US 3327807 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 27, 1967 c. D. MULLIN 3,327,807
HEAR ING AID APPARATUS Filed Dec. 15, 1966 NE 2 Y INVENTOR.
6240 70 0. All/4.4 M/ B Y United States Patent 3,327,807 HEARING AID APPARATUS Clayton D. Mullin, St. Paul, Minn, assignor to Textron, Inc., Providence, R.I., a corporation of Rhode Island Filed Dec. 13, 1966, Ser. No. 601,509 Claims. (Cl. 18123) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure is directed to an accessory used with a behind-the-ear type hearing aid to hold the hearing aid in position when used by children. A head-band is used with a special connector having an arm or bracket formed therewith which is pivotally attached to the headband and allows the hearing aid to be positioned at the proper position for either ear of the child.
Fitting children with hearing aids usually presents a problem in itself aside from the fact that most hearing aids are designed primarily for use by adult persons and thus are relatively large for use with children. Furthermore, because hearing aids are precision instruments, allowing them to be dropped or played with by children usually leads to undesirable results. Since a -behind-the-ear type hearing aid lends itself to the most unencumbered connection with the car, it has been found that this type of hearing aid is less cumbersome to the wearer than the spectacle type hearing aids or the body worn hearing aids. Since it is desirable to locate the acoustic tube from the hearing aid to the ear mold or ear canal at an optimum position, it is desirable to secure the behind-the-ear hearing aid along side the head of the wearer so that the aid will remain in place regardless of the activities of its young wearer.
The present invention makes use of a special connector between the spout of the hearing aid and a head-band so that the spigot of the connector may be properly located with respect to the ear. The hearing aid housing is then rotatable about the spout so that it will lie flush against the head of the wearer.
It is therefore a general object to provide an improved hearing aid. accessory to be used in combination with a behind-the-ear hearing aid.
It is another object of this invention to provide a mechanism for holding a behind-the-ear type hearing aid in a proper position for use by children.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a mechanism for holding a behind-the-ear type hearing aid which is constructed and arranged to be used with either ear of the wearer.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will more fully appear from the following description, made in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention as constructed for use in cooperation with the right ear of the wearer;
FIG. 2 is a view of the invention in use on the head of a wearer;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view of the end of the headband portion of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the .arm or bracket extension of the acoustic connector.
As found in FIG. 1, a behind-the-ear type hearing aid 19 is found which contains all of the normal hearing aid components. One behind-the-ear type hearing aid which has proven to have worked well with the invention disclosed herein, is the Maico Electronics, Inc., behind-the-ear type hearing aid, Model BL designated the Galaxy II.
3,327,807 Patented June 27, 1 967 Hearing aid 10 is fitted with a metal spout 11 which projects from the upper portion of the hearing aid housing and has a ferrule 12 formed around the spout near the end thereof. Spout 11 is connected to an acoustic connector 13 which is in the form of a curved spigot 14 which curves downwardly and terminates at a position which is above and forward of the ear canal. Connector 13 and spigot 14 have an unrestricted passage which is cylindrical in nature extending the length of the connector and spigot. The end of the passage communicates with spout 11 and in fact, is shaped at the end with an annular recess to provide a snap-on fitting in the normal manner. Formed with connector 13, is an arm or upwardly extending bracket member 15. The connector and the bracket or arm member are generally molded of polyethylene or some other semirigid plastic.
As shown in more detail in FIG. 4, an arcuate slot 16 is formed near the upper edge of member 15 and a hole 17 is formed below slot 16 but above that portion of connector 13 communicating with spout 11.
A headband member 20 is formed of a flexible metal and has a pair of holes 21 and 22 formed therein which contain a pair of sleeves 23 and 24 respectively. Sleeve 24 communicates with hole 17 and sleeve 23 communicate with slot 16. Each of sleeves 23 and 24 has internal screw threads 25 and 26 respectively formed therein. Sleeves 23 and 24 have a shank end which is fitted in the holes and is peencd or riveted on the back side (the side which lies adjacent the head) to secure the sleeves in the hole. A pair of screws 27 and 28 are threadedly engaged with threads 25 and 26 and have a pair of washers 29 secured under the heads of the screws so that member 15 may be secured against movement to headband mem-- ber 20. Another headband member 30 communicates with band 20 in a sliding arrangement and is held in place in cooperation with member 20 through the use of a polyethylene sleeve or tubing 31. A pressure pad 32 is secured to the end of member 30 to relieve the pressure at the end of the curved band 30 when the headband is secured over the head of the wearer such as found in FIG. 2.
By making member 15 and connector 13 and spigot 14 symmetrical about a center line running through the curved acoustic passage, it is possible to reverse the connection of the connector with band 20 and thus provide a device which may be used with either the left or right ear.
When the headband is placed on the head of the wearer, it will be observed that the end of spigot 14 may be moved rotationally about the pivot formed through the use of sleeve 24 and hole 17 upon loosening screws 27 and 28 and then tightening the screws upon locating spigot 14 in the best position possible. Hearing aid 10 may then be rotated with respect to the passage in connector 13 so that the hearing aid lies flush against the head and behind the ear of the wearer.
It should also be observed that pressure pad 32 may be removed and another pair of sleeves added to band 30 through a pair of holes formed at the end thereof where an additional connector may be secured and another hearing aid connected thereto to provide a binaural hearing aid for the wearer and still make use of the invention as set forth herein.
It will, of course, be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangement and proportions of the parts without departing from the scope of the invention which consists of the matter shown and described herein and set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A hearing aid accessory worn in combination with a behind-the-ear type hearing aid having an acoustic spout connected to a receiver and extending through the case thereof wherein the improvement comprises:
(a) a headband formed of resilient material having an end portion with a pivot member secured thereto; (b) an acoustic connector constructed and arranged to engage the spout of said hearing-aid having a spigot extending downwardly and away from said spout while communicating therewith, said connector having an arm formed therewith extending upwardly and communicating with said pivot member of said headband;
(c) and a releasable holding device securing said arm to said headband and permitting rotational movement therebetween about said pivot member to locate the end of said spigot in close proximity to the ear canal of the hearing-aid wearer.
2. The invention as set forth in claim 1 including:
(d) a slot operatively connected with said releasable holding device and .formed in said arm of said connector and disposed in spaced relationship from said spigot and said pivot member and extending transversely to the direction of said arm extension permitting limited movement of said connector.
3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 including:
(e) a pair of holes formed in at least one end of said headband and disposed longitudinally from each other along said headband;
(f) screw threads formed in at least the hole disposed furthest from the end of said headband;
(g) and at least one threaded member cooperating with said screw threads and said slot formed in said arm permitting limited movement of said spigot.
4. The invention as set forth in claim 3 including:
(h) a bore formed in said arm between said slot and said spigot;
(i) and a pair of sleeve members having said screw threads formed internally thereof and having a shank portion secured in said pair of holes in said headband, said sleeve members communicating with said slot and said bore to form said pivot member.
5. The invention as set fo-rth in claim 1 wherein said acoustic connector is formed symmetrically about a plane passing through the center line of said curved spigot permitting reversal of said acoustic connector with respect to said headband.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,179,615 11/1939 Craig 179-107 2,535,269 12/1950 Coie '179-156 2,882,348 4/1959 Erickson 179-107 3,091,670 5/1963 Hall 179156 STEPHEN J. TOMSKY, Primary Examiner.