At an early age, David suffered from middle-ear damage and has since had a hearing impairment that required a number of different hearing aids. As his career in radio and television broadcasting technology developed, he was often challenged by the part of his work that included the creation, control and delivery of audio signals. With the help of his Baha® 5 Power Sound Processors, his career and hobbies took him further than he had ever imagined.
“For most of my adult life, I have worked around the technology used in radio and TV broadcasting, studying how we use technology to communicate. Compared to the average consumer, I can safely say I have an above-average understanding of how wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®1 work. And, for an even longer time—since I was 12 years old—I have worn some kind of hearing aid due to middle-ear damage when I was small.
I will be the first to admit that having a hearing impairment often added a layer of challenge to my work in radio and TV engineering. The creation, control and delivery of audio (sound) signals were a big part of my work. I learned to trust my measuring equipment more than I trusted my ears. Everyday tasks that my peers probably didn’t have to think about, like wearing headphones, became a challenge for me. Precise ‘mixing’ of music performances, the process of taking multiple microphones and instruments and blending them into a finished listening experience for the audience, was a task I left to others with better ears.
Knowing how studio-quality audio equipment was supposed to work, I was never satisfied with my hearing aids. My deep conductive hearing loss presented a challenge that was hard for any miniature device to meet.
New experiences thanks to my new technology
All that changed radically when I got my Baha System and my first pair of Baha 4 Sound Processors in 2014. By that time, my career path had changed from broadcasting to professional public speaking. My Baha Sound Processors gave me so much more confidence on the stage. I could finally be sure I was accurately hearing the questions from my audience!
After five years, my pair of Baha 4 Sound Processors were ready for retirement. In late 2019, after some experimentation, my audiologist and I decided the Baha 5 Power Sound Processors were the best model for me to move into, and wow, what a difference they have made for me! Right away, I noticed an improvement of about 5 dB in my overall hearing. The selectable programs help me follow a conversation in a noisy environment—an ongoing challenge for me and one many people experience.
Wireless streaming leads David to his passion
What really amazes me, though, is the integration of Cochlear’s True Wireless™ streaming technology, which connects right into the sound processor. As I said at the outset, I have made a career out of understanding how wireless technologies work. I even led a nationwide, industry-wide training effort around one such technology when it was rolled out to TV broadcasters. So, when I say something ‘amazes’ me, it is high praise indeed!
That is what I say about the integration of True Wireless streaming into the Baha 5 Power Sound Processors. Headphones? Earbuds? Who needs them when I’ve got a TV Streamer? Actually, I rarely use the streamer to watch TV. Instead, it spends most of its time connected to my computer. All the speaking and training work I do these days is online, thanks to the pandemic. I spend hours each week in Zoom2 events, and everyone’s voice (provided they’re not muted!) streams directly into my head—with no distortion or echoes.
Most gratifying of all, though, are the opportunities to help my church by live streaming our worship services and other events over Facebook Live. My ability to monitor our outgoing audio has never been in question. Even when the setup calls for multiple audio sources, like our jazz trio that recently performed Christmas music, I can now mix the music with confidence by streaming the very same content that our congregation hears at home into my Baha 5 Power Sound Processors.
Our church members tell me our live-streamed services look and sound uplifting in this time of separation. I just think of it as a wonderful marriage of art and technology—especially the technology of my Baha 5 Power Sound Processors and the TV Streamer.
If you or a loved one are ready to learn more about how Baha 5 Power Sound Processors can open up a world of opportunity, please click here.
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