Sonic talks about "Sound that's natural" as part of their 4S Foundation. What does this really mean in terms of hearing instrument technology?
The 4S Foundation is the center of all we do at Sonic. The four Ss stand for: Sound that's natural;Speech understanding in noise;Simplicity in everything we do;and Style that stands out.
One example of the way we've brought Sound that's natural forward is with our new signal processing scheme, Speech Variable Processing. Speech Variable Processing is the natural evolution of the concepts that Sonic has had from the very beginning, when we set out to design signal processing that was different from anything else that was available.
As you know, in 2010 the William Demant organization acquired Sonic. When we were acquired by Demant, our engineers sat together to compare our technologies in progress, and we were pleasantly surprised to see both companies were moving in the same direction with regards to sound processing. Since the research and development required to keep up with hearing instrument technology is extremely costly today, we are fortunate to have a partner like Demant who has a robust, state of the art chip platform for us to work from. At Sonic, we can now create firmware or algorithms like Speech Variable Processing that run on the very sophisticated Demant chip set and enable our products to process sound in a way that is aligned with our philosophy given our goals in product design. Speech Variable Processing very quickly measures the entire wideband SPL value, and thus operates on the entire acoustic signal rather than having to break it into discrete channels. The benefit is that we can preserve the spectral contrast in very small parts of speech because we're able to process things quickly rather than chop them up, divide them, process them, and then put them all back together again.
It's a different way of processing sound and exactly what we at Sonic have always made a priority - to preserve sound that's natural. Thanks for your question, and please feel free to visit us at www.sonici.com for further information! You may also visit the Sonic web channel on AudiologyOnline.
Kathy Landon joined Sonic Innovations in 2000. During her tenure with Sonic Innovations, Ms. Landon has been integral to the company's software and hardware product development efforts, and has most recently spearheaded Sonic's new marketing strategies and initiatives. Before joining Sonic Innovations, Ms. Landon held a number of software and product development positions, having come to the company from Network Multimedia, Inc., a spin-off company of Novell, Inc.