Algorithms and Kneepoints

How do Algorithms and Kneepoints apply to you? Did you know we used them every time someone wears a hearing device? Every time.

A new client, Jane, came in and asked how hearing devices are able to identify speech and sound. I tried to answer, but she looked even more confused. Karen tried explaining and some things seemed a bit clearer to Jane.

I struggle with balancing my industry jargon and knowledge when translating it into usable everyday pertinent information for you.

This is an excerpt from an article available through Audiology Online, just one of the industry tools I use to keep informed about what is happening and ensure I am offering the most up to date information.

A unique aspect of expansion in the ReSound Alera is that the kneepoints are device-dependent. For each type of device, electro acoustic analysis included careful measurements of the instrument noise floor. Expansion kneepoints were then set to be above the level of the instrument noise floor. This is in contrast with most expansion algorithms, which define kneepoints at fixed levels below the WDRC kneepoints regardless of the device noise floor. The problem with using a fixed expansion level for all devices is that for devices with a higher noise floor, such as power BTEs, expansion may have little effect, while devices with a low noise floor may have too much expansion and subsequent gain reduction. Thus, the device-dependent ReSound approach ensures that expansion is effective for each device type.

This article simply means that the physical transfer of energy within the hearing device components will have a sound. Just as your computer has a fan with a sound, there is a sound when hearing devices switch between programs it uses for filtering and enhancing different frequencies. This sound can be heard by some wearers, so ReSound has altered their use of algorithms to best suit the actual wearer.

If I try to explain something to you and I get caught up in the industry jargon and share too much of the science, do me a favor, stop me, and ask me to say it another way.