Hamburg, Germany (June 19, 2015)—New versions of Sennheiser’s MobileConnect and CinemaConnect apps, co-developed with Fraunhofer IDMT, enable mobile streaming users to not only adjust volume but also to adapt speech intelligibility and sound quality.
With the new, updated versions of both apps, users will be able to adjust the amplification and dynamic range of high- and low-frequency audio content in addition to the volume. Along with better speech intelligibility, users will also benefit from generally improved sound quality tailored to their specific needs.
In developing the enhanced technology for the streaming apps, audio specialist Sennheiser drew on the Oldenburg Project Group for Hearing, Speech, and Audio Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) and the Oldenburg Hearing Center.
The apps are intended for users with early-stage hearing loss who have no hearing aid as well as hearing aid wearers with early-stage hearing loss or a slight hearing impairment. Dr. Jan Rennies of the Fraunhofer IDMT comments, “In several studies, we were able to demonstrate that test subjects with slight to moderate hearing loss who had difficulty with speech comprehension with the unprocessed sound, detected a distinct improvement with the apps’ signal processing.”
To make adjustments, the user draws their finger over a touch-sensitive field built into the app until they get the optimal sound pattern for their specific requirements. With MobileConnect, wearers of hearing aids or cochlear implants can connect the live sound of the event directly from their smartphone to their hearing aid. To develop this technology, the scientists reduced the complex signal processing strategies used in hearing aid technology to a limited number of typical presets.
Jörn Erkau, managing director of Sennheiser Streaming Technologies GmbH explains, “In the future, cinema and theatergoers will be using their own smartphones, which, with our apps, can serve as a receiver for accessibility solutions.”