For your patients who appreciate music, the dynamic coupling option in this intelligent receiver could make it a great option. Here’s why.
In a past life of mine, I had the pleasure of working with musicians as a studio engineer. Being around musicians in this environment made me realize the importance of coupling in a musical world. For example, you will often see singers avoiding using closed-back headphone when recording a vocal track.
This is due to the occlusion effect altering their perception of their fundamental pitch and overall timbre. More often, you will see a singer using open back headphones, or position the headphones off the pinna enough to allow for the transfer of energy back to the outside environment, alleviating the occlusion effect.
In the world of Audiology, hearing care professionals (HCPs) go through a series of decisions when dispensing and fitting hearing instruments. With the variety of solutions available, you can weigh the potential benefits of different products and technologies. Perhaps music is a big part of a patient’s life, and their priorities revolve around their appreciation and perception of their favorite songs.
One of the decisions that needs to be made in the fitting process is the type of coupling used to provide amplification and signal processing. Since the emergence of receiver-in-canal hearing aids and open fittings, these decisions are often based on the audiogram.
Coupling option helps individualize fittings
With the conception of ActiveVent receivers, HCPs can now individualize fittings even more with this dynamic coupling option. For a new hearing aid user, HCPs will typically use as open fitting as possible, to alleviate potential complaints of the occlusion effect. This is typically done by increasing the vent size for custom products, or using an open, universal coupling for RIC hearing aids.
By using a more open fitting, clinicians may ease complaints of the occlusion effect. However, when a more open fitting is pursued, the following considerations should be made. Comb-filtering may result from time differences between direct and amplified signals.1 Additionally, benefit of directionality, noise reduction, and other signal processing algorithms may be reduced if direct sound dominates the amplified signal.2,3,4.
Lastly, just as low frequency energy can escape to combat an undesirable occlusion effect, this transfer of energy may result in reduced low frequency energy during media streaming. ActiveVent offers a unique solution, as it gives the benefits of both an open and occluded coupling, dependent on the environment the user is in at any given time.
What does this mean for you in your practice?
ActiveVent technology offers an opportunity to individualize fittings further, but without the compromise of choosing only one coupling method. This is ideal for your music-loving clients who don’t want their perception of pitch and timbre to be altered when listening to their favorite songs.
To read a previous blog article by Dr. David Taylor, we invite you to read, Hearing is Believing – The Scientific and artistic approach.
1. Fuston, L. (2021, May 3). Comb Filtering: What Is It and Why Does It Matter? Sweetwater. Retrieved from https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/what-is-it-comb-filtering/
2. Magnusson L, Claesson A, Persson M, Tengstrand T. (2013). Speech recognition in noise using bilateral open-fit hearing aids: the limited benefit of directional microphones and noise reduction. Int J Audiol. 52(1):29-36. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2012.707335.
3. Bentler, R., Wu, Y.- H., Jeon, J. (2006) Effectiveness of directional technology in open-canal hearing instruments. The Hearing Journal, 59(11): 40, 42, 44, 46–47.
4. Ricketts, T. (2000). Directivity quantification in hearing aids: Fitting and measurement effects. Ear & Hearing, 21(1), 45-58.