if a wire antenna hears better, does it transmit better as well?
NO. Don't let anyone convince you that "hearing better" means you transmit better.
A single sharp null in the direction of noise or QRM can make an antenna "hear better", but the same antenna can have much less gain for transmitting in the desired directions. Many other things can cause this same effect, also.
As a rule if the ABSOLUTE signal strength level over is better on receive, an antenna will transmit better. That is entirely different than "hearing better".
Let me give you an example....
I live in a quiet rural location, and I can consistently night-after-night hear and copy Europeans on 160 meters better on a five foot whip antenna than on my 200-foot tall vertical.
Signals not even audible or detectable in the noise on the tall vertical, which makes it impossible to know the absolute levels, are clearly heard on a short whip in the woods. There is probably over 30 dB more transmit signal level on the tall vertical.
For receiving below VHF (sometimes higher), antenna pattern and response to noise sources generally dominate ability to copy. For transmitting, only absolute gain at the particular angle, polarization, and in the correct direction matter.
Those two cases (receive quality and transmit quality) can be, and often are, vastly different.
Here's another thing to consider....
When a system has loss, it is not always bilateral. A tuner that transforms 50 ohms to 500 ohms, if it has loss, does NOT transform 500 ohms to 50 ohms.
On receiving, the receiver end sets feedline SWR and feedline loss. When transmitting, the antenna end sets feedline SWR and feedline loss.
I can match a 50 transmitter to a 10 ohm antenna with a series 40 ohm resistor. The transmitter will see a 1:1 SWR. If I put a 50 ohm receiver on the system, the 10 ohm antenna sees a 90 ohm load and would have a 9:1 SWR.
What happened to reciprocity? Think about that a while. Reciprocity does not always exist in systems with loss.