Wireless Hearing Product Platform

Hearing products aids that eliminate disruptive ambient noise

The challenge

In teaching situations and during meetings it is particularly important that you can hear what teachers and people around you are saying. For children and adults with hearing impairments who use hearing aids, ambient reverberation and background noise often cause major problems. Comfort Audio has therefore developed a system that filters out disruptive sounds and makes speech clearer before it reaches the hearing aid or the cochlear implant. Our assignment was to develop an extremely small and very energy efficient radio receiver with good sensitivity even in large auditoriums and which is discreetly connected directly to the hearing aid or implant.

The solution

Initially, we focused on the entire system architecture – on how the different units should best communicate with each other and which frequency band and code algorithms would be most suitable for optimum system performance. We helped Comfort Audio from the initial phase, using our various specialist skills within radio systems and miniaturization to develop a customer-specific ASIC solution (IC) and even a specially adapted antenna design. To guarantee function and optimize performance we carried out EMC, radio and antenna measurement tests in our Test Center.

The Result

The world’s smallest radio receiver, which was connected to and supplied with power by a hearing aid launched in 2012. The delicate receiver was connected to the hearing aid or implant, and provides the user with clear, pure sound which better conveys the nuances, tone and feeling in the speaker’s voice. The range is more than sufficient; up to 25 meters, and the power consumption is only a few milliamperes for a 1 V supply, which is extremely good in comparison with standard products on the market. This also makes possible power supply directly from the hearing aid’s small battery.

Relevant skills: system architecture, ASIC development, wireless technology, antennas and miniaturization. Test Center: radio testing