Perfect hearing ranges from 20 Hz in the low frequencies all the way up to 20,000 Hz in the high frequencies. However, hearing aids can usually only amplify sound from ~750 Hz – 5500 Hz. Unfortunately, this narrow frequency range limits the quality of sound that conventional hearing aids can provide. Not surprisingly, sound quality is the number one dissatisfaction that hearing aid wearers have with their hearing aids.*
The reason that hearing aids have been unable to amplify sound across a broader frequency range has to do with how they work. Traditional hearing aids capture sound through a microphone and convert sound waves to electrical signals that are sent through an amplifier. The amplifier strengthens the signals and pushes the amplified sound waves through a small speaker to vibrate the eardrum more strongly than the original sound wave could have. Unfortunately, hearing aid speakers are only able to amplify certain frequencies up to a certain level before they encounter problems with distortion or feedback (whistling).
This is where a light-driven hearing aid has an advantage. The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid uses light rather than a speaker to transmit sound. Earlens hearing devices have three main parts: the Photon Processor, Light Tip, and the Lens. Sound enters the microphones on the rechargeable Photon Processor, which is worn behind the ear. The Processor digitally processes the sound and transmits it to the Light Tip. Finally, the Light Tip transforms the sound information into pulses of non-visible light that signal a custom Lens to gently vibrate the eardrum and activate the natural hearing system.
By eliminating the reliance on speaker technology, Earlens can deliver a broader frequency range of sound than any other hearing aid on the market—from 100 Hz all the way to 10 kHz. More complete sound means richer lows and crisper highs. The bandwidth that Earlens amplifies has been associated with more natural sound quality and better ability to understand speech.**
To hear the Earlens difference, make an appointment with your nearest Earlens provider and ask for a complimentary sound comparison between Earlens and your current hearing aids.
About the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid
The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.
*Kochkin S. (2012) MarkeTrak VIII: The Key Influencing Factors in Hearing Aid Purchase Intent. Hearing Review, March:12–25.
*Moore, B. C., & Tan, C. (2003). Perceived naturalness of spectrally distorted speech and music. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 114(1), 408. 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.
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