Do you miss hearing the sounds of the birds chirping or sand crunching beneath your feet during summer walks? It could be because you’re having trouble hearing in the upper frequencies.
Conventional hearing aids have difficulty providing meaningful amplification in the higher frequencies. This is because they rely on tiny speakers to amplify sound. Unfortunately, tiny speakers can only amplify a narrow bandwidth of sound without experiencing the drawbacks of feedback (whistling) or distortion. For a sense of the difference between conventional hearing aid bandwidth and perfect hearing, consider that perfect hearing ranges from 20 Hz in the low frequencies all the way up to 20,000 Hz in the high frequencies. In contrast, hearing aids can usually only amplify sound from ~750 Hz – 5500 Hz.
A new hearing technology, the Earlens Contact Hearing Solution, eliminates the need for a speaker. How does it work? In Earlens, a Processor that is worn like a behind-the-ear hearing aid captures sound, which is then converted into pulses of energy by an Ear Tip, which is worn in the ear canal. Those pulses of energy contain sound information, which vibrates a tiny custom Lens on the eardrum, activating the ear’s natural hearing system. This unique way of working allows Earlens to deliver a broader bandwidth than any hearing aid on the market.
Not only does Earlens provide meaningful amplification in the low frequencies all the way down to 100 Hz, but it excels at providing audibility in the high frequencies that conventional hearing aids have so much trouble with. Not only is this important because better hearing in the high frequencies has been correlated with the ability to understand speech more easily in challenging listening environments*, but also because better hearing in the high frequencies can help us enjoy the world around us better again. For instance, Earlens wearer Barbara W. explained, “I can hear the birds that I never heard before. It’s like experiencing more of the world, and it’s very pleasurable. And, it’s very empowering.”
*Levy SC et al. Extended High-Frequency Bandwidth Improves Speech Reception in the Presence of Spatially Separated Masking Speech. Ear Hear. 2015 Sep-Oct;36(5):e214-24.
Follow us on Twitter: