Antenna Solution Ends Hearing-Aid Buzzing

When Cellular phones and hearing aids interact, many hearing-aid users experience a severe buzzing noise. By reducing the near-field electromagnetic energy around a cellular phone, a group of researchers hoped to mitigate the interference between cellular phones and hearing aids. This solution was spawned by Taeyoung Yang, William A. Davis, and Warren L. Stutzman from the Virginia Tech Antenna Group along with Minh-Chau Huynh from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, Inc.

The study of cellular radiation revealed that current-slope discontinuities caused high nearfield intensities. The researchers theorized that a low-Q antenna, such as an Ultra Wideband (UWB) one, could reduce near-field intensity. They performed simulation and measurements at 900 and 1880 MHz using both low-Q (a planar fat circular dipole) and high-Q (a halfwavelength dipole) test antennas mounted on a mock cellular phone.

According to the results, the peak electric and magnetic near-field strengths of the low-Q test antenna were lower than those of a high-Q test antenna by at least 5 dBV/m and 4 dBA/m, respectively. In addition, the near-field performance improvement for the low-Q antenna did not involve any sacrifices in far-field performance. See "Cellular-Phone and Hearing-Aid Interaction: An Antenna Solution," IEEE Antennas And Propagation Magazine, June 2008, p. 51.

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