The loss of audibility of high frequency sounds often compromises speech understanding and the appreciation of music and nature’s sounds.
The Audibility Extender is moving inaudible sounds, such as high-frequency speech sounds, and environmental sounds like birdsong, a doorbell, music, etc. to a frequency region where they are audible. This has resulted in statistically significant benefits in both adults and children with unaidable high-frequency hearing loss.
Least possible listening effort – most optimal benefits
In recent years, Widex has sharpened the design rationale behind the Audibility Extender by incorporating knowledge and understanding from the cognition field. This has resulted in a design rationale that ensures that the listeners spend the least effort to receive the most optimal benefits with the use of their hearing aids.
The enhanced Audibility Extender used in the BEYOND
hearing aid range is designed using the Effortless Hearing rationale. The new features reflect how cognitive factors are considered in the design process to help people of all cognitive backgrounds receive the maximum benefit from its use. Effortless Hearing boosts the hearing aid features’ capability to improve language understanding (and listening in general) with the least effort put into it as possible.
Redesigned frequency transposition algorithm
The Audibility Extender from Widex uses linear transposition to move sounds down to lower frequency areas. It selects a ‘start’ frequency based on the user’s thresholds and hearing loss configuration. This start frequency works as a cut-off and information above this is moved down by one octave.
The frequency transposition algorithm used in the BEYOND and UNIQUE hearing aid range is redesigned with different enhancements over the earlier version so it can be individualized based on the knowledge of the hearing loss (presence of dead region) and the cognitive background of the wearers.
All these enhancements preserve essential elements of the transposed sounds and make it less different from the original sounds. This will place the least amount of listening demand (and effort) on the listeners.
As our scientific knowledge about hearing and technology improves, so does our ability to create highly individualized and better fitting hearing solutions. This, in turn makes qualified hearing care professionals even more crucial in the years to come.See also:
Kuk F.et al. (2006). Linear frequency transposition: Extending the audibility of high-frequency information. Hear Rev. 13(10): 42-48., Kuk F. (2017). Going BEYOND: A testament of progressive innovation. Hear Rev special supplement.