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Next Generation

of FineHearing:

FS4 and FS4-p (parallel signal processing) provide fine structure on 4 channels ranging up to 1 kHz for an
even more accurate hearing experience.


MED-EL Sound Coding

Optimised Sound Perception
for Hearing in Real-life Listening Situations

The Challenge
The ability to perceive sound in real life is varied and can include listening to music, recognising environmental sounds, or understanding speech under adverse conditions. The MAESTRO Cochlear Implant System was built with these challenges in mind and includes features designed to specifically address the needs of listening with a cochlear implant in everyday life.

Research into combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS) has shown that cochlear implant users with usable acoustic hearing in the low frequencies can understand speech in noise significantly better than can regular cochlear implant users, i.e. cochlear implant users who rely on electric stimulation across all frequencies. In addition, users of EAS have also been found to appreciate music better. These advantages of EAS are commonly attributed to better temporal coding of a sound’s instantaneous frequency in the low-frequency range. This instantaneous frequency information is usually attributed to the fine structure of sound.

As a result of our research leadership in the area of combined electric and acoustic stimulation, MED-EL has developed FineHearing Technology. FineHearing technology allows for better temporal coding of sounds in the low frequencies –similar to normal hearing – by using a stimulation paradigm that is derived from a sound’s fine structure in that frequency range. The Fine Structure Processing (FSP) coding strategy in the MAESTRO system makes use of this technology and also allows regular cochlear implant users access to the fine structure of low frequency sounds. In addition, FineHearing allows MAESTRO users access to a wide frequency range, from 70 Hz to 8500 Hz.

Automatic Sound Management
Another attribute of sound perception in real life is its wide dynamic range. This can extend from the rustling of leaves to the boom of a jet plane. The MAESTRO CI System addresses these natural sound attributes by incorporating a feature called Automatic Sound Management (ASM). ASM works with a dual-loop automatic gain control, which constantly adapts the gain of the system, setting the sound signal to a loudness level that can be comfortably heard and is optimal for speech perception, but is still proportionally loud or soft. It also manages short and intense transient sounds, such as the slam of a door. ASM provides users of the MAESTRO CI System with an input dynamic range of 75 dB SPL.

Superior Performance
The benefits of FSP and ASM have been shown in various studies. A recent comparison study by the Department of Otolaryngology at the Medical University of Hannover shows superior performance for individuals using the MAESTRO CI System in a test which aims to assess speech perception in noise at various sound levels ranging from soft to loud speech.
© 2020 MED-EL