 77% said they would not return. Loud noise creates inaccessible environments for individuals with tinnitus and/or hearing loss as it makes communication and connecting with others difficult. Loud noise levels also endanger the hearing health of patrons and employees. Additionally, excess noise levels endanger the hearing health of patrons and employees and lead to decreased customer loyalty and potential revenue loss for venue owners.
The venue categories noted as the main offenders of loud noise included restaurants, retailers, churches, sporting events, and concert venues.
While 47% of respondents complained about noise to venue managers, only 42% of the complaints were well received or acted upon.
Many respondents attempted to advocate for hearing health and make venue managers aware of the noise. Unfortunately less than half of the requests were well received or addressed.
Fortunately respondents felt empowered by tools such as SoundPrint, which offers sound level data to venue managers about their sonic environments. Over 63% of respondents stated they would use SoundPrint app’s Noise Complaint feature to voice their concerns.
Results of this survey will be used to advocate for greater hearing health awareness and regard for the importance of quieter public venues, including outreach to the American Restaurant Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Association of Fitness Studios, and the National Association of Theatre Owners.