The Science Behind
Automatic Sound Management

Make Seamless Transitions Between
Listening Environments without Adjusting Settings

Because your day takes place in a peaceful park or in a loud restaurant, in a busy train station or on a relaxing beach, MED‑EL's unique technologies are designed to provide outstanding performance for real life – automatically.

Other processors require users to make frequent program or setting changes in order to enjoy an optimal listening experience. Superior front-end processing featuring Automatic Sound Management detects changing listening situations on the go, adapting automatically so you don’t have to.

How Automatic Sound Management Works
For cochlear implant sound processing to be effective, it is critical to compress the large (120 dB) acoustical dynamic range of normal hearing into an acceptable range for electrical stimulation (30 dB). To meet this challenge, all MED‑EL audio processors make use of the front-end processing strategy known as Automatic Sound Management (ASM). ASM consists a dual stage Automatic Gain Control (AGC) providing a wide Input Dynamic Range (IDR) and automatic volume control.

Input Dynamic Range is one of the most important features in audio processor technology. Studies show that only a wide IDR allows for adequate speech perception in noise.1,2 All MED-EL behind-the-ear (BTE) processors feature an Input Dynamic Range of 75 dB. Therefore, all signals within the range of 25 dB and 100 dB SPL are processed. This allows for detailed processing of a very wide range of sound inputs.

Automatic volume control deals with the wide range of input levels occurring in everyday life, including soft speech and loud speech. Automatic volume control assures that speech perception in background noise is largely immune to variations in speech level, meaning that users of MED‑EL audio processors can understand soft and loud speech equally well as normal speech. Varying-level speech can be understood equally well as constant-level speech.3

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MED-EL audio processors also feature a dual stage Automatic Gain Control.4 This technology allows users to hear a very loud sound, such as an airplane, or even a very quiet sound, such as a whisper, at a comfortable volume level. Dual stage also ensures that a sudden increase in loudness does not result in an uncomfortable change in volume for the user. Similarly, dual stage also prevents overly muffled sounds following an initial loud signal. Therefore, sounds that users hear are always presented to maximise speech comprehension and to preserve the subtle differences in loudness from one sound to the next.

Other processors require users to frequently remove the processor from the ear in order to make adjustments based on the environment and level of background noise. Users of processors featuring Automatic Sound Management can rest assured these changes are being made automatically. This is particularly important for infants or small children who may not be able to recognise changes in their surroundings. Parents would be required to make frequent setting changes to their child’s processor in order to receive the best possible benefit.

With Automatic Sound Management featuring a wide Input Dynamic Range and automatic volume control, users can experience the optimal hearing experience whether in an airport, a concert hall, a business meeting, a restaurant or simply at home.

  1. Spahr, Dorman, Loiselle (2007): Per formance of Patients Using Different Cochlear Implant Systems: Effects of Input Dynamic Range
  2. Haumann et. al., 8th International Conference of the Eurepean Society of Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Budapest, 8-11 June 2008: Influence of the Front End Processing on Speech Perception with Cochlear Implants of Various Manufacturers
  3. Nopp P et al, Performance with the OPUS 2 processor in a roving-level speech test, Presented at the 9th European Symposium on Paediatric Cochlear Implantation, Warsaw, 2009
  4. Stöbich, Zierhofer, Hochmair (1999): Influence of Automatic Gain Control Parameter Settings on Speech Understanding of Cochlear Implant Users Employing the Continuous Interleaved Sampling Strategy

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