The Audibility Extender from Widex extends the range of audibility for the hearing impaired person.
This is done by moving inaudible sounds, such as high-frequency speech sounds, and environmental sounds like birdsong, a doorbell, music, etc. to a frequency region where they are audible.
Linear frequency transposition
The Audibility Extender uses linear frequency transposition. It is linear in the sense that one section of frequencies is moved to a lower range of frequencies without compressing or distorting the signal.
This way the important harmonic relationship of sound is retained. In practical terms, this means that, for instance, your alarm clock will still sound like the same alarm clock.
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.
High frequency sounds are important for speech perception
Research has shown that being cut off from high frequency sounds may have a negative impact on speech perception in adults.
It is also clear that a high frequency hearing loss may result in a delay or failure of normal language development in children.
Being able to discriminate sounds in spoken language depends a great deal on the extent to which you have access to high frequency sounds. For many consonants, the spectral energy is primarily located in the high frequency region.
Phonemes such as /s/, /∫/, /t/, /z/ are therefore difficult to discriminate if you have a hearing loss in the high frequencies. In spoken English being able to discriminate /s/ and /z/ is important because these phonemes mark plurals, possessions and contractions as well as the third person singular tense.
Also being able to distinguish similar sounding words such as sip – tip –ship – chip and but – bus – bust will be impaired with high frequency hearing loss. This will also have an effect on language production in terms of proper pronunciation of for instance /s/ sounds in spoken language.
Personal Audibility Extender
In the COMPAS GPS fitting software the Audibility Extender is available as a feature for all programs and input types – that is why we call it the Personal Audibility Extender.
With 10 start frequencies at all performance levels, and with an option for the Audibility Extender to be active for all input types when listening via specific programs, you can offer your clients even more with the Personal Audibility Extender.