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A comparison of Lyric with digital hearing aids

Field Study News PDFThe analogue signal processing of Lyric can appear simple compared to that of modern digital and multi-channel hearing aids. Digital hearing aids offer a variety of possible settings and technical features which can often adapt to the user’s actual hearing situation or use directional technology. By contrast, Lyric can appear more simplistic. However, the positioning of the Lyric device deep inside the ear canal offers the opportunity to take best advantage of the natural acoustic effects of the outer ear and the ear canal. These effects along with the unique natural processing of Lyric play a significant role in achieving the best and most natural sound quality and good speech intelligibility.

Unlike other hearing aids, Lyric is placed deep into the bony portion of the ear canal so that the receiver sits just 4 mm from the ear drum, and the microphone is always at least 4 mm from the opening of the ear canal.

This deep ear canal placement provides a number of sound quality benefits. Sound can enter the ear naturally, by using the outer part of the ear and the ear canal to direct sound toward the Lyric device. In addition, the microphone and speaker are surrounded by soft conformable seals that do not allow sound to escape back out towards the microphone.

Traditional hearing devices, such as behind the ear or half shells, have a microphone which is outside of the canal and sound directionality can be an issue, as can wind noise, which require algorithms to help cancel out these noises. If the algorithms are not necessary, the quality of digital sound alone is not inherently better than analogue.

A study was conducted earlier this year at the Hearing Centre Oldenburg in Germany to directly compare the performance of Lyric with digital hearing aids. The study involved 12 people who were already used to wearing digital hearing aids. At the start of the study the participants went through a number of tests using their current digital hearing aids, including speech recognition test in noisy and quiet setting a localisation test, and a test which measured the effort they needed listening in different noisy situations. The same tests were administered again after the participants had been fitted with Lyric and given a brief period to adapt to the new device. The study concluded that despite being analogue and having less adjustable options or adaptive features Lyric did not present any disadvantage for the user with regard to speech intelligibility in quiet or noise or in localising where the sound is coming from.

Obviously Lyric is not suitable for every ear canal and requires the ear to be a certain length, size and shape. However for those that are suitable, Lyric provides exceptionally high customer satisfaction thanks to its exceptional sound quality, invisibility and minimal handling.

If you would like to read about this study in more detail, please download the article here.

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