How can a CI-user benefit from a Distance microphone

Being a part of a community of colleagues at work is to take an active part of informal and formal meetings. 20% of hearing aid users are dissatisfied with their hearing aids in large meetings. The further the distance, the more the sound is dispersed and the speaker’s voice becomes less distinct from reflection and absorption of the surroundings. Comfort Audio produces two far field microphones, also called conference microphones. Conference microphone incorporates Perceptional Speech Enhancement and Active Noise Reduction that can improve the signal-to-noise ratio for users.

A study made by by Olszewski Ł., Majchrzak A., and Skarżyński P.H at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw and Institute of Sensory Organs, Nadarzyn, Poland determine the benefit that an adult CI-user can have by using a far field microphone, a conference microphone.

Ten adult subjects with cochlea implant participated in the study. The objective in the study was to determine which signal to noise ratio that was needed using only the CI compared with a CI in combination with a conference microphone.

The results show a large individual difference between the subjects. The individual differences can depend on several parameters such as time with implant and how well the subject could acclimatize to a new signal processing. In average a conference microphone gave an improvement of 3 dB which is very promising to a digital sound processing algorithm.

The graph is showing the results for the ten adult CI-users. The blue bars are showing the SNR when needed using only the CI and the red bars are showing the SNR when needed using the CI in combination with a conference microphone.