This issue of HR contains exciting information on some of the most important emerging areas of hearing health care technology: Sergei Kochkin’s article (p. 24) suggests that directional DSP hearing instruments can achieve overall customer satisfaction levels that are 17% higher than conventional instruments and 14% higher than digital, non-directional instruments; Marsha Simons-McCandless (p. 38) demonstrates why the use of hearing instruments in combination with cochlear implants can provide subtle—but important—listening cues for implant recipients; and Richard Gans and Carl Crandell provide evidence on the quality-of-life benefits of BPPV treatment by hearing care professionals. Additionally, Victor Bray and Michael Nilsson report on the first clinical study to find significant, objective clinical benefits of a noise reduction algorithm, and Jennifer Robinson et al. provide a technique for reducing feedback in CIC instruments.

  • Are you ready for some hearing aids? Noise at the recent Monday Night Football game featuring the Minnesota Vikings vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Minneapolis set a Metrodome record of 130 dB. Over 64,100 fans generated the same noise energy as a jackhammer, hydraulic press or a stock car race. Good thing Minneapolis is a hearing aid town. NIOSH rates normal conversation at 60 dB, rock concerts at 120 dB and warns that noise exposure at 140 dB can cause permanent hearing damage. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Oct. 1), Terri Huml, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, says the team is “considering a corporate sponsorship deal that would provide fans with free earplugs.” (Or they could just wait for a year and listen to the deafening silence when star-receiver Randy Moss leaves.) It’s interesting to note that, if the Metrodome workers were covered under MSHA regulations, they would be required to wear both earplugs and earmuffs.
  • Check out HR Online: If you haven’t already visited HR’s new website (, which was launched in August, it may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with it. The website features all editorial items from the present issue including articles, departments, calendar, etc., as well as archived editions (with plans to extend the archive back to 1997). The site also provides a search engine for finding information via key words, and allows access to the database of the four-time Gold Ink award-winning HR Worldwide Registry. As with the magazine, we’re always interested in what ideas you might have to make it even more useful.
  • And still more shameless self promotion: According to an independent mail reader survey conducted by Readex, 92% of HR recipients read three of their last four issues. Additionally, the magazine is saved for reference by 81% of readers, and 58% of respondents rated HR as the magazine most useful in their work. 
  • Happy Thanksgiving!: The staff of HR is thankful for our readers and the support of our advertisers. We wish you all the best during the Holidays!

Karl Strom