Hearing aid specialist Signia has launched an updated version of its “groundbreaking” in-app face mask mode.
The Signia smartphone app is a simple tool for use alongside the company’s hearing aids.
Now, its ‘Face Mask Mode’ has seen an update after the feature was first introduced in July of this year.
The tool allows users to better understand people speaking while wearing face masks or coverings.
The updated Face Mask Mode increases the loudness of frequencies associated with speech by 6dB – thereby making it even easier to understand those wearing face masks.
“Face masks not only cover the mouth, restricting any visual speech cues that we might usually rely on – from a simple smile to full lip-reading – but they also affect the acoustic properties of the speech signal,” said Tish Ramirez, Signia’s vice president of clinical education and professional relations.
Masks can reduce frequencies in the 2000-8000 Hz range by between 3 to 12 dB* depending on the type of mask.
“The latest research has shown that the primary sound dampening occurs around 4000 Hz with the most commonly used masks, so a gain increase of around 6 dB has been introduced in the range from 4000 to 8000 Hz to help compensate,” added Ramirez.
Signia claims the feature is the first of its kind on the market, and requires no adjustment of the hearing aid hardware by a professional.