This message was in response to
some questions asked on the PDHH listserv,
and the author gave us permission to share it with you.
Hello. My name is
Wendy Davis. I am an audiologist and Director of Professional Services for
AVR - the company that developed and manufactures ImpaCt.
First of all, it is important to know that ImpaCt is a very versatile,
flexible hearing aid. It has the capabilities of providing frequency
compression (transposition) but this is only one of its many features. There
are many people with hearing loss that do not need frequency compression but
need a hearing aid that will only provide amplification when a voiceless
sound like /s/, /sh/, /t/ occurs in speech. ImpaCt is able to amplify
sounds independently using a feature called Dynamic Consonant boost. This
feature is not the same as frequency compression yet assists some people in
being able to actually hear sounds like /s/, /sh/, /t/.
Some people will only need adjustments to ImpaCt's automatic gain controls
and filter shaping to achieve optimum performance but having features like
Dynamic Consonant Boost and Frequency compression already built into the
hearing aid make it easier for the audiologist/dispenser to access these
controls to see if they assist in improving speech recognition. Some
will not need any of ImpaCt's unique features, some people will need only
Dynamic Consonant Boost, some will only need Frequency compression and some
will need both.
ImpaCt's many features make it appropriate for people with flat losses, as
well as people with severe to profound losses as well as the mild to severe
precipitous losses and just about anything in between. ImpaCt has such
filter shaping that it is also appropriate for some people with cookie bite
audiograms. A good rule of thumb to determine if ImpaCt would be
appropriate for you: If your hearing threshold at 2000 Hz is 65 dB or
poorer, you are a candidate for ImpaCt.
It is important to remember that an audiogram is NOT a good measure of
residual hearing. When we just use an audiogram to determine
appropriateness of a hearing aid, we are leaving out very important
information. Current research is beginning to show that many people who
have hearing thresholds of 60 dB or poorer at frequencies of 2000 Hz and
higher may not even benefit when amplification is applied to the higher
frequency regions. This means that we need to look at a variety of options
to provide the best speech recognition to people with hearing loss. Hearing
aids with dual microphones, and hearing instruments like ImpaCt are
wonderful options to assist a person with hearing loss. Also please
remember one FACT - the clearest and best signal is always going to be
provided using a microphone close to the person you want to hear. This
means that FM systems need to be considered as a higher priority. Even the
most sophisticated digital hearing aids, dual microphone hearing aids,
hearing aids that use frequency compression are NEVER going to provide the
advantage in noise that an FM system will.
There have been many questions and comments about features of ImpaCt and I
would like to address some of those:
1. ImpaCt is an digital and analog hearing aid.
2. One of ImpaCt's features is frequency compression. ImpaCt does
frequency shifting. Frequency shifting is a different process than
3. There have been many comments about ImpaCt's t-coil. AVR has done
very detailed analysis of the t-coil in ImpaCt and to date, the only thing
we can find that is different in ImpaCt than most t-coils in other power
hearing aids is ImpaCt's t-coil has less distortion. It is possible that
the reduced noise of ImpaCt's t-coil makes it sound "softer". We
continuing to evaluate this area but so far, we find ImpaCt's t-coil
strength and positioning is the same as most other power hearing aids. More
to come on this topic though as we are continuing to research this.
this comment was in response to statements from folks who tried the ImpaCt
and felt that
the t-coil wasn't strong enough.)
4. ImpaCt can be coupled with many styles of body worn FM systems via DAI.
All that is needed is the appropriate audio shoe and DAI cord.
5. ImpaCt has a programmable t-coil so neck loops can be used with ImpaCt.
You just need to make sure the t-coil is programmed appropriately.
6. We have worked very hard to resolve the back order status of ImpaCt.
have reached a point where we are now able to typically ship an order within
a week or two of the time that the audiologist places the order. The
important thing is for audiologists/dispensers to place orders for ImpaCt if
you are interested in trying it. AVR always calls before shipping the
hearing aid to your audiologist/dispenser. If you are not interested at
time we call - we move to the next person on the list.
7. ImpaCt has been an extremely reliable product since it was first put on
the market. To date, we have not had one circuit failure. We have
problems with battery contacts, and the momentary switch which is used to
change programs, and a few microphone issues but those have been resolved.
Most of the failures listed above were in older units and many of the older
units were in the market for 4-6months before we saw a problem. These
instruments were replaced immediately.
Also, we have a training manual for
ImpaCt written by Geoff Plant - BRILLIANT teacher of the deaf. It's called the
ImpaCt Workbook. If anyone wants a copy - have them contact AVR and we will send
one. They can call 800-462-8336. They can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book is free!!!!!!
book is now available from their website.
Click here to
download your copy.
Well - I hope this has answered many of your questions. Please let your
audiologists/dispensers or the team here at AVR know if you have any other
questions. We welcome your interest, advice and suggestions.
Wendy Davis and the entire AVR team
next step up from the ImpaCt is the Logicom which includes a built in FM System
(but no t-coil).
Hearing: One Man's Success with ImpaCt Hearing Aids