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Helix Receiver-in-the-canal Hearing Aid

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248732D
Publication Date: 2016-Dec-30

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A helix receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid has a curved elongate case including a rear portion configured to be positioned in the helix of an ear of a hearing aid wearer, a front portion configured to be inserted into the ear canal of the ear, and a middle portion coupled between the rear portion and the front portion. The case houses a hearing aid circuit including a microphone, a receiver (speaker), a processing circuit coupled between the microphone and the receiver, and a battery supplying power to the hearing aid circuit. In various embodiments, the battery is housed in the case in the rear portion, the receiver is housed in the case in the front portion, and the microphone house in the case in the middle portion. In various embodiments, the helix RIC hearing aid has a standard form factor that fits entirely in the ear.

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HELIX RECEIVER-IN-THE-CANAL HEARING AID

ABSTRACT A helix receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid has a curved elongate case including a rear portion configured to be positioned in the helix of an ear of a

hearing aid wearer, a front portion configured to be inserted into the ear canal of the ear, and a middle portion coupled between the rear portion and the front portion. The case houses a hearing aid circuit including a microphone, a receiver (speaker), a processing circuit coupled between the microphone and the receiver, and a battery supplying power to the hearing aid circuit. In various embodiments, the battery is housed in the case in the rear portion, the receiver is housed in the case in the front portion, and the microphone house in the case in the middle portion. In various embodiments, the helix RIC hearing aid has a standard form factor that fits entirely in the ear.

This document relates generally to hearing assistance devices and more particularly to a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) type hearing aid that fits in the ear. Hearing aids are used to assist patients suffering hearing loss by transmitting amplified sounds to ear canals. In one example, a hearing aid is worn in and/or

around a patient’s ear and includes a microphone, a receiver (speaker), and processing circuitry coupled between the microphone and the receiver. Patients usually prefer that their hearing aids are minimally visible or invisible, do not interfere with their daily activities, and easy to maintain. However, minimization may have to be achieved by compromising performance of the hearing aid to some extent.

Examples of hearing aid types include behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), and receiver-in-the-canal (RIC). A BTE hearing aid typically includes a case that fits behind a wearer’s ear and houses all the electronic components including the microphone and the receiver. A standard or custom earpiece is coupled to the case to deliver sounds from the receiver to the wearer’s ear canal though a cable or tubing. An ITE hearing aid typically includes a case that fits completely in the wearer’s ear and houses all the electronic components including the microphone and the receiver. The receiver is in the wearer’s ear canal when the ITE hearing aid is worn. An ITC hearing aid is similar to the ITE hearing aid but smaller and less conspicuous, and a CIC hearing aid is invisible or nearly invisible. BTE hearing aids generally provide more functionality, better performance, and/or easier manipulation than the smaller ITE, ITC, and CIC hearing aids. However, they are conspicuous and more likely to interfere with the wearer’s activities (such as using telephones and wearing eyeglasses). ITE, ITC, and CIC hearing aids are less visible or invisible, but prone to acoustic feedback because the relatively short distance between the microphone and the receiver, and may have limited wireless communication capability because of...