By Georges Quellet
Hearing impairment affects approximately 10% of the
world population, at various degrees. It can range from the smallest
1% loss up to 100% total loss of hearing. Each year more and more people
are suffering from this handicap.
I have a lifelong love of electronics and acoustics,
and have previously devoted my life to my own Company, STELLAVOX.
The Company manufactured and distributed professional tape recorders
for Radio/TV/Disc/Film and Instrumentation. Following my retirement
and already suffering from severe hearing problems, I found myself more
and more dissatisfied with conventional hearing aids. I had tried many
such devices but decided that I should design my own according to professional
standards and following only the strictest scientific principles.
Many reasons favour what became a new concept. The availability
of current hearing aids is handicapped by the high technology and expensive
price, which limits seriously the number of the sufferers who could
benefit from high quality hearing correction aids.
This limitation is all the more regrettable as hearing impairment often
means loss of social contact and many other daily pleasures like enjoying
music, sounds in the nature, etc...
My new design addresses three main sections:
- Ease of use
- Professional audio electronics
- Highest acoustical quality, all competitively priced.
Ease of use is essential, specially for children and old people.
Equally important, the specifications of the amplifier,
compressor and limiter must approach the standards of the recording
The same holds true for the acoustical qualities.
Why should you be asked to pay more for a commercial
hearing aid than for a top of the range portable computer! The answer
is, you should not!
Apart from high profit and distribution cost, current
aids insist on extreme miniaturisation. This alone impairs seriously
the quality of sound correction.
In full production, the RONDO hearing aid which are
already manufactured and tested as pre-serials could be available to
millions of sufferers at a fraction of the cost of current devices.
This huge saving would also apply to distribution, maintenance and battery
These must be very strictly controlled in order to finely
compensate both for the hearing deficiency, and any unwanted loudness
or acoustic feedback. With my long experience in electronics and acoustics,
I have been able to design a nearly perfect circuit. It has also been
much simplified by using only very few (~60) discrete components.
As already briefly stated, the acoustics can be correct
only if the physical laws are respected, This is not the case with the
highly miniaturised hearing aids currently available. My basic principle
is to measure the hearing loss by an audiogram using the same earphone
that is used in the manufacture of the RONDO hearing aid. This avoids
the interpretation necessary with available hearing aids and the need
for adjustments to be made by the conventional audiologists. Such adjustments
are, in any case, never perfect and require extensive consultations
and expensive specialised consulting rooms.
The hearing aid RONDO
The all new RONDO requires no fastidious adjustment once
calibration is made using the inexpensive OTOSCOPE, or the professional
Audiometer OTOGRAPH, created by ORAVOX. The audiogram data are e-mailed
or faxed to the manufacturer who will make a pair of RONDOs, tuned according
to the specific personal data, which are then shipped to the end user.
He or she can then IMMEDIATELY enjoy correct hearing.
The new concept achieves a not expensive high fidelity
hearing aid. This is based on a simple design, on accurate audiograms
and on HI-FI speakers together with true directional microphones. It
affords many advantages, which are summarized on this site. More detailed
informations are available from my laboratory. With a much lower price
than that of the conventional hearing aids, the RONDO by ORAVOX will
help many more people around the world to enjoy better human communication,
more natural sounds and experience again the pleasure of music.