Y’know, it’s bad enough that we now have to shine our phone on restaurant menus, the better to discern the tiny type describing the gastronomical delights ahead. Half the time we can’t even hear the specials over the cacophony of clinking glasses and shared YouTube videos and far-reaching laughter.
Fortunately, some kind soul has developed an app for sense-deprived codgers like ourselves who find today’s restaurants absolutely deafening. That person is neuroscientist and audiologist Kelly Tremblay. The Robb Report adds that the free iHEARu app, which tracks the noise levels of local restaurants for you, is available on iTunes and Google Play. “Kind of like how Waze sources data from users to help guide you to the best route when you’re driving, iHEARu… users take a reading of the decibels in a restaurant and share it to company’s database. That decibel data is paired with people’s reviews about whether restaurant staff accommodates requests to adjust music volume and if a dining room has noise-reducing amenities like acoustic tiles.”
The Report also points out that “when Zagat surveyed diners in 2015, restaurant-goers’ biggest complaint wasn’t slow service, high prices, or rude waiters—it was noise, and by a long shot. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse.” Apparently the open-space floor plans favored by modern design is much less effective at sound-proofing, with a multitude of opportunities for sounds to bounce off of walls right into your eardrums.
With iHEARu, you’ll be able to weed out the noisiest restaurants before you even head out the door. Then you only have to worry about if you can get a reservation. And if it’s BYO. And if you’ll find a place to park. Y’know what, you think we’re just going to stay in. Matlock is on.