Music and the Problem With Hearing Aids This article is a review of the strengths and weaknesses of modern digital hearing aids to be able to transduce music effectively. One major area that is problematic is the analog-to-digital (A/D) converter that is located just after the input to the hearing aid. A theoretical limit of 96 dB ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2012
Music and the Problem With Hearing Aids
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marshall Chasin
    Musicians’ Clinics of CanadaOntario, Canada
  • Disclosure: Marshall Chasin has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Marshall Chasin has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2012
Music and the Problem With Hearing Aids
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, December 2012, Vol. 16, 55-63. doi:10.1044/hhd16.2.55
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, December 2012, Vol. 16, 55-63. doi:10.1044/hhd16.2.55

This article is a review of the strengths and weaknesses of modern digital hearing aids to be able to transduce music effectively. One major area that is problematic is the analog-to-digital (A/D) converter that is located just after the input to the hearing aid. A theoretical limit of 96 dB is given for the dynamic range of any 16-bit system, and because many components of music are in excess of 96 dBA, the A/D converter element is the weak point in modern hearing aids. In contrast, because the highest sound levels of speech as an input to a hearing aid are on the order of 85 dBA, this limitation is not an issue for speech. The author makes a survey of the technical innovations that have reached the market place, and provides a series of clinical strategies and overall recommendations.

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