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January 3, 2005

2 hearing aids work in tandem

From: Charlotte Observer (subscription), NC - Jan 3, 2005

Electromagnetic technology allows devices to synchronize sound waves

Most people with hearing loss experience reduced hearing capacity in both ears. But wearing two hearing aids has never been an ideal solution, because conventional models have been unable to work in sync.

Siemens' new Acuris hearing-aid system presents a solution to that problem. Its binaural hearing aids communicate with each other with electromagnetic wireless technology so that they can agree on ambient sound environments.

Acuris' customized controls can be mounted on either or both of a patient's hearing aids.

The system employs algorithms to negotiate noise reduction, speech management, feedback reduction and directional microphones. "It usually only takes about four seconds to switch into directional-microphone mode as a patient approaches a new, noisy environment," said Thomas Powers, Siemens' chief research officer.

A Siemens representative said the hearing aids, which will be available from audiologists and other hearing professionals, would range from about $4,500 to $6,500. -- NEW YORK TIMES

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