Bone anchored sound processor designs are changing on pace with hearing aid designs. Can you bring me up to speed on Cochlear’s latest Baha 5?
The Baha 5 Sound Processor is both the smartest and the smallest processor available. We have a new transducer design that we’ve built into the device that enables the sound processor to be 23 percent smaller than other bone-anchored processors available today. The new transducer technology also produces a much cleaner sound with 30 percent less distortion (Gustafsson, 2015). For the clinician, that translates to the same fitting range as our legacy processor, but with more gain accessible before distortion or feedback.
In addition to the smaller size, we streamlined the design, and rounded the corners. The result is a more appealing device overall in terms of cosmetics, as well as easier handling. We also added new colors that would more closely match hair colors in everyday use.
The design of the Baha 5 Sound Processor was driven by premarket testing. We looked at people’s preferences and focused on developing a design that would create excitement. When our Research and Applications group in Sweden presented the design of the Baha 5 Sound Processor to 52 patients, 92 percent of the patients preferred the look and feel of the Baha 5 Sound Processor over both the Baha 4 and the leading competitor’s sound processor.
The Baha 5 Sound Processor is compatible with all Baha Systems - our percutaneous and transcutaneous solutions. It uses the same proven snap coupler that has been used historically. People who are fit with a Baha System can inquire with our customer service team about the potential to upgrade. In addition, if someone is using a Baha 4 and has wireless accessories, those accessories would be compatible with the Baha 5.
Gustafsson, J. (2015, January 14). BCDrive transducer performance versus conventional bone conduction transducer. Cochlear Technical Report.
This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from an interview on this topic - read the interview here. For more information, professionals can visit www.cochlear.com/us or the Cochlear Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.