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Re: Hearing aid owner dissatisfaction

I recall reading a description of a headset-style hearing aid on the website of Sensimetrics (www.sens.com).  I believe it was developed by Pat Zurek.  If I remember correctly, the electronics were contained within the headband, so no body-worn processor was required.  I notice that the website doesn't mention it anymore.  Is there anybody out there from Sensimetrics who can provide more information?

I think that hearing aids will always carry more stigma than eyeglasses, even if they work perfectly, because hearing loss is so strongly associated with aging.

Dan Freed
Senior Engineer, Hearing Aid Research Lab
House Ear Institute
2100 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA  90057  USA
Phone: +1-213-353-7084
Fax: +1-213-413-0950
Email: dfreed@hei.org

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA]On Behalf Of Maher, Rob
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: Hearing aid owner dissatisfaction

After seeing that (1) and (2) are related to hearing aid performance, I
wonder if there has been any research comparing the  true potential
available benefit from a high performance signal processing system vs. the
market-driven low-power BTE and ITE hearing instruments.

Specifically, I have a hunch that better performance might be available
using off-the-shelf signal processing elements rather than trying to make
everything fit in a thimble and run on 1.2V.  The user might then be able to
tune the device using training sessions on a PC.  Are there laboratory
research systems that give users more benefit than what is available on the

The anecdotes I hear are that users wouldn't mind wearing a Walkman-style
headset and belt-mounted processor if the hearing aid actually provided
sufficient benefit.  The tacit reason users want hidden devices is that they
don't really work too well and therefore people are embarrassed to be seen
as "impaired".  We seem to have overcome the social stigma of eyeglasses
(arguably because they work!).

Rob Maher
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Montana State University-Bozeman

Brent Edwards wrote:
> From an article published in 2000 on the hearing aid in the drawer
> phenomenon, the top 20 reasons why hearing aid owners don't use their
> hearing aids are:
> 1. Poor benefit
> 2. Background noise/noisy situations