Frye Electronics Inc, Tigard, Ore, introduces the FONIX 8000 Hearing Aid Test System, which helps clinicians verify a hearing aid’s directional response pattern (its polar plot)–a measurement that has not typically been available in a clinical environment, according to the company.
The technology, which has been in development for the past 3 years, may be a useful tool for hearing health professionals in light of the growing popularity of directional hearing aids.
In the polar plot sound chamber, the hearing aid is mounted on a rotating spindle in front of the sound chamber speaker. During the test, the 8000 automatically rotates the hearing aid in a 360 degree circle, taking measurements at angles specified by the user. A special damping configuration is used within the sound chamber to minimize acoustic reflections and provide as much accuracy as possible within the small confines of the desktop chamber. Results are displayed in polar plot format on a screen, and can be printed and saved electronically for future reference.
The company says modern hearing aids do not always perform as intended and increased complexity, combined with the small size of today’s hearing aids, sometimes conflicts with their electronics and power demands. Though much of the hearing aid testing capability is similar to the previous FONIX 7000 analyzer, the FONIX 8000 includes a single board computer with a processor that is an order of magnitude faster than the previous model, giving it more advanced testing potential and making it an ideal platform for innovation, says Frye.