New Hearing Aid Technology

I read a couple of articles about interesting new technology for hearing aids in EETimes this week.

The first is about the Epoq hearing aid line from Oticon, the article is here. The MP3 player and cell phone integration is nice and should drive sales. What most interested me though was how they accomplished the continuous real time wireless communication within the tiny 1 mW total power budget typical of hearing aids. They did it by creating a magnetic-coupling system that requires only 300 – 600 µW for Tx and 300 µW for Rx. With this tiny power consumption they can still get 120kbit/s for up to 2 meters.

The second article is about AMI Semiconductor’s new 24-bit DSP chip the Ezairo 5900. These new technologies should help increase the utility of hearing aids and encourage more of the people with hearing loss to use them.