Researchers at Cardiff University have shown that NOT directly facing the person you are talking to, but instead turning your head by 30 degrees, can improve speech understanding in noise by the equivalent of a 4 dB SNR (signal to noise) improvement.
“A 4-decibel improvement can be the difference between understanding nothing and perfect understanding.”
The experiment was conducted with normal hearing and cochlear implant users, but I would not be surprised if hearing aid users could benefit as well.
The explanation is that an improved signal in one ear (preferably the better ear with asymmetric hearing loss) is preferable to a mediocre signal in both ears.
This probably explains why some people tend to naturally turn their heads when experiencing difficulty in noise!
Watch this video with headphones to find out more!