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Evaluation of the Harmony Soundprocessor in Combination With the Speech Coding Strategy HiRes 120

Brendel, Martina*; Buechner, Andreas*; Krueger, Beate*; Frohne-Buechner, Carolin*†; Lenarz, Thomas*

doi: 10.1097/mao.0b013e31816335c6
Original Articles
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Objective: The Advanced Bionics Harmony BTE processor was developed to support the new speech coding strategy HiRes 120 with a resolution of 120 channels based on "current steering." Compared with the previous Auria, the front end has been re-designed and power consumption reduced.

Study Design: HiRes 120 as well as the impact of the improved Harmony processing concerning a better speech understanding were evaluated. Subject's performance was evaluated using a test battery of the Hochmair-Schulz-Moser (HSM) sentence test and questionnaires regarding general sound quality, music perception, battery life time and processor handling.

Patients: In the first study group, 11 postlingually deafened adult subjects participated with a minimum of 9 months experience. The second study group consisted of 14 postlingually deafened adult subjects with a minimum of 2 years experience.

Interventions: Tested were the 2 speech coding strategies HiRes and HiRes 120 on the Harmony and the clinical system, respectively.

Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception tests in quiet, in CCITT noise, as well as with a competing talker, questionnaires regarding sound quality and handling and perceptual channel tests.

Results: A total of 84% showed a clear preference for the Harmony processor compared with their previous processor with HiRes. The speech test results showed a 7.7% average increase in the HSM sentence test with 5 dB SNR competing talker.

Conclusion: The majority of the subjects wanted to change to the new Harmony processor because of a better understanding in everyday life, handling, and improved battery-life time.

*Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Hannover; and †Advanced Bionics GmbH, Hannover, Germany

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Martina Brendel, Dipl.-Ing., Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany; Email: brendel@hoerzentrum-hannover.de

© 2008 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.