J Am Acad Audiol 2001; 12(06): 275-280
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1745607
Original Article

Field Measurements of Electromagnetic Interference in Hearing Aids

Harry Levitt
Lexington Center for the Deaf, Jackson Heights, New York
Judy Harkins
Department of Communication Studies, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
Beth Singer
Department of Communication Studies, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
Eddy Yeung
Department of Chemistry and Physics, City University of New York, Hunter College, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations


This investigation was a preliminary field study to determine the acoustic and perceptual characteristics of hearing aid distortion generated by digital wireless telephones, the usability of the telephones under field conditions, and the extent of bystander interference under field conditions. A two-channel analog-to-digital converter was used to monitor voltages generated by an acoustic (real-ear) and electromagnetic probe. Digital recordings of interference and speech plus interference were made on a laptop computer. Fifty-three hearing aid wearers listened to interference and speech plus interference through personal communication service 1900 and time division multiple access digital wireless telephones and rated them in terms of annoyance experienced and usability of the wireless telephone. Ratings of annoyance were also done for the bystander condition. Approximately 80 percent of the sample rated the telephones as unusable; on the other hand, 70 to 90 percent experienced no annoying interference from telephones being used by another person seated nearby (bystander condition).

Abbreviations: BTE = behind the ear, CDMA = code division multiple access, EM = electromagnetic, PBX = private branch exchange, PCS = personal communication service, RF = radio frequency, TDMA = time division multiple access

Publication History

Article published online:
02 March 2022

© 2001. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.

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