Friday 23 March 2012

Floating Point Linearity - my best layman's terms explanation.

This came up on the Hearing Aid Forums recently - after a bit of research, the response below was about the best way I could think of to explain it to a customer:

I demo'ed a pair of Oticon Agil Pro's for 3 weeks.
At the end of the demo, the Audiologist advised I try the 'Acto Pro' first since
I can return them for the Agil Pro's if I'm not happy. (and save $1,600!).
The audi adjusted the Acto Pro's similar to the Agil Pro's (this is my uninformed perspective of what she did/said).
I don't like the Acto Pro's as well as I did the Agil Pro's. Here's why:
1. The sound seems less 'natural'.......not sure how to describe this but seems like the Agil Pro is easier/emphsizes conversation/voices, etc better. 2. The 'fidelity' of the sound of the Agil Pro's seem better.....almost like the Acto Pro's have too much 'treble' dialed in (sorry, don't know how to better describe it) The Acto Pro's are 'louder'......for example the Agil Pro's are 'perfect' at the 'home volume' whereas the Acto Pro's have to be turned down 1 notch , and 3. I can hear my own voice much louder than with the Agil Pro's.
I've had the Acto Pro's for 2 days.
1. Are the differences I'm noting something that can be adjusted by the audi?
2. Is it premature to judge after only 2 days?
3. Any tips on words and/or phrases to better describe what I'm experiencing?

Finally, would appreciate any thoughts/advice you might have for a 'newbie's' first use of hearing aids (they do make a dramatic difference for me). I feel like I'm a victim of having tried the 'cadillac' and now I won't be happy with anything less .

1. Yes + No, the differences you are noting are due to the way that the Agil pro processes. Imagine if you will that you are in a shopping mall and can't quite decide whether what you need is on one floor or the next.
The Agil Pro's system is like being on an escalator that constantly moves smoothly up or down controlled by your thoughts (the sound level) - though at any one point it always looks like you are in the middle of the escalator and the slope is the same either side of you.
The Acto is more like having several sets of stairs as your inclination to go up or down (sound level) changes, you move from a steeper to a shallower set of stairs. It never seems as natural as the escalator transitions.

2. 2 days is a very short time to judge whether you prefer the stairs or the escalator.

3. You're experiencing the processing benefit of what Oticon have called 'Floating point linearity', which I'm going to explain in terms of escalators and stairs from now on (c) Um bongo 2012.

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