Spatial Sound Technology Is Making a Big Impact on Speech Understanding

What is spatial sound technology?

Hearing instruments with spatial sound technology use wireless right-aid-to-left-aid communication to help the hearing-impaired listener’s brain organize the sources of sound in an environment. Organizing where sounds are originating from will help the brain select which sound (i.e., which speaker) they want to listen to, and they will be better able to follow that sound or another sound of their choice over time. Spatial sound technology allows hearing instruments to talk back and forth with each other, similar to how our natural brain allows for communication between the two ears.

Hearing instruments without spatial sound technology do not talk back and forth with each other, which can prevent a listener from gaining additional information about where sounds are occurring around them in the environment. These hearing instruments work independently on each side of the head, with each instrument trying to maintain equal loudness of a desired sound. This impacts the hearing instrument user when they are in areas of complex, competing noise (i.e., crowds, or places with heavy background noise). The natural perception differences between ears that occur when a sound is closer to one ear than the other are not maintained.

With spatial sound technology, each hearing instrument maintains different loudness levels on each side of the head, depending on the location and distance of the sound source. The listener, therefore, can place the sound source easier, which will help to organize the sounds in the environment, help the listener select which sound they want to listen to, and help the listener to follow that speech signal.

We are happy to further discuss with you the application of this technology. Spatial sound technology is currently available in the AGX9 level of technology.

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