Have you ever noticed that FM radio always sounds so much better than AM radio? Well that’s because FM radio is broadcast with a broader frequency range. Not surprisingly, recent research by hearing scientist Dr. Brian Moore, Emeritus Professor of Auditory Perception at the University of Cambridge has supported the idea that a broader bandwidth contributes to more natural sound quality for music.
Dr. Moore and his colleague did a study to evaluate the perceived naturalness of music and speech based on the frequency bandwidth of the signal. They did this by cutting off low frequencies and upper frequencies at various points. For instance, they had subjects listen to speech and music played through frequency ranges like 313-3547 Hz, 55-10,869 Hz and 208-6897 Hz. What they found was that the perceived naturalness of sound quality increased as the frequency range increased. The most natural sound quality was achieved when there was a fuller spectrum of sound.
Unfortunately for people with hearing loss, conventional hearing aids can only amplify a limited bandwidth of sound because they rely on a speaker to transmit sound. Those tiny speakers inside hearing aids cannot amplify high frequencies to an audible level without feedback or distortion. The restraints of the technology limits the naturalness of the sound quality associated with traditional hearing aids. Moreover, the open fit of most hearing aids like the Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids that are popular today, causes low frequencies to leak out of the ear canal. Not surprisingly, hearing aid wearers often describe sound as “processed” when listening through their hearing aids.
Fortunately, a new kind of hearing solution has overcome the constraints of speaker technology. The Earlens Contact Hearing Solution is the first nonsurgical hearing solution to transmit sound without a speaker. In Earlens, a behind-the-ear Processor captures sound and sends it to an Ear Tip, which converts the sound into pulses of energy that contain sound information. The Ear Tip, which is worn inside the ear canal, sends the energy to a custom Lens that directly vibrates the eardrum to activate the natural hearing system. By working in this unique way, Earlens has a broader frequency range than any hearing aid on the market.
The difference is clear. With Earlens, users can once again hear rich lows and crisp highs. Learn more about how you could help your patients, including those hard-to-satisfy music lovers, hear better with Earlens.