When configuring a hearing solution, hearing care professionals must consider many factors when choosing the acoustic coupling; such as appearance, comfort, amplification and sound quality to name a few. The various factors directly influence one another and this is particularly true for sound quality and its effect on audibility. Specifically, modifications to improve own voice quality frequently reduce audibility and consequently hearing performance.
One reason for own voice issues is called the occlusion effect — an increase in loudness (low frequency energy) of the wearer’s own voice when the ear canal is blocked by a closed-fit hearing aid. To manage the occlusion effect, hearing care professionals open the venting. However, an open fitting not only allows low frequency energy out but also allows ambient sound in. This reduces hearing performance in noisy environments because external sounds mask the processed sound delivered via the hearing aid.
An ideal solution would be to have the freedom to choose an acoustic coupling for maximum performance without any concern that the wearer experiences an unnatural own voice. In a recent study, OVP™ was proven to increase own voice satisfaction for all acoustic couplings (closed, vented and open tips). Hearing care professionals can now fit with any tip and achieve the same level of acceptance of own voice quality.
Signia Nx with OVP™ provides the hearing care professional with the ability to choose an acoustic coupling that acts as an effective screen against ambient sound that would otherwise mask the cleaned sound from the hearing aid. This is all achieved with high satisfaction with the sound of the own voice.
To read more about this study, click here.
* 2017 “OVP Study” conducted at University of Northern Colorado examining the effect of own voice processing on spontaneous acceptance after first fit of hearing aids. Further details: www.signia-pro.com/ovp-study.