Wireless Mics Improve Word Recognition for Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
Beck and Holmberg (2011) reported that there are significant benefits to wireless microphones (WM), such as (1) reduction of background noise, (2) reduction of reverberation, and (3) maintenance of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as measured at the sound source (i.e., the person talking).
Wolfe, Morais, and Schafer (2015) evaluated the benefits of WM technology when applied to patients with cochlear implants (CI) in quiet and in noise. They evaluated 16 CI patients in quiet and in noise, with and without the remote microphone used in tandem with their CI. Half of the CI wearers were unilaterally implanted and half were bilaterally implanted. The average age of the CI patients was 61 years of age, the average duration of deafness was 12 years, and the average duration of hearing loss was 34 years.
Wolfe, Morais, and Schafer concluded that remote mics used in tandem with cochlear implants “provided significantly better sentence recognition in a quiet room…” as compared to using the CI as a stand-alone unit. They report that “remote microphone technology allows the recipient to partially overcome the deleterious effects of reverberation and distance from the signal of interest…in classrooms, occupational settings, and social environments….” Wolfe and colleagues report that the “wireless, digital, remote-microphone audio-streaming accessory with the Nucleus 6 sound processor also resulted in sentence recognition in noise at 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 dB noise levels…” as compared to the same CI used as a stand-alone device.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Beck DL, Holmberg M. Connectivity in 2011: Enhancing the human experience. Hearing Review 18(3):38,69-70.
Wolfe J, Morais M, Schafer E. (2015) Improving Hearing Performance for Cochlear Implants Recipients with Use of a Digital, Wireless, Remote-Microphone, Audio Streaming Accessory. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 26:1-8.