FM optimizes speech intelligibility from infancy to adulthood, in all situations where distance, noise, and reverberation interfere with communication. The path to better hearing begins with choosing the right hearing instrument. However, even hearing instruments properly adjusted to a child’s personal need, cannot provide an adequate signal-to-noise ratio in all situations. Speech understanding can be severely affected by ambient noise (e.g. in the classroom), the distance between speaker and listener (e.g. in lecture halls) or Reverberation (e.g. in large rooms).

Usage of FM

The best way to overcome these problems is to include FM technology in every child’s amplification system and ensure good speech intelligibility in all environments. FM systems pick up speech signals directly at the source and transmit them, clearly and without distortion, directly to the ear. For many years now, teachers, audiologists, parents and speech therapists have been successfully using FM systems to help ensure optimal speech understanding at all times. The advantages of FM technology for infants, children and adults are clear.

Dynamic FM

Dynamic FM is Phonak’s next-generation FM technology platform. Created by Phonak using brand new chip, hardware and software, Dynamic FM offers a family of exclusive features that work together to ensure excellent sound quality and ease of use; helping your child hear more clearly and easily in noisy situations, from a distance, on the phone or even when using a computer.

Dynamic FM’s revolutionary features include:

  • Dynamic Speech Extractor
    A suite of trailblazing features such as intelligent voice activity detection automatically adjusts the output of the listening FM receiver or receivers to ambient noise opening up a whole new dimension in speech understanding

  • MultiTalker Network (MTN)
    The ultimate support tool, the MTN allows multiple talkers in a room to speak to the child without having t o change transmitter settings. It also gives fathers at home a direct link to their toddlers, in parallel to the transmission of the voice of the mother

FM and non hearing aid wears

Individuals with cochlear implants or Baha’s experience the same difficulty as hearing aid users in challenging listening environments.

These situations usually involve distance from a main sound source (someone with a soft voice), unfavorable positioning in a room with background noise, or listening to a TV, radio or computer. It is well documented that improving the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for cochlear implant recipients through the use of an FM system improves speech recognition significantly in the presence of background noise.

MicroLink Freedom is the world’s first design-integrated wireless FM receiver for Cochlear’s Nucleus Behind-The-Ear (BTE) speech processor. MicroLink Freedom is comfortable to wear, aesthetically appealing, easy to use and hassle-free.

MLxi Baha is a Dynamic FM receiver designed specifically for use with Cochlear’s Baha products and provides all the benefits of Phonak’s Dynamic FM technology. It is compatible with Cochlear’s Intenso, Divino and Compact Baha BTEs and implants.

Acknowledgements

Phonak acknowledges the permission and assistance of the following organizations for their expertise in this portion of our website:

In infancy

The communication between parents and infants is always important, particularly for hearing impaired toddlers. An improved signal-to-noise ratio and the extended range provided by an FM system can help facilitate this parent / toddler interaction. Ideal for use in many situations like the car, pram, shopping centres, or s, watching TV. FM systems have been shown to increase the quantity and quality of speech and language experiences during those critical early learning years.

In kindergarten

Kindergartens are always lively noisy places, and it can often be virtually impossible for a hearing impaired child to understand one voice among many. By using an FM system, the speech is picked up directly at its source and transmitted to tiny receivers attached to the hearing instruments. FM systems can overcome background noise problems by improving signal-to-noise ratio by up to 20 dB.

At school

In a classroom the distance between teacher and child dramatically reduces speech intelligibility. The level of a signal which is 70 dB SPL at the source, is just 58 dB SPL at 2 meters and 52 dB SPL at 4 meters. Since the ambient noise level in the room remains the same, this causes a decrease in speech intelligibility, particularly for a hearing impaired child. An FM system reduces this distance to just 20–30 centimeters which is the average distance of the transmitter microphone to the speaker’s mouth. This ensures the speaker’s voice reaching the child’s ears is intelligible at all times.