A DECADE of research had led to the release of breakthrough technology which will address one of the biggest difficulties facing hearing device users. Beltone, a hearing care retailer with over 1500 locations in North America, has just announced Beltone Imagine, the first ‘made-to-measure’ hearing device to combine a microphone and receiver in the ear, along with two microphones behind the ear. This had led to the first-t0-market hearing device with triple microphone technology. This technology is ‘unprecedented’ and Beltone says it will address the ‘unnatural’ sound experience that is sometimes reported by hearing device users.

Currently, hearing devices worn behind the ear capture sound with two microphones placed behind the ear. While providing helpful sound amplification, this process works differently to the way sound is naturally channeled to the eardrum. Consequently, some device users describe the resulting sound as ‘unnatural’, reporting less depth and reduced ability to determine sound direction.

Beltone Imagine seeks to resolve this problem, with a third microphone placed directly in the ear canal to collect sound using the unique acoustics of the user’s ear. This provides greater depth, improved sound localisation, improved sound of your own voice and ‘significantly’ reduced wind noise, for what Beltone describes as a ‘naturally immerse’ hearing experience.

GN Audiology & Medical Affairs vice president Dr John Nelson agrees that sound quality has previously been an unexpected disappointment for some users of popular (behind-the-ear) devices styles. “By figuring out how to eliminate feedback, we were able to add [the third microphone] directly in the ear canal,” Dr Nelson says. “This delivers sound the way we are more naturally accustomed to hearing. We think this advancement will get more people to use hearing aids.” Dr Nelson says there is ten years of research and profound understanding of a user’s unique requirements behind the new device, which goes beyond the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. “… [previous] hearing aids used algorithms of the ‘average ear’ shape when delivering sound. Most of the time, [Beltone Imagine] will be collecting sound using the microphone in the canal, delivering that individualised sound. It truly lets each person experience the world with their own ears.”

This technology is available through Acoustic Hearing Clinics. With five clinics located throughout the Sunshine Coast and one in Gympie, there is a clinic close to everyone. Call 5443 6633 now to book your FREE HEARING CHECK.  See if this hearing breakthrough is suitable for you.

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