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Wide-Bandwidth Open Canal Hearing Aid For Better Multitalker Speech Understanding

This study has been completed.
House Ear Institute
Information provided by:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Identifier:
First received: December 19, 2007
Last updated: NA
Last verified: December 2007
History: No changes posted
Our goal is to design and build a new hearing aid system, which mitigates the most common complaints that hearing aid users have. These include hearing in multi-talker situations, poor sound quality, unwanted whistling resulting from feedback, and a dislike of the sound of their own voice. Current efforts, with limited success, use signal processing methods rather than restoring more closely the normal auditory function. We plan to achieve our goal by reducing to practice three key enabling concepts. The first is to replace the current acoustic transducer with a non-acoustic mechanical output transducer that directly actuates the tympanic membrane. This transducer, called the EarLens, floats on the tympanic membrane in a manner similar to the way a contract lens floats on the eye. The second is to increase the output bandwidth of the hearing aid. The third key concept is to place a wide-bandwidth microphone in the ear canal to capture the pinna diffraction cues similarly to the way the normal ear functions. Our central hypothesis is that a hearing aid that delivers amplified wide-bandwidth mechanical stimuli, directionally dependent cues, in an open canal configuration will perform better than conventional hearing aids when there are competing talkers in the background.

Condition Intervention Phase
Hearing Impairment
Device: Hearing Aid
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Wide-Bandwidth Open Canal Hearing Aid For Better Multitalker Speech Understanding

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Speech Reception Threshold [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Effective Sound Pressure Level, Feedback Gain Margin [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

Enrollment: 16
Study Start Date: May 2006
Study Completion Date: October 2006
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Device: Hearing Aid
Amplification of sound for hearing impaired subjects


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Hearing loss less than 60 dB at any frequency, no conductive hearing loss

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Collapsed ear canal, damaged or repaired middle ear, too much sensory hearing loss
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00582946

United States, California
Ear Lens Corporation
Redwood City, California, United States, 94063
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
House Ear Institute
Principal Investigator: Sunil Puria Ear Lens Corporation
  More Information

Responsible Party: Sunil Puria, EarLens Corporation Identifier: NCT00582946     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R43DC008499-01 
Study First Received: December 19, 2007
Last Updated: December 19, 2007
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board
United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD):
Hearing Loss, Eardrum, Transducer, Hearing in Noise

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Hearing Loss
Hearing Disorders
Ear Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
Sensation Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 26, 2016