Dr. Abonso Columns
In the late 1980s/early 1990s, Etymotic Research was one of the first
companies to introduce wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) circuitry to the
world. Since that time, WDRC has become an industry standard. WDRC hearing aids
make the softer sounds of speech audible so that the brain gets enough speech
cues to sort out conversation, particularly when there is background noise.
Previous attempts to improve speech understanding in noise filtered out
low-frequency energy, but those hearing aids filtered out important elements of
speech at the same time. The term ABONSO stands for Automatic Brain-Operated
Noise Suppressor Option. When the hearing aid signal processing makes speech
audible, the hearing impaired person's "abonso" is partially --or sometimes
The Dr. Abonso columns, written in 1993, appeared in a suburban newspaper as
part of a campaign to inform consumers about hearing loss and hearing aids. Dr.
Abonso is a fictional character who tries to educate the "Suspicious Consumer"
through humor. These columns were written by Mead Killion, Ph.D. Significant
advances in hearing aid technology have been made since the introduction of
WDRC, including programmable and digital devices. However, the Etymotic Research
K•AMP circuit is still arguably one of the world's highest fidelity circuits,
and remains the circuit of choice for professional musicians worldwide.
Can Hearing Aids Really Filter Out Background Noise?
Why Do My Hearing Aids Have To Blow My Head Off?
Why Does My Wife Have So Much Trouble Hearing In Noise?
Why Do Hearing Aids Cost So Darn Much?
Why Don't 80% Of Hearing Aids Work Well In Loud Noise Or
How Long Do I Have To Wear My New Hearing Aids Before I
Get Used To Them?
I Saw On TV That The Government Says Hearing Aids Don't
Work And They Are Going After Hearing Aid Dispensers. Is That True?
Will I Be Able To Hear Like A 17 Year Old With My New
My Husband Hears Fine Whenever He Wants To, But He Doesn't
Want To Very Often. Would Hearing Aids Help?
My Husband Won't Be Seen Wearing Hearing Aids; Can Our
Marriage Be Saved?
A Salesman Came To My Home. He Told Me I Should Buy A
Second Hearing Aid Or I Would Lose Some Of My Hearing.
My Two Teenagers Can't Seem To Hear Me Anymore. Are They
My Son Has Only A Mild Hearing Loss. An Audiologist Told
Me That To Be A Good Parent I Should Buy A $4000 Pair Of Hearing Aids.
Are Two Aids Really Better Than One?