man thinking on phone

Your good ear is really, really good, but your bad ear is so bad that even a hearing aid won’t help or so you’ve been told.  There is an option you may not have considered.  A contralateral routing of the signal (CROS) hearing device/aid.


A CROS aid allows the good ear to hear for the bad ear by routing the signal from the side of the head where the bad ear is located to the other side of the head where the good ear is located.  A transmitter is worn in or behind the bad ear.  A receiver is worn in or behind the good ear.

Anyone with one good ear and one bad ear will be able to function fairly well in a quiet listening environment or when they’re communicating with just a few people.  Unfortunately in the presence of competing noise, or when they’re unable to position their good ear toward what they want to hear; the inability to hear from the “bad” side becomes much more noticeable.  It’s during those times that the real advantage of a CROS fit becomes apparent.


  • Elimination of the head shadow effect  – A head shadow or acoustic shadow is a region of reduced amplitude (loudness) of a sound because it is obstructed by the head. The obstruction caused by the head can account for a significant attenuation (reduced in loudness) of the sound.
  • Improved communication in difficult listening situations:
    • Walking side by side
    • Carrying on a conversation in a car as either the driver or the passenger
    • Hearing in a seated position (around a table or in an auditorium) when the ability to position your good ear toward what you want to hear is limited
  • The ability to determine the location of sounds has been reported by many CROS fit users.
  • The ability to manipulate your listening situations – Since the good ear is hearing for the bad side, you’re in position to place one ear toward what you want to hear most of the time.  For example if you are in a setting where noise is on the side of your bad ear and what you want to hear is on the side of the good ear, you would have the option of turning off the sound coming from the noisier side of your head.

A CROS fit is not for everyone but for those who are a candidate for this option it can make a world of difference.  Call us today if you would like to discuss the possibility of a CROS fit hearing aid.