MED-EL USA, Durham, NC, announced the availability of Automatic Sound Management (ASM) 2.0 features for the SONNET and SONNET EAS audio processors. ASM 2.0 actively adapts to changing listening environments, including background noise and wind, and is FDA-approved for all SONNET users, said MED-EL USA.

Key features of ASM 2.0 include:

  • Microphone Directionality, which reduces the impact of background noise by utilizing both microphones already built into SONNET audio processors. Natural and Adaptive Directionality are two new features that minimize distracting environmental sounds for better understanding, especially in noisy environments; 100% of SONNET users showed improvement in speech understanding in noise when directionality features were enabled.1

Natural Directionality mimics the way the pinna (outer ear) works for people with normal hearing, by slightly enhancing sounds from the front and at higher frequencies. When using Natural Directionality, SONNET listeners showed up to 54% improvement in speech understanding in noisy conditions, with sounds from all around the listener still audible.1 SONNET users with ASM 2.0 also have the option of the Adaptive Directionality feature, which is more aggressive in identifying and minimizing background sounds. Adaptive Directionality can identify and lessen specific noise sources coming from the sides and behind the listener, and can track those noises as they move in the environment, providing a significant enhancement to sounds coming from the front of the listener, according to the company. When using Adaptive Directionality in challenging background noise environments, SONNET listeners showed up to 109% improvement in speech understanding.1

  • Wind Noise Reduction, which minimizes wind noise when wind turbulence is detected across the microphones. The level of wind noise reduction can be programmed for specific situations and preferences. When Wind Noise Reduction is enabled at the “mild” level in combination with Natural Directionality, listeners can anticipate up to 36% improvement in speech understanding in windy conditions. A “strong” setting is also available if more wind noise reduction is desired.1
  • Automatic Volume Control, which continuously monitors the environment and seamlessly adjusts volume levels between noisy and quiet environments to ensure every sound is heard clearly and comfortably. While recipients can still control the volume level independently by using their FineTuner remote control, Automatic Volume Control reduces the need for the listener to make adjustments during the day. Many recipients find they only rarely need to adjust the level, making listening feel more natural and worry-free.

“Sound is not static. It moves all around us, as do background noises that can disrupt the hearing experience,” said Raymond Gamble, CEO & president of MED-EL North America. “People with normal hearing tune out extraneous noises without giving it much thought. But people with hearing loss tend to struggle in noisy environments. The new ASM 2.0 features allow SONNET users to experience sound in an even more natural way. These seemingly small changes can add up to effortlessly improved hearing for our recipients, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer this new technology.”

People who already use SONNET processors can easily have ASM 2.0 enabled at their next regular visit to the cochlear implant (CI) clinic. The entry-level setting will combine Wind Noise Reduction with Natural Directionality. MED-EL cochlear implant centers are currently receiving the information needed to activate ASM 2.0 features. CI Audiologist training on the features is available either directly from the center’s MED-EL representative, online, and/or through regional training workshops currently being scheduled.

For more information, please visit the MED-EL website here.

1ASM 2.0 Clinical Study. Data on file at MED-EL.

Source: MED-EL