Deafness in Disguise

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Frequency gain chart for artificial concha
The multicolor-line indicates how much louder, or softer, sounds of different pitches would be when using this device. Green portions of the line indicate pitches that would be louder while red portions indicate pitches that would be softer. The gray line represents no change in loudness.

For the Artificial Concha, the loudness of low-pitched sounds (frequency values of 300 to 800 Hz) would not be changed much, whereas medium-high-pitched sounds (frequency values of 800 to 2200 Hz, pitches that occur in many speech sounds) would be considerably louder (the highest “gain” is 13 dB at 1600 Hz). Some high-pitched sounds (2200 to 3000 Hz) would be softer. This amount of gain is somewhat similar to that achieved by cupping a hand behind one’s ear. The artificial concha would provide as much benefit as that obtained by a talker moving closer to a listener, from a distance of 8 to that of 2 feet.