When it comes to developing and quality assurance for in-ear earphones, headphones, earbuds, and hearing aids, it is key to ensure testing is as similar to the actual usage. Therefore the microphone and test kit in question should simulate how an actual hears to prevent inaccurate readings. With this, it is advisable to use not just a good ear simulator microphone and also a good artificial Pinna.
An artificial pinna (scientific term for the anatomy of the external ear) is shaped like an actual human ear, and fits on ear-based microphones. Most artificial pinnas have an anthropometric concha and ear canal made of soft silicone or other human skin like material. The concha and canal closely mimic the properties of a real human ear. The ear canal in the pinna seals directly against the ear simulator microphone to recreate the physical human ear and the ear drums.
Like a human ear, the artificial pinna ear canal has a 1st and 2nd bend, and the interface with the concha is oval not circular. The ear canal depth allows for better insertion for consistency and improved repeatability of measurements. A human ear anatomy is recreated from the exterior to the ear drum by the pinna and ear simulator microphone. Furthermore, this makes it possible to test for good fit and sealing with anatomically shaped ear microphones.
For headphones, the outer ear-shaped part of the pinna is flexibility and mimics the way the human ear collapses when supra-aural and circum-aural headphones are mounted over the person. When measuring the frequency response of these types of headphones, collapsibility of the pinna allows more accurate, reliable and repeatable measurements.
By mimicking the human ear in both shape and hardness, an artificial pinna in addition to an ear simulate microphone improves measurements. It improves accuracy as the tested ear microphone earphones, headphones, earbuds, and hearing aids are now under multiple conditions that are similar to an actual human ear. From the significant improvements in the fitting, placement and sealing, conditions are similar an actual human ear anatomy. Fewer and more precise measurements are required and measurements can be done with high efficiency. Reducing time needed to test in-ear products while getting a more accurate result.
To learn more about artificial pinnas or ear simulation contact TME Systems today!