On the Cutting Edge of Hearing Aid Research

Brenno Varanda, Knowles Corporation, Illinois, USA

Nearly 20% of the United States population has some degree of hearing impairment. Despite the relative inconspicuousness and perceived simplicity of hearing aids, their development involves complex, time-consuming, and computationally expensive research. The hearing aid industry is in dire need of a simplified model that can expedite the design process and provide options to consumers quicker. Engineers at Knowles Corporation have achieved this using COMSOL Multiphysics®. Employing a simplified “black box” circuitry model of a receiver coupled to a model of the vibroacoustic system, they drastically reduced the time it takes to optimize performance and bring a prototype to market.

Simulated hearing aid, showing the displacement of the receiver and silicone tube attachment at 3000 Hz.