Patent Number: 7,822,215

Title: Bone-conduction hearing-aid transducer having improved frequency response

Abstract: A hearing-aid device and a method for transmitting sound through bone conduction are disclosed. The hearing-aid device comprises a piezoelectric-type actuator, housing and connector. The piezoelectric actuator is preferably a circular flextensional-type actuator mounted along its peripheral edge in a specifically designed circular structure of the housing. During operation, the bone-conduction transducer is placed against the mastoid area behind the ear of the patient. When the device is energized with an alternating electrical voltage, it flexes back and forth like a circular membrane sustained along its periphery and thus, vibrates as a consequence of the inverse piezoelectric effect. Due to the specific and unique designs proposed, these vibrations are directly transferred through the human skin to the bone structure (the skull) and provide a means for the sound to be transmitted for patients with hearing malfunctions. The housing acts as a holder for the actuators, as a pre-stress application platform, and as a mass which tailors the frequency spectrum of the device. The apparatus exhibits a performance with a very flat response in the frequency spectrum 200 Hz to 10 kHz, which is a greater spectrum range than any other prior art devices disclosed for bone-conduction transduction which are typically limited to less than 4 kHz.

Inventors: Carazo; Alfredo Vazquez (Norfolk, VA), Malla; Aayush (North Richland Hills, TX)

Assignee: Face International Corp

International Classification: H04R 25/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2018-10-26 0:00:00