Audio innovation has bite!

AUTHOR: Inavate

US-based Sonitus Medical is pioneering the development of the world's first non-surgical, removable hearing and communication solution that is designed to imperceptibly transmit sound via the teeth. Relying on the principle of bone conduction, this nearly invisible device is initially intended as a simple and non-invasive treatment for hearing disorders such as single sided deafness.

SoundBite is different than conventional hearing aids, which employ air conduction to simply turn up the volume of sound travelling into the ear. As a bone conduction device, the hearing system does not require a functional middle or outer ear to deliver sound. It is designed to allow sound to travel via the teeth, through the bones, to both cochleae, bypassing the middle and outer ear entirely. By using bone conduction via the teeth, SoundBite is intended to restore normal hearing to patients with single sided deafness, conductive, or mixed hearing loss, all without surgery.

Merging the well-known principles of bone conduction together with advanced wireless and sound processing technology, the device is the world's first of its kind. The SoundBite hearing system consists of both a BTE (behind the ear) microphone unit, housing the receiver, wireless transmitter, and attached microphone, and a discreet, removable ITM (in the mouth) hearing device. An inductive charger unit is provided to charge the BTE microphone unit and ITM hearing device.

SoundBite is designed to detect sound using a tiny microphone placed in an open-fit dome within the ear canal of the impaired ear. This nearly invisible microphone is attached by a thin tube to a transmitter unit called a BTE worn behind the ear. Placing the microphone in the ear canal is intended to allow the hearing system to capitalise on the natural acoustic benefit provided by the patient's own pinna or outer ear to capture and direct sound.

Once sound is captured by the microphone, it is processed by the BTE digital audio device. The BTE wirelessly transmits sound to the removable ITM (in the mouth) hearing device, which is custom made for your own teeth for optimal comfort and function. The ITM hearing device in turn uses advanced technology to produce imperceptible sound vibrations that are conducted via the teeth, through bone, to the both cochleae. In this way, the SoundBite hearing system is intended to provide clear, high fidelity sound and thus restore normal hearing to patients who are essentially deaf in one ear with no surgery or modifications to the teeth required.