Of the estimated 36 million Americans who report some level of hearing loss, as many as 20 million have mild to moderate conditions, in which they struggle to pick out voices in cacophonous settings. Although the condition is common, treatment is limited. Custom-fitted hearing aids, which can be adjusted according to an individual's needs, cost as much as $3,000. Users can instead opt for cheaper, over-the-counter amplifiers, but those simply increase the volume of all ambient sounds and do little to help in conversation. To address the needs of this group, the Colorado company Able Planet reconfigured the noise-canceling circuitry from its headphone line and created the first over-the-counter device that isolates and amplifies voices.
Just as in a pair of noise-canceling earphones, a microphone in the dime-size, in-ear Personal Sound Amplifier feeds noise to a microprocessor. Rather than eliminating sounds by generating competing frequencies (or by using metamaterials), though, the Amplifier's processor isolates and selectively amplifies vocal frequencies (starting around 80 hertz) while dampening ambient sounds. The company's signal-processing algorithm also adds a slight high-frequency boost to voices, allowing them to further stand out without the need for additional—and potentially harmful—volume. If a user still has trouble hearing, he can force the Amplifier to retune by cupping his hand over his ear. The mic senses the echo of the eardrum off the hand, and that signals the processor to quickly adjust its levels, ensuring that the wearer won't miss a word.
ABLE PLANET PERSONAL SOUND AMPLIFIER
Dimensions 0.38 (height) by 1.06 (width) inches
Weight 0.16 ounces
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HEARING
For musicians, Etymotic's earplugs reduce loud sounds, such as feedback, by nine decibels while amplifying soft tones by six decibels. Each plug has a processor that identifies unsafe increases in sound and lowers the volume before it reaches the inner ear.
Etymotic MusicPro $399/pair
Well hearing loss is a handicap of sorts, but there is another hearing problem that is problematic and can cause pain and harm.
I only mention this on this article, because no one has commented on the article and this is of importance hearing related.
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) estimates over 50 million Americans experience tinnitus. Of these, 12 million have tinnitus which is severe enough to seek medical attention and roughly 2 million persons are so debilitated by the tinnitus they cannot function at a normal level on a day-to-day basis.
Science sees no further than what it can sense, i.e. facts.
Religion sees beyond
the senses, i.e. faith.
Open your mind and see!
Oh, personally, I hear a high pitch locus sound 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except when I am sleeping. The sound is always there in my head or mind. I get along in life ok, but there are those that suffer in pain and worse.
I am just bringing this to attention. Please research this on the internet. A large number people suffer from this ringing harmful mental sound.
@Robot - me too. My chronic tinnitus (which sounds like someone laying on all the keys of a cheap organ) got worse a few years back. I have a distortion in one ear and a high-pitched squeal in both. Tolerable, but I forsee a time soon when I'll need some sort of electronic intervention.
Word of warning to everyone: USE HEARING PROTECTION WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG! IT WOULD HAVE HELPED ME!
Combined these could create sensory dominance and social acceptance for autistic children. Placed in the ear they can limit the sounds and reduce sudden loud noises that hurt these children. They could reduce the clutter of children talking and playing while visibly giving the other children social cues of their hearing problems. Gaining them acceptance and understanding they need to socially grow in a wider range of environments.
Loud hurtful sound could be reduced, while at the same time a dominant voice is chosen by triangulation, the teachers override, or by the Childs own laser pointer. The puzzle shaped ear piece on the Childs ears will give clues to the other children of their special hearing needs, and that they need to be addressed visually from the front. If these children are accepted in more social situations and with greater care by the other children they will grow and flourish in life.
So I read the article and would like to try these devices, but can't find them on the internet?
Anyone find them?
I could not find these either. Found the company on the net but not the product.