TRUSOUND COMPRESSION

The compressor in a hearing aid is the feature that adjusts gain according to the current sound environment and the client’s hearing loss. The target gain settings in the compressor are based on the Widex fitting rationale, focusing on three different sound levels: soft sounds, normal speech levels, and loud sounds.

A strategy for soft, normal and loud sounds

The Widex fitting strategy for soft sounds involves keeping them above the client’s hearing threshold. This entails a very low compression threshold with the EDRC (Enhanced Dynamic Range Compression) known from Widex hearing aids since Senso Diva.
The general fitting strategy for soft sounds is a normalisation strategy aiming at matching the loudness perception of a normal-hearing person as closely as possible.
For normal speech levels, Widex aims at providing optimal speech intelligibility. This is achieved on the basis of an equalisation scheme where each frequency region is amplified sufficiently to make the speech cues audible to the user.
Gain is also optimised according to the ambient sound environment by the implementation of the Speech Enhancer, which optimises gain in regions with speech using the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII).
The general strategy for loud sounds is that they should be perceived as loud but not uncomfortably loud by the user. A normalisation strategy where a sound perceived as loud by a normal-hearing person will also sound loud to the hearing aid user is employed.

User preferences

The speed with which gain is regulated in the compressors (the attack and release times) is an important factor for the sound quality.
Research indicates that a slow-acting compression system results in the best sound quality and that users generally prefer very low compression rates for most input levels.
By using predominantly slow regulation, Widex offers a compressor that adjusts gain according to the general sound level, but with the sound quality of a linear system.
Moreover, the compressor also preserves the spectral and temporal contrasts in speech signals.

InterEar

For some of the newer Widex hearing aid series with InterEar functions, the TruSound compression system can exchange data in a coupled pair of hearing aids. We call this IE TruSound Compression. This means e.g. that it is easier for the user to find the voice in a crowd.
The inter-ear technology in IE TruSound Compression amplifies soft, normal speech and loud inputs through an adaptive gain algorithm. Inspired by the theory of Interaural Level Difference, a prerequisite for sound source localisation, IE TruSound Compression optimises the gain adjustments and overall output. 
The InterEar TruSound compression system coordinates the amplification of sound in the left and right hearing aid, preserving the natural Interaural Level Difference (ILD).

UNIQUE PUSHES THE LIMITS

With the WIDEX UNIQUE™ hearing aid we have refined the entire process of digital sound processing to push the barriers of performance.
 
Improved A/D convertors for incredibly wide input, a sound classifier for intelligent listening and the Wind Noise Attenuation system that dramatically reduces wind noise by 8.4 dB – UNIQUE is like no other hearing aid.

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