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Features:High Q Description:Protect your hearing aid or cochlear implant with this secure oto-clip! Features:High Q Description:Protect your child's hearing aid or cochlear implant with this secure oto-clip! This article reviews many of the new features of the micon, the latest hearing aid platform from Siemens. We all recognize the importance of education and training by the hearing care provider for the overall success of hearing instrument fittings. So, if consumers are looking for new technology, and dispensers are looking for new technology, it is important—if not imperative—for manufacturers to introduce new technology on a regular basis.
As discussed in the following sections, new features usually focus on advanced signal processing—often involving directional, noise reduction, and feedback reduction algorithms.
Expanded gain and output processing preciseness and adjustment flexibility with 48 channels of AGCi and AGCo compression, controlled using up to 20 handles.
Unique compression system with several level meters that operate sequentially, resulting in gain and compression time-constants based on the fluctuations detected in the soundscape. All this is accomplished with a new platform, which allows for 18 million transistors, executing 250 million instructions per second. Figure 1 shows the preference ratings for the six hearing aids for both listening effort and overall preference. Surveys continually reveal that, despite technology advances, many hearing aid users continue to be dissatisfied with their ability to understand speech in background noise. Directional technology in hearing aids has been available since the late 1960s, but with today’s digital instruments, the adaptability and effectiveness for specific listening situations have increased substantially. Most recently, Mueller, Weber, and Bellanova5 evaluated a new Siemens directional algorithm, called SpeechFocus, which enhances speech communication in noise when speech is from the back or the sides. A third type of DNR, working independently to the other two systems, was introduced in 2006.
When the signal classification system detects a speech-in-noise listening situation, DNR is activated.
More specifically, two important types of noise reduction algorithms, previously implemented in Siemens hearing instruments, are based on “modulation analysis,” meaning that the temporal spectrum of the signal envelope is used for deciding which parts of the signal shall be regarded as noise (and attenuated) and which parts belong to the target signal and shall be kept or even enhanced. What was missing until now was a method to reduce interfering signals with speech-like modulation properties.
Figure 2 displays the olsa test results for both hearing aids and both hearing loss groups.
A second study examining the Directional Speech Enhancement algorithm of micon was conducted at the University of Iowa. Perhaps the most beneficial feature that has been introduced in hearing aids in recent years is automatic feedback cancellation. The second feedback solution relates to what is sometimes thought of (however inappropriately) as the “static feedback path.” For most of the day, the feedback path is relatively stable.
As shown in Figure 4, the real-world satisfaction for the micon feedback reduction was excellent. The underlying algorithm is frequency compression, with an adjustable kneepoint, ratio, and target frequency range for the compressed signal.
In this article, we have reviewed several laboratory studies focusing on the micon, the majority of which were from research laboratories with controlled settings.
As shown in Figure 5, when aided with micon instruments, the average group score improved significantly, indicating a reduction in localization handicap. In a second study, which assessed listener judgments with all features activated for everyday listening situations, the micon was compared to a leading competitor. In addition to the major features already discussed, micon offers other features, which for many patients are equally important, and, for some patients, provide the advantage that leads to a successful fitting.
We know, however, that inter-patient variability plays a role in both audibility and listening comfort, even when the hearing losses are the same. It’s this need for the real-world fine-tuning that has made trainable hearing aids so popular.
The micon has input-specific and level-specific independent training for six listening situations: quiet, speech in quiet, speech in noise, speech in car noise, noise, and music.
The micon has an automated feature that can be used to gradually increase the programmed gain. A set of pre-programmed tinnitus therapy signals (white noise, pink noise, etc) are available with micon, as well as the capability to create frequency-specific therapy signals to match the patients’ tinnitus perception. Both hearing care professionals and consumers are searching for the best technology, and until recently hearing professionals often had to make compromises in selecting hearing instruments, as no one platform contained all the latest developments. In fact, there is limited knowledge about how children with hearing loss understand speech over the telephone. Recent reports have suggested that adults with significant bilateral hearing loss hear better on the telephone when listening with both ears compared to one. Unfortunately, wireless streaming devices are not always available for persons with hearing loss­—particularly for young children. A feature called DuoPhone from Phonak is an alternative solution designed to allow users to hear the telephone signal in both ears simultaneously without the need of an accessory. There are no published studies examining the potential benefits of DuoPhone for pre-school children with hearing loss. 1) Bilateral hearing loss with a better ear four-frequency pure-tone average between 35 and 75 dB HL. 2) Symmetrical hearing loss with no more than a 20-dB difference in air-conduction thresholds between ears at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz. 5) Expressive and receptive spoken language abilities within 1 year of their chronological age as indicated by standardized speech and language assessment conducted within the past year.
The Audioscan RM500SL hearing aid analyzer was used to measure real-ear-to-coupler differences (RECD) for each child.
The live speech mode of the Audioscan RM500SL analyzer was used to conduct simulated probe-microphone measure to assess the output of the hearing aid while a recorded speech passage was presented over the telephone. Next, the hearing aid manufacturer’s default “telecoil telephone program” was enabled with the hearing aid microphone attenuated by 10 dB rather than the software default 0 dB of attenuation for pediatric users.
Once again, the live speech mode of the Audioscan RM500SL analyzer was used to conduct a probe microphone measure to assess the output of the hearing aid for a recorded speech passage presented over the telephone.
Speech recognition over the telephone in quiet was measured for all 10 children, and speech recognition over the telephone in the presence of competing noise was measured for 8 of the 10 children (two of the children fatigued before testing could be completed in noise). Separate repeated-measures analysis of variance (RANOVA) was used to analyze the results obtained in quiet and in noise because two children were unable to complete the noise condition. 1) Pre-school children achieve substantially better speech recognition on the telephone in quiet and in noise when using the DuoPhone compared to their performance in the monaural condition. 2) Simulated probe-microphone measures were used to ensure that the output of the telephone program was appropriate.
Made from nylon cord, the clip attaches securely to the collar of all clothing to keep hearing devises in lace during daily activities. Make from nylon cord, the clip attaches securely to the collar of all clothing to keep hearing devices in place during daily activities. Johnson, Mueller, and Ricketts1 reported that the majority of audiologists have a favorite hearing aid manufacturer, and they fit that product to the majority of their patients. We’ll describe new micon features, and review illustrative supporting research regarding its efficacy and effectiveness. With micon, the goal was to expand on many of the fundamental and successful processing strategies. To put this in perspective, this is more than double the processing power of the 7th generation product introduced in 2010, which had 8 million transistors, executing 100 million instructions per second. In order to systematically evaluate the processing capability and sound quality of the new micon, a comparative study focused on preference ratings was conducted at an independent site, the DELTA SenseLab in Horsholm, Denmark. Preference ratings for the Siemens micon compared to five other premier instruments from other leading manufacturers. Recall that the five competitive instruments were the premier model from the other major manufacturers, so large differences in the ratings were not expected. While wireless solutions have solved some of these problems, we continue to depend on directional technology and digital noise reduction for most challenging listening situations.
As early as 1999, Ricketts and Dhar2 showed a 2 dB advantage for speech recognition in background noise (HINT) for the modulation-based DNR of the Siemens Prisma. This was a transient noise reduction algorithm dubbed “SoundSmoothing.” In recent research, DiGiovanni, Davlin, and Nagaraja7 reported that, when this transient noise algorithm was activated, significant improvement in speech recognition in a multi-talker background was present for a group of hearing-impaired listeners.
As reviewed above, both directional technology and DNR have proven to be successful in improving speech understanding in background noise. This algorithm is applied to the incoming speech signal equally for sounds originating from all azimuths. The solution for this dilemma is to change the criterion, which separates a signal into the target and noise part. To date, clinical studies on the effectiveness of the micon Directional Speech Enhancement have been conducted at two sites.
Group mean results for the Siemens micon compared to a leading competitor for a speech recognition in noise test (olsa). The bars on the chart represent the 50% correct point for the sentences in background noise; hence negative numbers are better (down on the chart). Again, the micon was compared to the premier product of a different manufacturer; this was not the same manufacturer used for the Oldenburg study, and was particularly selected because this premier product utilizes a spatial noise canceller in conjunction with the beamformer.
Group mean results for the Siemens micon compared to a leading competitor for the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT). While not a large difference (as expected), this 1 dB advantage can be clinically significant for the understanding of speech. While on the surface, this feature often does not garner as much acclaim as new beamforming algorithms or unique DNR processing, the indirect benefit is significant.
Because of these excellent feedback cancelation systems, individuals can now be fitted with open earmolds, minimizing the annoying occlusion effect, a long-standing deterrent for hearing aid use. In 2010, a paper8 presented by Todd Ricketts compared the feedback reduction capabilities of the Siemens Pure product to the premier model of the five other major manufacturers. Given the success with the previous generation of digital feedback suppression, one might question what improvements are necessary?
In many hearing aid listening situations, automatic directional is activated by using the signals of two omnidirectional microphones.

However, this path changes considerably when the user hugs a friend or loved one, uses a phone, leans against a wall, or simply reclines on a couch. We say “hidden,” as it is not initiated by the fitting software and is conducted without any impact on the hearing instrument behavior.
To evaluate the real-world effectiveness of the micon feedback reduction algorithm, a large group of hearing-impaired subjects with downward sloping hearing loss (average high frequency loss of 64 dB) were fitted bilaterally.
Satisfaction ratings for Siemens micon feedback suppression following use of instruments in everyday listening environments. Overall results show that 92% of the users were satisfied, with the majority being “very satisfied” (very satisfied 63%; satisfied 29%).
By frequency lowering, we mean that the high frequencies contained within the bandwidth of the hearing aid are moved to a lower region. While we recommend using the fitting algorithm for activation and initial settings, the compression settings can be easily altered at the time of the fitting, and frequency compression can be turned on or off depending on patient needs.
Field studies with micon frequency compression are ongoing at this time, but the laboratory data collected during algorithm development were encouraging. It is also important to assess the overall performance for everyday real-world use with all the features activated. The participants in this study were new hearing aid users with mild-to-severe downward sloping hearing losses. Group mean performance for real-world localization handicap for unaided versus bilateral micon fitting for new hearing aid users. Perhaps an even more impressive finding is that the aided localization handicap was not significantly different than that obtained for individuals with normal hearing (based on data from Ruscetta et al13 using the same questionnaire). The subjects were asked to compare the two different products for both speech understanding and several dimensions related to sound quality. The sound quality ratings are shown in the upper panel, and the intelligibility ratings in the lower panel.
To account for this, we need a method to allow the patient to “zero in” on where they fit within the distribution curve.
Patient are provided the ability to tell the hearing aids their preferred listening levels; the hearing aid learns and remembers these levels, then applies them when appropriate. Importantly, this training is not conducted in six different programs, but all training occurs independently in the same program—gain and output changes are then steered by the signal classification system. We know that, in general, more audibility leads to improved speech recognition, which leads to greater patient benefit and satisfaction. Using this feature, gain can be increased over weeks or months; the degree of change and time course can be programmed for the specific treatment plan for each patient. A significant number of patients report that they have tinnitus, and approximately 50% of these same patients also report they have a hearing loss. In specific therapy programs, it is essential that the patient have the ability to control the level of the therapy signal.
Digital hearing aids are capable of producing tones across a wide range of intensities and, hence, can be used to measure audiometric thresholds. Powers, PhD, is the vice president of product management at Siemens Hearing Instruments in Piscataway, NJ, and Joel Beilin, MScEE, is global head of  audiology relations, Siemens Hearing Solutions, Singapore. For example, if with the earmold in place, the volume of the ear canal is unusually small, this will be reflected in the audiometric data—which means it also will be reflected in the applied gain. Many of the features discussed above rely on wireless communication between the hearing instruments and in some cases, the remote control and the hearing instruments. Wireless technology also can use relay or streaming devices to extend the connectivity of cell phones, TV, and other devices to hearing aids. The technology within the new micon platform provides the hearing professional with the most complete set of algorithms in one package. In particular, there have been no reported studies that have evaluated whether children with hearing loss may understand speech over the telephone better while listening with two ears compared to one.
Picou and Ricketts3,4 recently reported on two studies in which they examined recognition of recorded speech presented over the telephone for a group of adult hearing aid users.
These devices typically require an additional investment in technology, and these accessories may not be readily available every time a child chooses or needs to talk on the telephone. DuoPhone uses digital, near-field magnetic induction to wirelessly stream audio signals from one hearing aid to the hearing aid on the opposite ear. As a result, the primary objective of this study was to compare speech recognition in quiet and in noise for a group of pre-school children (ages 2-5 years old) with hearing loss when listening with binaural (DuoPhone) versus monaural telephone input. All subjects were fitted with Phonak Bolero Q90-M13 behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, except for one subject who had a four-frequency pure-tone average of 81 dB HL in the poorer ear and was fitted with Phonak Bolero Q90-SP BTE hearing aids.
Simulated real ear output for standard conversational level speech presented from the Audioscan Verifit loudspeaker (Green), for a recorded speech passage presented to the microphone of the hearing aid (Pink) (ie, “Acoustic Telephone”), and for a recorded speech passage presented to the hearing aid telecoil (Blue).
During the procedure, one of the study examiners held the receiver of the telephone handset next to the microphone of the hearing aid. As before, one of the study examiners held the receiver of the telephone handset next to the body of the hearing aid.
Speech recognition was assessed in all conditions with a half-list (25 words) of Northwestern University-Children’s Perception of Speech test (NU-CHIPS) open-set words7 presented by the same female talker throughout the study. Mean NU-CHIP word recognition scores (with 1 SD bar) in quiet and in the presence of noise for the monaural and DuoPhone conditions. Mean word recognition scores in the monaural and binaural phone conditions are provided in Figure 3.
Similar measures should be considered for clinical purposes to ensure that the telephone signal is audible for young children. Audiologists should devote time to counseling the families of pre-school children regarding strategies for optimal telephone use. Binaural hearing on the telephone for pre-school children with hearing loss. Hearing Review. These authors report that there are seven major factors that impact the selection of “favorite,” but the leading reason was the company’s technology. Our contention is that this technology is not just new, but represents a significant step forward in providing high quality amplification.
It’s important, however, not to ignore the fundamental core processing that is responsible for obtaining appropriate audibility for different input levels and optimizing the sound quality for amplified speech.
The premier hearing aid of the five other major manufacturers was compared to the Siemens micon. Preference ratings obtained using MUSHRA methodology; displayed for listening effort and overall preference. In early digital hearing aid research, Ricketts and Dhar2 reported a directional benefit for word recognition in noise of nearly 5 dB, even in a moderately reverberant room. While DNR has long been recognized for improving listener comfort and ease of listening, this is one of the first research findings (published in a scientific journal) to show significant improvement for speech recognition in background noise for this feature. Therefore, instead of using modulation properties, the criterion used in the new micon Directional Speech Enhancement has been changed to direction of arrival. The first study conducted in Horzentrum, Oldenburg, Germany, used two groups of hearing-impaired subjects: one group with moderate downward sloping hearing loss, and a second group who had severe losses. Observe that for the moderate hearing loss group, the scores for both instruments were quite good; however, there was a noticeable 2 dB advantage for the micon. The speech test stimuli were the HINT sentences, with the International Speech Test Signal (ISTS) used as the background noise. Results shown for both the omni condition, and when directional processing and noise reduction were activated for both instruments. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, it should be pointed out that the competitive product has battery drain that is nearly double that of the micon. Many patients are now using 10 dB or more gain for soft inputs signals than they would be using if not for the feedback reduction feature. Moreover, the fact that hearing aids now rarely “whistle” reduces the stigma of wearing hearing aids. However, two significant improvements were implemented in micon that significantly enhance feedback stability, while maintaining high speech quality. For such adaptive directional microphone systems, the particular directional characteristic changes with the particular acoustic situation and signal. Critical gain measures obtained at the time of the fitting are important for establishing the baseline for feedback reduction.
No special measurement signal is presented, nor does any calculation interrupt the normal hearing instrument functionality. Importantly, each individual was fitted according to prescriptive targets for their hearing loss—that is, gain was not reduced to minimize the possibility of feedback. To put these findings in perspective, the recent MarkeTrak VIII survey10 found that only 17% of hearing aid users were “very satisfied” regarding feedback control, with only 69% satisfied to any degree.
For this reason, the micon frequency lowering feature is implemented based on an algorithm that carefully considers the degree of the high-frequency hearing loss, the prescribed gain for the high-frequency region, the effective audibility for these frequencies, and the probability for cochlear dead regions. In general, the research revealed that patient benefit is related to the highest audible frequency for the patient, which is used to determine the kneepoint of the compression (ie, the hearing must be good enough that the compressed signal is audible). All were fitted bilaterally with micon BTE instruments and used the hearing aids in their everyday environments.
Ratings of quality are displayed in the upper panel; the lower panel reflects judgments of intelligibility. More than 4 out of 5 (82%) subjects were satisfied with micon, compared to only half (47%) for the competitor.
The general goal is to place the amplified signals, regardless of the magnitude of their input, at the patient’s preferred listening levels.
And most important, this needs to be accomplished in the patient’s real-world environment for all types of listening needs.
We also know that, in general, new users prefer less gain than experienced users—this is reflected in our prescriptive fitting algorithms. The end result is increased audibility (presumably improved speech recognition) while maintaining preferred listening levels. Several treatment options are available to patients with tinnitus, including counseling, the use of tinnitus therapy signals, or therapy signals combined with amplification in a mixed-mode approach. With micon, in conjunction with the programming software, the patient can have independent control of the hearing aid amplification and the tinnitus therapy signal by setting each volume control (right, left) to control either the amplification or the therapy signal. This is typically referred to as “in situ testing.” For most applications, the fitting software must be structured so that these digital signals can be compared to traditional audiometric HL values.

The Siemens technology for coupling and synchronizing two hearing instruments into one holistic, binaural hearing system is referred to as e2e wireless 2.0. Statistically-derived factors of varied importance to audiologists when making a hearing aid brand preference decision.
Sound quality measures for speech in noise through a commercial hearing aid implementing digital noise reduction.
Effects of transient noise reduction algorithms on speech Intelligibility and ratings of hearing aid users. Adults with mild to moderate hearing losses: are they really hearing instrument candidates?
Combining phase cancellation, frequency shifting, and acoustic fingerprint for improved feedback suppression.
Specifically, the investigators showed that 16 of 18 adults with moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss achieved less than 50% correct speech recognition over the telephone when assessed in the unilateral condition (ie, the telephone receiver held next to the microphone of one hearing aid). Furthermore, wireless streaming accessories are not usually configured to easily interface with most landline telephones but instead are designed to work primarily with mobile devices.
The user simply holds any landline or mobile telephone next to the hearing aid, and the signal that is captured by the hearing aid microphone or telecoil is wirelessly transmitted from one hearing instrument to the other. Digital noise reduction and directional microphone features were disabled for the fitting and for the speech recognition assessment conducted in this study. Then, the hearing aid was set to the manufacturer’s default “acoustic telephone program” (ie, a telephone program intended for placement of the telephone receiver next to the microphone of the hearing aid-no telecoil). Adjustments were made to the hearing aid gain to ensure that the output of the hearing aid was at least as high as what was obtained to the 60 dB SPL Standard Speech signal (Figure 2). Adjustments were made to the hearing aid gain to ensure that the output of the hearing aid matched (±3 dB) what was obtained for the measurement made with the acoustic telephone program (Figure 2).
This improvement is similar to the improvement Picou and Ricketts3,4 reported when comparing binaural telephone performance of adults to monaural use.
Studies on bilateral cochlear implants at the University of Wisconsin’s Binaural Hearing and Speech Laboratory.
Efficacy of hearing-aid based telephone strategies for listeners with moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Remote Microphone Hearing Assistance Technologies for Children and Youth from Birth to 21 Years.
Speech recognition in noise in children with cochlear implants while listening in bilateral, bimodal, and FM system arrangements. Generally, this means the best technology available—or better than the hearing aids they already have in the case of an experienced user. Will the improved features actually make a difference in patient use, benefit, and satisfaction? Over the years, Siemens products have pioneered the use of multiple channels of AGCi and AGCo, as well as innovative compression strategies.
All devices were fitted for a mild-to-moderate hearing loss (IEC-N3 audiogram; 35 dB in lows sloping to 65 dB in the highs), with an additional “music program” added. In 2004, Bentler, Palmer, and Dittberner3 reported that hearing-impaired individuals, fitted with directional amplification, performed equal to young normal-hearing participants in the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT). Ricketts and Hornsby6 reported that, when this filtering was combined with the modulation-based DNR, hearing-impaired listeners had a strong preference for DNR-On versus DNR-Off for several listening conditions.
If the target speech is from the front, which is usually the case, then we would assume that speech identified by the anti-cardioid algorithm is noise (or unwanted multitalker speech).
The required information about the direction of incidence of the signals can be obtained directly from the beamformer. The speech signal used with competing background noise was the olsa (Oldenburg Sentence Test). The micon advantage also was present for the severe hearing loss group, although to a lesser degree. The subjects had mild-to-moderate bilateral downward sloping hearing losses, and were tested for both an omnidirectional setting, and with all directional and noise reduction features activated. This means that the feedback path is altered depending on the given directional microphone pattern at a given point in time.
However, when the feedback path changes, these measures have less relevance to the corresponding acoustic condition. The system simply updates the information on the current frequency-specific critical gain based on the incoming signal, and adjusts the base from which to apply the feedback detection and phase-cancellation algorithms.
It is also important to note that the majority of subjects were fitted with open, or nearly-open, domes.
The frequencies that are moved—and where they are moved to—is dependent primarily on the audiometric configuration of the patient. We focused on this area because one of the overriding objectives in the development of micon was to provide an amplification system so natural that the person would forget that they were wearing hearing aids. At the start of the study, the participants completed the localization questionnaire developed by Noble et al,12 which yielded their unaided handicap. Perhaps more significantly, 53% were dissatisfied with the sound quality of the competing hearing aid. Certainly, the gain needs to be adjusted to optimize speech recognition, but gain also may need to be adjusted for speech in noise, or when noise is the dominant signal. Additionally, in situations where standard audiometry simply isn’t possible, in situ thresholds can be used for programming the instruments. In a bilateral fitting, e2e wireless 2.0 allows the onboard controls of the two hearing instruments to have different functionalities so that, for example, a rocker switch on the left could adjust volume bilaterally, and a push button on the right could change programs bilaterally.
The new VoiceLink provides a convenient alternative to FM technologies by utilizing a wired microphone connected to the transmitter for miniTek. In contrast, this group of adult hearing aid users achieved a 22% improvement when listening with both ears at the same time via wireless streaming that delivered the telephone signal to each hearing aid simultaneously.
The examiners ensured that the children perceived the recorded speech from the telephone to be comfortably loud. In summary, performance with use of DuoPhone in both quiet and in noise was significantly better than performance in the monaural condition. We don’t stop to think about the complexity of each one working with the other to effectively relay sounds and information to the brain.If a bilateral hearing loss is determined (hearing loss that is present in both ears) through testing and evaluation, many hearing care providers and audiologists highly recommend binaural amplification (wearing hearing aids in both ears) as opposed to monaural amplification (a hearing aid in a single ear).
Fitting algorithms have been designed to provide the optimum balance between audibility, sound quality, and user acceptance. Recordings were made from each instrument, and quality was judged by hearing-impaired listeners from the SenseLab IEC-N3 hearing-impaired panel. When Siemens adaptive directional technology was introduced, Ricketts, Hornsby and Johnson4 found a 7.5 dB advantage for the adaptive algorithm when there was a moving noise source in a reverberant listening environment.
Once we have identified the azimuth of the source, it is then possible to apply more aggressive noise reduction to this portion of the incoming signal, which then enhances the overall effectiveness of the DNR. In this research, the Siemens micon was compared to the performance of the premier hearing aid of a leading competitor.
If we average the gain for 2000 and 3000 Hz, and look at the average for all six manufacturers, it is 26 dB.
The directional pattern is adjusted thousands of times every second, which challenges the feedback cancelation system that is estimating the feedback path. This feature assures that the hearing aid will be as feedback-free in these changing acoustic situations as when the feedback path is stable. At the time of the initial fitting, in 97% of the fittings, no feedback could be provoked after first fit, while sound quality was rated as good or very good in 89% of the fittings.
Our research showed that, when the highest audible frequency was below 4000 Hz, for speech in noise testing, the majority of patients showed an advantage for frequency compression activated, with an average SNR benefit ~1 dB.
A big part of listening in the real world is localization—for those of us with normal hearing, it’s something we take for granted.
After 2 weeks of hearing aid use, they again completed the questionnaire relative to their aided performance. The ratings for intelligibility also significantly favored Siemens micon: 53% were very satisfied, versus only 28% for the competitive model. In addition, the wireless communication is sharing data between instruments on the listening environment to assist the automatic situation detection system to determine which algorithms should be engaged for that specific environment.
This is especially effective in improving the signal-to-noise ratio in difficult listening environments such as restaurants, or travel in a car or travel trailer. Many individuals with binaural fittings experience what is referred to as an “additive” therapeutic effect, where one plus one does not necessarily equal two.
The hearing aids were rated on a bi-polar “like-least” to “like-most” scale, using a MUSHRA methodology. The results regarding this perceived global sound quality indicate a high overall performance for the micon.
Both products had noise reduction and directional microphone technology activated (for the micon, this included the new Directional Speech Enhancement algorithm).
The micon system avoids errors by treating the two omnidirectional microphones as independent input signals before the directional signal is calculated. The subjects then used the hearing aids in their everyday listening situations for 2 weeks. There is little data to suggest that one of these lowering procedures is superior to the other. Instead, wearing hearing aids in both ears can create and even greater benefit because of the exponential power of both ears working together.
Both listening effort and quality ratings were conducted for several conditions including speech in quiet, in noise, in several environmental background scenarios, and also for music. In this way, the base for the feedback path estimation is always the stable omnidirectional signals. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, because of their microphone location, have the potential to make localization even worse. At the conclusion, ratings were averaged among conditions to obtain an overall preference rating.
This is why the micon (and other Siemens products) utilizes TruEar (for a review, see Chalupper et al11).

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16.02.2014 admin

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