Are there hearing aids that change the pitch of what you hear?

Question by Brandon ♥s Baby Isaac: Are there hearing aids that change the pitch of what you hear?
Like if someone can only hear the lower pitches of speech, the hearing aid will take the sound it picks up and puts it in the low rage the user can hear?

Is there such a thing?

Best answer:

Answer by × I ♥ sour gummy worms ×
Yes my friend has one at school and the teacher had a device, it looked like a remote control and when she hit it, it was a loud beep and the hearing aid wouldn’t stop buzzing, she used the devise to change the pitch. My bff is hearing impaired and that was her special ed teacher. Idk what the device is called.

What do you think? Answer below!




2 Responses to “Are there hearing aids that change the pitch of what you hear?”

  1. rangergordon says:

    People with partial hearing loss typically experience the loss in some frequency range — so if someone’s hearing, like in your example, had low response in higher frequencies, the hearing aid would be finely tuned to amplify the exact range of high frequencies necessar.

    Some of the more expensive hearing aids contain digital signal processors, so they could plausibly be programmed to do what you suggest. However, the result wouldn’t sound the way you probably expect.

    Simply translating peaks in the upper frequencies down to the lower frequencies would result in a muddy, unintelligible sound — kind of the way outside noises sound when you’re underwater, except louder.

    DSPs can also transpose *pitches*, which is more like what I think you mean — so, for instance, a woman’s high voice becomes deeper. Still, it doesn’t sound really like a man’s voice, and might also be difficult to understand, unless a component of the signal (called the “formant”) is also changed.

    All this takes a lot more processing power than simply filtering and amplifying frequencies, though, so it may not be an option for the DSP chips that are built into hearing aids.

    Also, since this technique would necessarily mask the *real* sounds in the lower range, I’m not sure how helpful it would be for most partially hearing folks.

  2. patrickinstardom says:

    Yes, there are frequency transposition / frequency shifting hearing aids. There have been many implementations of this technology. The latest one is used by Phonak and is called SoundRecover.

    Phonak and Widex are two major manufacturers who use this technology.

    Phonak: takes higher inaudible frequencies and compresses them into an area that is audible.
    Widex: shifts frequencies over and thus creates overlap of frequencies. Widex’s technology is not mentioned nearly as much as Phonak’s and what I’ve heard is that because Widex simply shifts the frequencies, there is overlap of sounds and a lot of distortion.

    But I would encourage you to contact an audiologist if you would like to try hearing aids. All hearing aids come with a trial period.

    What you should know is that because the brain must reprogram itself to the new technology, it takes time to adapt. Thus, audiologists often will start at a less intense level and increase it however much is necessary.

    I have Phonak Audeo YES hearing aids that use SoundRecover, and I can tell you that I love the technology. I can hear more now than I ever could before. The SoundRecover is tailored to each individual’s hearing loss and in the beginning your audiologist will likely want to make more adjustments than usual based on your experience with the hearing aids (because no person is the same and every hearing aid fitting is different).

    From what I’ve heard, the problem with Widex’s implementation is that it overlayed higher frequencies over existing lower frequencies and thus created a lot of distortion (imagine hearing two different frequencies at the same time). Phonak’s implementation moves inaudible high frequencies into a range that is audible and does this by compressing (squeezing together) the frequencies and this solves the issue of overlap of frequencies.

    It’s quite difficult to explain and I hope this at least helps you begin to understand what is available out there. Please message me if you would like more details.


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