Controlling Directional Sound Processing

Role
To provide the brain with acoustic information so users can select and focus on whatever sound they are interested in, without requiring them to be vigilant about changing programs.

End user benefit
Natural and unobtrusive way to ensure hearing aids are in the directional mode when needed.

Studies show that most hearing aid wearers with selectable programs remain in the same program most of the time. Thus they may not benefit from directionality. At the same time, conventional directionality may reduce the user’s awareness of their surroundings. The following are specialized features that automatically activate directional sound processing based on the sound environment. They ensure appropriate use of directionality and help balance directional benefit with environmental awareness.

Soft Switching

Smoothly switches the hearing aid between omni and directional mode depending on the sound environment. This is available for Adaptive Directionality, Multiscope and Autoscope options and unlike the binaural strategies, is also applicable to monaural fittings.
 SOFT SWITCHING MICROPHONE MODES
 Front  Speech Speech Speech Noise  Noise
 Rear  Quiet  Babble  Babble  Noise Speech
 MICROPHONE RESPONSE

 

   

Synchronized Soft Switching

Uses Ear-to-Ear communication to ensure both instruments in a binaural fitting are in the same microphone mode.

Activation time:
Time to identify directional need; 3 seconds.
Duration of activation to directional; 10 seconds.

De-activation time:
Time to identify directional need has ceased; 3 seconds.
Duration of deactivation to omni; 20 seconds.

Natural Directionality II

Employs an asymmetrical fitting strategy with one ear always in directional (the “focus” ear) and one ear always in omni (the “monitor” ear). The focus ear is prescribed according to the better-hearing ear. The brain can create a unified binaural image based on which ear has the better representation of the signal of interest. This allows users to stay aware of background noises, doesn’t require user vigilance to change programs, and increases ease of listening.


Binaural Directionality

Relies on Ear-to-Ear data exchange to select the optimal microphone mode on each ear so the strongest voice signal is clear without losing the ability to perceive the surroundings and other speakers.

Clinical studies show that wearers using Binaural Directionality were in a directional mode 22% of the time, which is in agreement with research on user preferences for directionality in daily life.

   Omni
 Omni / Directional
 Bilateral Directional

 BINAURAL DIRECTIONALITY MICROPHONE MODES
 
 MICROPHONE RESPONSE
 Dir/ DIr  Dir/ Omni  Omni/ Dir  Omni/ Omni
       

Binaural Directionality II with Spatial Sense

Expands the Binaural Directionality strategy by using Spatial Sense when the hearing aids are in the omni/omni microphone mode.

Only for dual microphone hearing instruments.

Binaural Directionality III


Improves the ability to stay aware of sounds to the sides and back; more than 30% of the time, the signal of interest is not directly in front of the hearing aid wearer.