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Cambridge software improves quality of sound for hearing aid users
Date:11/8/2012

dge have developed CAM2, a new method of fitting automatic gain control based on the audiogram of the user. An audiogram shows an individual's threshold for detecting sound at different frequencies.

"Until recently, hearing aids only provided amplification for frequencies up to four or five kHz, whereas a person with normal hearing can hear for frequencies up to 15 or 20 kHz," said Professor Brian Moore of the Department of Psychology, who led the development of CAM2. "Manufacturers have recently released hearing aids that can amplify frequencies up to 8 or 10 kHz, but existing fitting methods do not give any recommendations for those higher frequencies." The CAM2 method, however, extends the fitting range up to 10 kHz.

Higher frequencies help distinguish sounds such as "sh", "ch" and "f". In challenging listening situations, such as in a room where several people are speaking at once, the higher frequencies make it much easier to understand the person you want to listen to. The higher frequencies can also improve sound localisation, making it easier to identify where a particular sound is coming from.

A recent study compared the CAM2 method with NAL-NL2, which is a fitting method used by the NHS and many other health organisations worldwide. Judgments of overall sound quality were obtained for male and female speech in both quiet and noisy environments, and for four different types of music (classical, jazz, a man singing and percussion). Most participants in the study showed a preference for CAM2, both for overall sound quality and for the clarity of speech in a noisy situation. Further studies are planned over the coming months, in order to test more subjects with a wider range of hearing loss.
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Contact: Sarah Collins
sarah.collins@enterprise.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-60335
Cambridge Enteprise University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

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