The latest technology

November 10, 2016 by Janic Lauriault

8-technoDerniercris

The latest new series of hearing aids offers numerous advantages for the user.

A broader range of sound intensity

Each hearing aid can process a specific range of sound intensity. They have a microphone that detects sounds, a microprocessor to process and amplify them, and a speaker that reproduces sounds and sends them to the ear. The microprocessor processes digital sound signals according to their characteristics (whether signals are noise or speech), the ambient environment, and the user’s hearing loss. An analog/digital (A/D) converter converts analog signals from the hearing aid microphone to digital signals for the microprocessor. The A/D converter also dictates the range of sound intensity the hearing aid can process. Most hearing aids on the market can process loud sounds from 92 to 106 dB SPL. Sounds over this limit are cut or compressed, which diminishes sound quality and causes distortion.

A new series of hearing aids features True-Input Technology, an A/D converter with a higher limit of processable sounds (up to 113 dB SPL). True-Input Technology delivers natural sound quality without distortion in sound environments ranging from quiet (at home) to really noisy (party, big group), where listening conditions are more challenging. It ensures comfort and speech intelligibility for wearers and optimizes listening to music.

Easier listening in wind

Many hearing aid wearers say it’s harder to hear when it’s windy. In response, this new series offers a wind noise attenuator that can analyze signals from the microphone and identify wind noise. Unlike other signals, wind noise differs from one microphone to another—a factor that is then used to detect it. Only wind noise is subtracted from the sound image, improving word identification and comprehension by 57%. This attenuation ensures comfort and speech intelligibility for wearers doing outside activities in windy environments.

Soft-level noise reduction

Known for its amplification of soft-level sounds, this series improves upon this feature in order to better capture and process such sounds. This is great for sounds like whispering or a cat scratching at the door, but unwanted soft noises (fan, refrigerator) may also be amplified.

These new hearing aids have soft-level noise reduction (SLNR), so these soft noises do not disturb users. This reduces unimportant soft-level signals without compromising audibility. Active only in quiet environments, SLNR analyzes the signal entering the hearing aid microphones, carefully targeting and reducing only steady, fairly unmodulated noises, such as a fan or refrigerator. SLNR makes it possible to hear important soft-level noises, from the rustle of leaves in nature to distant voices, ensuring unimportant soft-level signals do not disturb listening.

Consult an audioprosthetist to learn more about this technology.

To determine which hearing aids are best for you, consult an audioprosthetist.

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