WidexLink offers new possibilities for transmission of sound from assistive listening devices (e.g., DEX devices) to hearing aids, and exchange of synchronisation data between hearing aids.
The new digital transmission technology is central in our new wireless hearing aid series, WIDEX DREAM and WIDEX SUPER. It is used for the transmission of both data and audio signals in a large number of situations.
WidexLink is used for the transmission of sound from external devices to the hearing aids when the user watches TV, talks on his mobile phone, or listens to music.
The technology is also used for the transmission of data between the remote control (RC-DEX) and hearing aid, and in the exchange of synchronisation data between hearing aids (InterEar communication).
We are convinced that wireless technology is the future in the hearing aid industry. However, the success of any given wireless transmission technology will depend on at least three key issues when applied to hearing aids: Sound quality, transmission robustness, and power consumption.
It is no simple matter to design a system that is able to maintain high audio quality, low battery drain, and robustness against transmission errors at the same time.
In order to achieve these goals, several key components of the wireless system have been carefully designed.
The Audibilty Extender has been tested with adults as well as children by Widex research facilities, including ORCA US. We have positive results from these clinical trials suggesting that the linear frequency transposition facilitates better
speech intelligibility and access to environmental sounds.
First, a fast and efficient audio codec (short for encoding/decoding) and a new accurate and sensitive digital radio receiver system have been developed to ensure fast, stable, and trouble-free transmission of sound and data. It was a requirement that the digital audio codec should be based on a coding principle that would ensure that the signal is perceived as close to the original sound as possible.
Another factor in maintaining a high sound quality is a low audio delay over the wireless transmission system. The digital coding system has been designed in such a way that no data need to be re-transmitted and slow down the transfer of the audio signal as a result.
In fact, WidexLink is able to offer an unparalleled low delay of <10 ms when transmitting sound. This ensures minimum distortion and echo-free sound quality when direct sound in the room is mixed with transmitted sound.
Audio bandwidth is also important for high sound quality. Thanks to the WidexLink technology, we are able to offer an industry-leading audio bandwidth of 100 Hz to 11.2 kHz for transmitted sound in models with a ClearBand receiver.
Ensuring battery efficiency has also been a major concern in the design of WidexLink. This has been achieved by means of efficient data compression methods, and the invention of the new patent- pending, highly sensitive radio receiver that permits low transmission power.