Hearing aids: Greater clarity from mems microphone

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The same microphones that have been responsible for improved audio quality in smartphones and tablet computers soon will be incorporated into hearing aids, an industry expert says. In fact, one hearing aid, ReSound’s LiNX, already uses the technology. Hearing aids that incorporate these microphones shouldn’t be any more expensive, two sources tell us.

MEMS microphones are smaller, provide better noise cancellation, improve audio performance and cost less than the microphones in existing hearing aids other than the LiNX. Jérémie Bouchaud, who is a director and a senior principal analyst at consulting company IHS, says MEMS microphones are 30 percent to 40 percent less costly to make. However, Melinda Boisjolie, who is a spokesperson for ReSound, says microphones don’t represent the biggest part of the cost of a hearing aid, and the LiNX is priced at a premium because of its performance and connectivity to Apple devices.