MobileConnect and CinemaConnectNew versions of Sennheiser’s MobileConnect and CinemaConnect apps – intended for users with early-stage hearing loss who have no hearing aid as well as hearing aid wearers with early-stage hearing loss or a slight hearing impairment – allow users to adjust level, and adapt speech intelligibility and sound quality, to their particular requirements. These features were developed by Sennheiser in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology.

‘In several studies, we were able to demonstrate that test subjects with slight to moderate hearing loss who had difficulty with speech comprehension with the unprocessed sound, detected a distinct improvement with the apps’ signal processing,’ says Dr Jan Rennies of the Fraunhofer IDMT.

The process for personalising the audio signal settings is intuitive, with no requirement for a prior hearing test. To make adjustments, the user draws their finger over a touch-sensitive field built into the app until they get the optimal sound pattern for their needs. Further audio adjustments can be made at any time.

Wearers of hearing aids or cochlear implants can connect the live sound of an event directly from a smartphone to their hearing aid. To develop this technology, the scientists reduced the complex signal processing strategies used in hearing aid technology to a limited number of typical presets.

Since 2014, Sennheiser’s MobileConnect app has made live audio streaming via Wi-Fi possible on mobile devices, helping speech comprehension in various environments. For example, users with the CinemaConnect version (optimised for cinemas) get access can be offered to additional soundtracks for audio description or assistive listening. ‘With MobileConnect and CinemaConnect, we have developed a new kind of technology for the real-time transmission of audio content,’ explains Jörn Erkau, MD of Sennheiser Streaming Technologies. ‘In the future, cinema and theatregoers will be using their own smartphones, which, with our apps, can serve as a receiver for accessibility solutions.

‘MobileConnect and CinemaConnect are our first products. Using this technology as a basis, we will be developing further industry-specific solutions, for example in the conference sector.’

The updated versions of MobileConnect and CinemaConnect are available for download free of charge from all app stores.






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