Hearing Aid Compression Perhaps the major difference between conventional amplification and the new generation of “programmable” devices is the application of compression technology. The overwhelming majority of custom in-the-ear hearing aids dispensed in 1990 used peak clipping to limit output (Cranmer, 1991); conversely, nearly all programmable hearing aids use some form of compression ... Clinical Focus: Consult
Clinical Focus: Consult  |   November 01, 1991
Hearing Aid Compression
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David A. Fabry
    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Clinical Focus / Consult
Clinical Focus: Consult   |   November 01, 1991
Hearing Aid Compression
American Journal of Audiology, November 1991, Vol. 1, 11-13. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0101.11
History: Received June 23, 1991 , Accepted August 20, 1991
 
American Journal of Audiology, November 1991, Vol. 1, 11-13. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0101.11
History: Received June 23, 1991; Accepted August 20, 1991
Perhaps the major difference between conventional amplification and the new generation of “programmable” devices is the application of compression technology. The overwhelming majority of custom in-the-ear hearing aids dispensed in 1990 used peak clipping to limit output (Cranmer, 1991); conversely, nearly all programmable hearing aids use some form of compression circuitry (see Bentler, 1991, p. 25).
Compression hearing aids use a level-detecting device to monitor voltage at some location in the hearing aid circuit. The position of this device, relative to the hearing aid volume control, strongly affects the electro-acoustic characteristics. For input-controlled compression, the signal level is monitored prior to the hearing aid volume control, and the input SPL at which compression begins is independent of volume control wheel adjustments. Conversely, when the detector is placed after the volume control (as in output compression), the output level for activation of the compression circuit is independent of volume control setting.
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