Frontal picture of Ib Brovn Pedersen's face.

Hearing aid fitting from a DSP Engineer's perspective

He built Interacoustics’ first hearing aid fitting system, MS20, back in 1988. Thirty years after, he has played a vital role in the birth of Affinity Compact. Meet Ib Brovn Pedersen, DSP Engineer at Interacoustics.

Ib Brovn Pedersen knows all there is to know about hearing aid systems from an engineering point of view. He has more than 30 years of experience at Interacoustics, and pioneered Interacoustics’ first hearing aid fitting system back in 1988 when a request came from a German distributor.

- We built an analogue and mechanical instrument, which was modern at the time, Ib says about MS20.

Today, most of Interacoustics’ products are made with digital signal processors. In short, digital signal processing (DSP) is a discipline of analyzing and modifying a signal through mathematical and computational algorithms to optimize its efficiency. For instance, for hearing instrument testing (HIT) and real-ear measurement (REM), digital signal processors produce all the stimulus signals such as pure tone and warble tone.

With the introduction of DSP, Ib also developed into a true DSP specialist. Due to his extensive experience, he plays a vital role in the work of the DSP team.

DSP does the difference

In the 2000s, digital signal processors were not a standard feature. However, due to Interacoustics’ orientation towards science and technology, a digital signal processor was already introduced with Affinity in 2004. This technology has now been refined even further in Affinity Compact.

Ib explains:

- The digital signal processor makes the performance of Affinity Compact outstanding. The digital signal processor functions as an extra computer that improves data measurements. That is what makes the Affinity Compact so fast and so unique.

Ib and his DSP team have not only ensured that Affinity Compact is fast:

- REM, visible speech mapping (VSPM) and HIT are standard these days, so we looked in other directions to come up with new and better solutions, Ib explains and continues:

- Using new DSP measurements, we have enabled high-frequency measurement, extending up to 12.5 kHz. The trend is pointing towards high-frequency hearing aids, ensuring that Affinity Compact is future-proof.

Striving for perfection with Affinity Compact

When talking with Ib, you immediately notice that he always strives for perfection. His perfection could wrongly be mistaken with skepticism:

- When I saw the design of Affinity Compact, I thought - what are they thinking about - such a small box, how can we fit all the electrical circuits and noise-reducing material in there, he says with a smile.

But Ib and his team managed to fit everything into Affinity Compact, and you can tell he is proud of the final product:

- I do not fend away from a challenge. We keep pushing the limits of what is possible. It is great that our endeavors have led to such a great result.

Up for a similar read? Check out this article with Ole Lundsgaard, Senior Product Manager, Interacoustics, who elaborates on the design of Affinity Compact.

About the authors

Charlotte Ellemose Sonne is a Master of Linguistics and Communication (cand.ling.merc.), having graduated from Aarhus University in 2004. Before joining Interacoustics, Charlotte's working experience included, among other, a seven year stay at DONG Energy (now Ørsted) as a Language Specialist.

Ib Brovn Pedersen has more than 35 years of experience at Interacoustics, having functioned as a DSP Engineer since February 1985.
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