Remote Microphone & Directivity

Stephen Hallenbeck, Au.DBy Stephen Hallenbeck, Au.D

One of the benefits of Remote Microphone Technology is that it takes advantage of the natural directivity afforded by the pinna and external ear.  The shape and orientation of the pinna provide directivity by enhancing sounds from the front and providing less amplification for sounds originating behind the head.  Placing the hearing instrument microphone in the concha therefore provides enhanced directivity. This placement can improve the perception of signals in the look direction in the presence of noise coming from behind the listener, while using an omnidirectional microphone.

As the omnidirectional microphone is placed more deeply into the ear, as is the case for ITE, Mini-Canal CIC hearing instruments, the omnidirectional response takes on a more directional characteristic. When compared to an instant fit and custom Remote Microphone instrument the directionality due to pinna effects are maintained. While the directivity of a BTE can be improved to a level similar to the RM instrument by the use of a directional microphone, limitations in directional performance can negate this technology’s effectiveness for certain patients.

Check back on Monday for the impact of Remote Microphone Technology on wind noise reduction.

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