18 June 2009

Extended Bandwidth in Hearing Aids

New advances in technology enable better perception of speech and sound

Extended-bandwidth hearing aids are becoming more prominent. Qualitative and quantitative improvements are expected to be made both in relation to quiet and noise with regard to speech, music and spatial cues. This will lead to better audibility and understanding, listening enjoyment, customer satisfaction and acceptance rates.

Until recently, hearing aids were limited to a spectral response of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 Hz. But recent technical advances have allowed advanced digital hearing aids to provide extended bandwidth up to 10,000 Hz.

Three major advances in hearing aid development - increased signal processing power, new receiver-in-the-ear configurations and improved receiver technology ? have contributed to this progress.

Research shows that children learn words significantly faster when using extended high-frequency bandwidths. As for perceptual performance, performance has improved with the increase in bandwidth. The reverse is also true, as restricted bandwidth can adversely affect speech sound perception.

Source: Hearing Review

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