US 2521414 A
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P 1950 M. B. A. SCHIER 2,521,414
' ADJUSTABLE AUDITOR! INSERT Filed Dec. 1, 194'? I INVENTOR. MA YER 3A. SCH/ER BY ATTORNEY Patented Sept. 5, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 9 Claims.
The present invention relates to earpieces for hearing aid devices and more particularly to improvements upon the devices of my prior Patents 1,852,130 and 1,953,437.
Commercially available types of earpieces for hearing aid devices are generally made in a few average sizes but do not accurately fit any but a few ears. They are not constructed to be adequately retained within the ear; incompletely filling the ear, they readily fioat or move out of position; grossly designed to catch under some ear portion they readily fail in retentiveness; the actual tip portions are short, failing to enter the actual external auditory meatus; they are so inadequately designed in tip form as to 7 fail in approximating a relationship both as to entry and canal seal; as a consequence of inaccurate tip form and canal seal, there is a loss of sound conduction, disturbance or distortion through extraneous noises and sound pressures, an inconstancy of sound conduction and very frequently a sound-conducting block, andwith the more sensitive prevalent tube amplified instruments there is howling and squealing between receiver-tip end and microphone of hear ing aid or such other communicating devices. .An undersized earpiece fails to protect the ear against excessive pressures. Commercial earpieces are primarily a compromise to keep down costs but at the expense of effectiveness and consequently are not very satisfactory.
Hithertofore, earpieces for hearing aids or acoustic retention and transmission were di--.
vided into commercial stock types of different designs and sizes, but basically dependent upon some part of an earpiece to hook or catch some singular portion of an ear, or with it, the wedging effects of a miniature receiver attached-to the earpiece when inserted within the ear or auricle.
One of the objects of the presentinvention is to provide for the accurate fitting of'an ear with minimal number of earpieces through an anatomic approach that would be consistent with the innumerable variables of auricle and external auditory meatus.
Another objective was to so devise an earpiece of anatomical form of such nature that it would be adjustable, accurately fitmost ears, and even those extra large ears for which here toforethere were no commercialearpieces availableandhad to be fitted by individual earpiece productions.
Another objective, Wasto so devise the earpiecethat when fitted to a particular ear it would assume a natural relation to .the anatomical parts ina fixed andconstant manner, not float or move around. and thus insure a consistency anddirectness of .sound conduction within the ear canal.
A further objective was to devise the earpiece so that it would assure a maximum seal of the canal as well as enter the actual canal.
A further objective was to devise the adjustable earpiece so that nct only would it accurately fit and be retained within the auricle, but for all adjustments made to fit the different sized and formed ears the tip portion would still enter the meatus, seal the meatus and thus assure a more direct and continued fiow of sound, free of sound blocks, extraneous noises, extraneous sound pressures and mitigate backlog or squeals and. howling.
A further objective was to provide such means in the form of a tip that would concomitantly be operative with the adjustable features of the earpiece and yet not by its own function nullify the retentiveness of the earpiece body or parts nor induce self-evulsion from meatus or canal, nor irritation of canal or ear parts.
A further objective was to provide in an earpiece a mechanical element that is not alone extensible, but that will incorporate a feature of adequately coupling a receiver which will lock the extensible earpiece in various positions of adjustment; and further not alone coupling any particular make of receiver, but coupling practically every known type of receiver in Wide variations of dimensions as to nibs, and equally to overcome the wide variations in tolerance of the same manufactured receiver.
A further objective was to devise an earpiece that could be adjusted not only to fit an overwhelming majority of ears, retain itself and an attached receiver, but that in the various extended positions it would beamenable in earpiece end or tip portions as to accommodate itself to entry within the canal and at the same time. seal the canal mouth.
A still further object of the invention resides in the provision of a simple, extensible, mechanical element between the upper and lower hearing aid ear piece members which is locked in adjusted position to give a permanent accurate fit.
In this improvement I have developed a novel anatomical approach, in which the earpiece is designed from an anatomical perspective but is not a true congruency of the anatomical convolutions of aparticular ear. It is so designed that for different sized ears the earpiece will be amenable to juxtaposition of earpiece parts to similar parts or cavities of the ear or auricle.
Other and still further objects and advantages will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in this art or will be apparent or pointed out hereinafter.
In the accompanying drawings wherein I have illustrated various embodiments of my invention:
Fig. 1 is a vertical elevational view of a human ear provided with a hearing aid ear piece in accordance with this invention.
Fig. 2 is an elevational view of the ear piece per se.
Fig. 3 is an edge elevational view of the ear piece of Fig. 2 at 90 degrees thereto.
Fig. 4 is an enlarged vertical elevational view of the extensible mechanical element.
Fig. 5 is an end view of Fig. 4.
Fig. 6 is a rear view of Fig. 4.
Fig. 7 is a detail view of the locking member of the mechanical element with a cover plate removed and with the spring lock in inoperative position.
Fig. 8 is a view similar to Fig. '7 but with the locking spring in operative position.
Fig. 9 is a detail view of one of the locking members.
Fig. 16 is a detail view of the locking spring.
Fig. 11 is an end view of Fig. 10.
Fig. 12 is a view similar to Fig. 7 or a modified form of the invention with the locking spring in inactive position.
Fig. 13 is a view similar to Fig. 12 but with the locking sprin in active position.
Fig. 14 is a view similar to Fig. '7 but showing further modification with the locking spring inactive.
Fig. 15 is a view similar to Fig. 14 but showing the modified locking spring in active position.
Fig. 16 is a rear elevation of the ear piece shown in Fig. 2 but without the receiver attach ment.
Fig. 1'7 is a side view of Fig. 16.
Fig. 18 is a fragmentary anatomical section of an ear canal and surrounding area with a hearing aid ear piece in place.
Fig. 19 is a side view of a modified ear piece.
Figs. 20, 21 and 22 are side views, partly in section and showing further modifications of ear pieces.
Fig. 23 is a transverse median section taken along line 23-23 of Fig. 13.
The hearing aid ear piece is essentially com posed of an upper portion H1 and a lower portion Ii adjustably connected by mechanical element l2 and locked in adjusted position by a male member of snap fastener 23. part of a hearing aid receiver E3.
The two portions l8 and H are divided on a line horizontal with the crus of helix of the ear i l. Upper portion In assumes, therefore, a position within the cymba concha, seating itself under the antihelix and crus of helix, respectively. Lower portion II at the same time fits within the cavum concha under the anti-helix, antitragus and tragus and into the external auditory meatus.
Mechanical element i2 comprises a wire Hi, the
inverted V-shaped upper end of which is embedded in ear piece portion ill with its toothed extensions [6 depending therebelow. Extensions !6 are adapted to be received to a variable extent in casing II which has an aperture Hi therethrough. A more or less U-shaped spring IS with out-turned tapered ends is located within casing l1 around aperture [8 and positioned vertically by base block 2|.
The horseshoe shaped portion of the spring 19, constitutes the female member of the snap fastener which cooperates with member 23.
Casing I1 is embedded in ear piece portion H and has external ribs, corrugations or other surfaces roughening 22 to prevent relative movement of the casing (to retention or security in moulding) in the portion II, it being understood that portions id and I! are composed of synthetic plastic, rubber or other suitable material cast or otherwise formed in any desired or known manner.
From Fig. '7 it will be observed that prior to the insertion of a snap-fastener-like button on disc 13 into aperture l8, the ends 20 of spring [9 are out of contact with toothed extensions 56 and its spring overlaps the aperture [8 somewhat. In this condition portions l0 and I I can be moved toward or away from each other to shorten or lengthen the earpiece as a whole to suit it to an individual car. When the desired adjustment has been made the button 23 on disc [3 is pressed into aperture l8, spreading spring 19 to the position shown in Fig. 8 wherein the tapered and flattened ends 29 of the spring have engaged the toothed extensions Iii, thus locking the parts in desired position. The construction and arrangement is such that disc !3 must be removed in order to change the positions of the Darts. In contrast with prior constructions, my new ear piece can be used with telephonic, electronic or other types of hearing aid devices and does not in any way interfere with the operation or efliciency thereof.
As shown in Figs. 1213, a different type of spring Illa is employed which, in addition to the parts and functions of spring I9 has an elongated bottom portion 2m which takes the place of base block 2|. This form of spring has a somewhat increased resiliency and versatility but otherwise is essentially similar to spring l9.
In Figs. 14 and 15, the spring lac has no integral or unitary ends like those 20 or 20a previously described. Instead, a V-shaped accessory member or volt is provided, which occupies the position shown in Fig. 15 until button 23b is inserted in aperture 18, whereupon member 190 is distended and serves to lock the members in adjusted position. In this case, spring l9b serves as a support for member 190 and the fact that it is a spring is incidental.
A further development involves that of mitigating excessive sound pressure or loud noises into the ear; or Where direct sound transmission is intended within the ear, to make certain of exclusion of extraneous sounds; to prevent the so-called back-log or feed-back, which results in howls and squeals between the receiver and microphone of a telephonic or radionic instrument.
It is necessary to meet the individual requirements of the particular meatus, sealing it comfortably, self-retentively, and without undue stimulation and irritation. To accomplish this purpose, a soft flexible tip may be inserted into the short tip of commercial or individually made ear pieces. I have shown several modifications of such device in Figs. 18-22, inclusive, Fig. 18 showing an anatomical section of the human ear canal with the ear piece in place.
In Fig. 19, the tip of the ear piece is shown as being constructed of a rubber core 30 on which are placed a plurality of soft rubber discs 3| which may readily flex and adjust themselves to the ear canal to accomplish the proper fit.
In Fig. 20, the flexible tip 32, made of soft resilient material such as rubber, elastomeric resins, etc., is secured over a rigid structure 33 having one end inserted into the ear piece tip II, the other end is ball-shaped to produce a tion 33 and the tip 32. Embedded within the resilient tip 32 is a metallic tubular element 34, one end of which is complementary to the ball- 33 and the other portion of which lends rigidity to the resilient tip 32, the end, however, of this element 34' being provided with an expanded annular flange 36, the purpose for which will later appear. The true end of the flexible tip is provided with an annular opening or shouldered recess 35. As shown in Fig. 20, the tip may be used in that condition. However, if the tip be squeezed together, as shown in Fig. 21, then the free end of the flexible tip '32 will be pushed back, as shown in Fig. 21, so that the annular flange 3% will seat itself in the shouldered annular recess 35 to retain the flexible tip in the expanded condition shown in Fig. 21.
In Fig. 22, a further modification of a soft flexible tip is shown, wherein the end 40 may be spread and engaged over an ear piece Ila. Extending from the portion 40, there is a tubular member 4|, on the outside of which there is provided an oval fin 42, which is similar in shape to the natural form of the meatus or canal of an ear. Beyond this fin is a cup-like form 43 which will lead into the meatus with the sides either hugging or pressing against the ear canal walls. In order to prevent this cup-like form 43 from buckling or pulling away from the walls, an additional fln-like member 44 is provided and located within the cup member 43 justbelow the lip or edge of said cup.
It will thus be seen that there has been provided herein for a hearing aid, a tip so devised that it may be manually controlled to perform a desired service; to perform the service of meeting retentive, acoustic and sound needs, both in positive and negative manners and one that may be manually controlled and fitted to the needs of an individual ear and meatus, concomitantly. That a tip has been so constructed as to be amenable to adjustment so as to preclude outside pressures and extraneous sounds from the inner ear in a positive manner; to negate the possibility of back-log and squeal between the microphone and receiver of a telephonic or electronic sound instrument or device.
It will be understood that in the furtherance of the ear-fitting problem, there are innumerable other fields within which the basic ideas herewith described are applicable. For instance, pocket radios using miniature receivers, field transmission sets, airline communication as between pilot and field, communication between artillery and range finders, monitoring panels in radio broadcasting, and innumerable other communicative endeavors.
The foregoing is presented as illustrative and not as limitative since other and further modifications can be resorted to without departing from the spirit or principle of the invention, the nature of which is rather defined by the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:
1. In a device of the class described, an ear piece divided on a line horizontal to the crus of the helix of a human ear into an upper portion and a lower portion, means for shortening and lengthening such ear piece to fit a particular ear and means for locking the ear piece in adjusted position, said first means comprising a casing embedded in the lower ear piece portion and an inverted U-shaped wire partially em- 63% extending legs of the U tensions variably fitting into said casing. 2. In a device of the class described, an ear piece divided on a line horizontal to the crus of the helix of a human ear into an upper portion and a lower portion, means for shortening and lengthening such ear piece to fit a particular ear and means for locking the ear piece in adjusted position, said first means comprising a casing embedded in the lower ear piece portion and an inverted U-shaped wire partially embedded in the upper ear piece portion with the extending legs of the U constituting toothed extensions variably fitting into said casing, the said casing having therein a spring with portions adapted to engage the toothed extensions.
3; In a device of the class described, an ear piece divided on a line horizontal to the crus of the helix of a human ear into an upper portion and a lower portion, means for shortening and lengthening such ear piece to fit a particular ear and means for locking any earpiece in adjusted position,-said first means comprising a casing embedded in the lower ear piece portion and an inverted U-shaped wire partially embedded in the upper ear piece portion with the extending legs of the U constituting toothed extensions variably fitting into said casing, the said casing being provided with an aperture for the reception of a locking member and having a spring therein surrounding and somewhat overlapping said aperture and having parts for engaging said toothed extensions when a locking member is inserted in said aperture.
4. In an ear piece of the character described, a casing having an aperture receptive of a locking member and a spring therein surrounding and partially overlapping said aperture, said spring having outwardly extending arms with pointed ends adapted to move outwardly when said spring is spread by the entrance of a locking member into said aperture.
5. In an ear piece of the character described, a casing having an aperture receptive of a looking member and a spring therein surrounding and partially overlapping said aperture, an inverted U-shaped wire having toothed extensions receivable in said casing and said spring having outwardly extending arms with pointed ends adapted to engage said toothed extensions when said spring is spread by the entrance of the looking member into said aperture.
6. In an ear piece of the character described, a casing having an aperture receptive of a looking member and a spring therein surrounding and partially overlapping said aperture, an inverted U-shaped wire having toothed extensions receivable in said casing and said spring having outwardly extending arms with pointed ends adapted to engage said toothed extensions when said spring is spread by the entrance of the looking member into said aperture, and an elongated supporting piece at its lower end resting on the bottom of the casing.
7. In an ear piece of the character described, a casing having an aperture and a spring therein surrounding and partially overlapping said aperture, said spring being in the form of an incomplete circle and a ll-shaped accessory bolt members supported by said spring.
8. In an ear piece of the character described, a casing having an aperture and a spring therein surrounding and partially overlapping said aperture, said spring being in the form of an incombedded in the upper ear piece portion with the 7 plete circle and a V-shaped accessory member constituting toothed ex-' supported by said spring, a wire having toothed extensions receivable to varying extents in said casing and said accessory member engaging said toothed extensions when said spring is spread, and means to spread said spring.
9. An anatomical variably adjustable auditory insert adapted to fit the ear and seal the canal with adequate retention to resist displacement and devoid of evulsion from canal, and comprising an earpiece divided on a line horizontal to the crus of the helix of a human ear into an upper portion and a lower portion, means for adjustably joining the two portions for relative extension and retraction to fit a particular ear, means for locking the portions in adjusted position, said first means comprising a casing embedded in the lower ear piece portion and a wire partially embedded in the upper ear piece portion with toothed extensions variably fitting into said casing, the said casing being provided with an aperture for the reception of a locking member and having a spring therein surrounding and somewhat overlapping said aperture and having REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in th file of this patent: V
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date go 1,953,437 Schier Apr. 3, 1934 2,430,229 Kelsey Nov. 4, 1947 2,476,224 Rosenblatt July 12,1949