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1. WO2008003344 - PROCÉDÉ D'UTILISATION D'UN RÉCEPTEUR DE SIGNAUX AUDIO SANS FIL ET SYSTÈME D'ASSISTANCE AUDITIVE À UN UTILISATEUR

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

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Claims

1. A method for operating a receiver unit (12) for receiving audio signals from a remote transmission unit (10) via a wireless audio link (56), comprising:

connecting an audio signal output (41) of the receiver unit (12) to an audio signal input (42) of a hearing instrument (14A, 14B) comprising means (52) located at a user's ear or in the user's ear canal for stimulating the user's hearing according to the audio signals from the receiver unit (12) and a microphone arrangement (44);

measuring by means (34, 38) included in the receiver unit (12) the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B); and

adjusting the impedance of the audio signal output (41) of the receiver unit (12) according to the measured impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B).

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) is adjusted such that a predetermined audio signal output level is achieved.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) is set to a pre-determined first value if connection to a high impedance audio input (42) separate from the microphone arrangement (44) of the hearing instrument (14B) has been detected by measuring an audio input impedance less than a first threshold but equal to or higher than a second threshold.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) is set to said pre-determined first value by setting a first switch (M2) to a first position.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein by setting said first switch (M2) to said first position a non-variable first resistor (RO) is connected in parallel to the audio input (42).

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) is set to a value selected from a plurality of pre-determined values according to the measured audio input impedance if connection to a low impedance audio input (42) parallel to the microphone arrangement (44) of the hearing instrument (14A) has been detected by measuring an audio input impedance equal to or higher than a third threshold but less than said second threshold.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) is set to said selected value by setting said first switch (M2) to a second position and by adjusting a variable resistor (R2) according to the measured audio input impedance.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein by setting said first switch (M2) to said second position serial connection of said variable resistor (R2), of said non-variable first resistor (RO) and of said non- variable second resistor (Rl) is connected in parallel to the audio input (42).

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the audio input impedance is measured with the first switch (M2) being set to said second position.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the audio input impedance is measured by varying the resistance of the variable resistor (R2) and comparing the voltage on the first non- variable resistor (RO) and the voltage on the serial connection of second non-variable resistor (Rl) and the variable resistor (R2).

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the resistance of the variable resistor (R2) is varied in logarithmic steps.

12. The method of one of claims 10 and 11, wherein the value of the resistance of the variable resistor (R2) for which a pre-determined condition for the voltage on the first non- variable resistor (RO) and the voltage on the second non- variable resistor (Rl) and the variable resistor (R2) is fulfilled is taken as representative of the audio input impedance.

13. The method of one of claims 10 to 12, wherein the resistance of the variable resistor (R2) is set to the value for which a pre-determined condition for the voltage on the first non- variable resistor (RO) and the voltage on the second non- variable resistor (Rl) and the variable resistor (R2) is fulfilled in order to set the output impedance of the receiver unit (12) to said selected value.

14. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the measured impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is classified into categories in order to generate a status signal representative of the connection status of the audio signal output (41) of the receiver unit (12).

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the status signal is indicative of the type of audio input (42) to which the receiver unit (12) is connected.

16. The method of one of claims 14 and 15, wherein the status signal is indicative of the quality of the connection of the audio signal output (41) to the audio input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B).

17. The method of one of claims 14 to 16, wherein the categories of the status signal include: "no connection" if the measured audio input impedance is equal to or higher than a first threshold, "connection to a high impedance audio input separate from the microphone arrangement of the hearing instrument" if the measured audio input impedance is equal to or higher than a second threshold but less than said first threshold, "connection to a low impedance audio input parallel to the microphone arrangement of the hearing instrument" if the measured audio input impedance is equal to or higher than a third threshold but less than said second threshold, and "short circuit connection" if the measured audio input impedance is less than said third threshold.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein an alarm signal is generated if the measured impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) has been classified into the categories "no connection" or "short circuit connection".

19. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is measured with alternating current.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is measured at at least two different frequencies.

21. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is measured at an audio signal level corresponding to a microphone sound pressure level of at least 85 dB.

22. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein during the measurement of the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) the microphone arrangement (44) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is fully working.

23. The method of one of claims 14 to 18, wherein the measurement of the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is initiated by a command received via an inductive link (57) from a remote device (10).

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the status signal is transmitted via the inductive link (57) from the receiver unit (12) to the remote device (10).

25. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the measurement of the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) is automatically initiated when the receiver unit (12) is turned on.

26. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the audio signals received at the receiver unit (12) are muted during measuring the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B).

27. The method of one of the preceding claims, wherein the wireless audio link (56) is a Radio Frequency link, such as a Frequency Modulation link.

28. A receiver unit (12) for receiving audio signals from a remote transmission unit (10) via a wireless audio link (56), comprising an audio signal output (41) adapted for being connected to an audio signal input (42) of a hearing instrument (14A, 14B) comprising means (52) to be located at a user's ear or in the user's ear canal for stimulating the user's hearing according to the audio signals from the receiver unit (12), means for measuring the impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) and means (12, 34, 38) for adjusting the impedance of the audio signal output (41) of the receiver unit (12) according to the measured impedance of the audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B).

29. A system for providing hearing assistance to a user, comprising the receiver unit (12) of claim 28, a remote transmission unit (10), a hearing instrument (14A, 14B), and means (54) for connecting the audio signal output (41) of the receiver unit (12) to an audio signal input (42) of the hearing instrument (14A, 14B), wherein the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) comprises means (52) located at a user's ear or in the user's ear canal for stimulating the user's hearing according to the audio signals from the receiver unit (12).

30. The system of claim 29, wherein the transmission unit (10) comprises a microphone arrangement (16) for capturing the audio signals which are to be transmitted to the receiver unit (12).

31. The method of one of claims 29 and 30, wherein the hearing instrument (14A, 14B) comprises a microphone arrangement (44) for capturing audio signals and means for mixing that audio signals with the audio signals provided at the audio signal input (42) in order to provide the mixed audio signals to the stimulating means (52).