Improving speech understanding with Made for iPhone connectivity
GN Latest News December 23, 2014
The leading monthly trade magazine The Hearing Review will publish a study by GN ReSound that demonstrates how connectivity and visual cues improve speech understanding significantly.
The article in The Hearing Review, which will be published at the beginning of 2015, highlights how there is a significant improvement in speech understanding for severe-to-profound hearing impaired when visual cues are available during the conversation i.e. communicating while seeing the other person. The results of the study are highly relevant as many hearing aid users experience challenges when understanding speech on the phone.
With GN ReSound's Made for iPhone hearing aids that work like wireless stereo headphones, users can connect to what they love with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and enjoy conversations with e.g. remote family members during the holiday season through FaceTime or Skype.
Director of Global Audiology at GN ReSound Charlotte T. Jespersen and Senior Audiologist at GN ReSound Brent Kirkwood have conducted the study in a realistically difficult sound environment with 15 experienced hearing aid users with a severe-to-profound hearing impairment. The users were selected to be representative of an extensive range of hearing aid users.
When comparing speech understanding from an acoustic phone (i.e. having a conversation on the phone by holding it up to the ear) with speech understanding through FaceTime (i.e. having sound streamed directly from FaceTime to the hearing aids while watching the other person in the conversation on the screen), results were a benefit of more than 70 percentage points.
FaceTime results - benefit of streamed bilateral- and visual information
The study also demonstrated that adding visual cues through FaceTime compared to only receiving a streamed signal without visuals (streaming sound directly to the ears) on average gave an additional benefit of more than 20 percentage points. This part of the test was based on both unilateral and bilateral streaming.
FaceTime results - benefit of visual information
Charlotte T. Jespersen says: "This study is important in the debate about sound and connectivity for hearing-impaired people. For hearing aid wearers, using the phone can be very challenging even in quiet situations and impossible in the presence of any background noise.The study's results clearly demonstrate how connectivity improves speech understanding - and it is another example of how 2.4 GHz and Made for iPhone hearing aids can significantly improve the satisfaction level with hearing aids in phone conversations and provide hearing aid users with benefits beyond those of non-hearing aid users".
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