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Publication numberUS3813499 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 28, 1974
Filing dateNov 8, 1972
Priority dateNov 8, 1972
Publication numberUS 3813499 A, US 3813499A, US-A-3813499, US3813499 A, US3813499A
InventorsW Vignini
Original AssigneeSonotone Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hearing aid nozzle with resilient bayonet lock
US 3813499 A
Abstract
Interconnecting means for the transition piece or auricle mounting unit of a behind-the-ear hearing aid and the nozzle of the hearing aid comprising radial lugs on the nozzle of the hearing aid and radial recesses in the tubular passage of the transition piece or auricle mounting unit wherein the elastomeric construction of the auricle mounting unit permits a relatively low application force to apply the auricle mounting unit to the nozzle of the hearing aid and interengage the radial lugs of the nozzle with the recesses of the passage in the auricle mounting unit while nevertheless a higher retention force is achieved requiring a greater force to remove the auricle mounting unit thereby providing protection against accidental separation of the nozzle and while nevertheless providing protection against accidental misuse by permitting the elastomeric auricle mounting unit to deform and slip off the lugs in the case of application of force in excess of a predetermined force.
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United States Patent 1 Vignini May 28, 1974 HEARING AID NOZZLE WlTH RESILIENT BAYONET LOCK Walter R. Vignini, Peekskill, NY.

[73] Assignee: Sonotone Corporation, Elmsford,

22 Filed: Nov. 8, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 304,847

[75] Inventor:

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,491,214 1/1967 Rosemondet al. 179/107 H Primary Examinerl(athleen H. Claffy Assistant Examiner-Gerald L. Brigance Attorney, Agent, or FirmOstrolenk, Faber, Gerb & Soffen [57] ABSTRACT Intel-connecting means for the transition piece or auricle mounting unit of a behind-the-ear hearing aid and the nozzle of the hearing aid comprising radial lugs on the nozzle of the hearing aid and radial recesses in the tubular passage of the transition piece or auricle mounting unit wherein the elastomeric construction of the auricle mounting unit permits a relatively low application force to apply the auricle mounting unit to the nozzle of the hearing aid and interengage the radial lugs of the nozzle with the recesses of the passage in the lauricle mounting unit while nevertheless a higher retention force is achieved requiring a greater force to remove the auricle mounting unit thereby providing protection against accidental separation of the nozzle and while nevertheless providing protection against accidental misuse by permitting the elastomeric auricle mounting unit to deform and slip off the lugs in the case of application of force in excess of a predetermined force.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 HEARING AID NOZZLE WITH RESILIENT BAYONET LOCK The present invention relates to behind-the-ear hearing aids of the type which has a plastic transition piece that fastens to the instrument at one end and to which flexible tubing is affixed at the other end. The flexible tubing is then connected to an ear mold or other car insertion piece. The plastic transition piece in combination with the flexible tubing serves to hang the hearing aid on the ear in a manner which is now well known.

The plastic transition piece which serves in part as a hook to hang the instrument on the ear not only supports the instrument but also cooperates with the tubing as above mentioned to support the hearing aid in position.

The utilization of such a transition piece thus provides the necessary mechanical means for suspending the hearing aid on the ear as well as securing the hearing aid in position by reason of the connection of the transition piece to the tubing and the ear mold.

The transition piece is therefore usually made as a separable member which is secured by various means to the main hearing aid body. The joint must be an acoustic seal. It should be readily removable for service of the hearing aid and replacement of the ear mold or particular tubing which is used to direct the sound into the ear, but nevertheless, it should be so affixed that it is reasonably secure and will thereby ensure that in use, the hearing aid which is suspended primarily only by the transition piece, will not be lost.

Thus, this transition piece or auricle mounting,'as it may also be known, should ideally require a low application force in order to secure it on the hearing aid nozzle, but should have a relatively high retention force. The retention force should be such, however, that the transition piece or auricle mounting may be removed without damaging any of the hearing aid elements to which it is connected.

The object of the present invention is the provision of a transition piece or auricle mounting which is of an elastomeric material, such as polyurethane or ethyl vinyl aacetate, which may be constructed to yield at a predetermined designed force, and which has interlocking elements so arranged that the transition piece or auricle mounting may be readily secured by a relatively low application force to the nozzle of he hearing aid, but will exercise a higher retention force, thereby preventing accidental removal and possible loss of the hearing aid unit.

In order to carry out this object, a modified bayonet or breech lock design is utilized as hereinafter described in which the hearing aid nozzle is provided with radial lugs, and in which the tubular opening in the transition piece or auricle mounting is provided with corresponding recesses. The transition piece is assembled to the hearing aid by first rotating it approximately 90 from its'normal position. When the transition piece of auricle mounting is then slid on the hearing aid nozzle, it will clear the radial lugs of the hearing aid nozzle, rotating the transition piece 90 in the direction opposite to the foregoing. The assembly will then be locked by lug-on-lug. Thus, the application of the auricle mounting member will be quite simple and require a low application force. The insertion force is limited by the degree of interference between the sealing ring and the transition piece. Owing to the construction of the device, the greater force is required for removal of the transition piece or auricle mountingunit, since at the time the removal force is applied, the radial extensions of the nozzle of the hearing aid are engaged with the corresponding lugs in the transition piece or auricle mounting unit.

The foregoing and other objects of the present invention will become. apparent in the following description and drawings in which:

- FIG. 1 is a side view of a behind-the-ear hearing aid having a nozzleand a plurality of radial extensions, or lugs from the nozzle forming one part of the bayonet or breech block connection.

FIG. 2 is a view taken from line 2-2 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 3 is a view partly in section of the novel transition piece or auricle mounting unit which is to be snapped on, or secured to the nozzle of the hearing aid of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a view taken from line 4-4 of FIG. 3, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 5 is an additional view in cross-section of the member of FIG. 3.

Referring now to the Figures, the hearing aid 10 is a behind-the-ear hearing aid of standard design, having a nozzle 11 connected thereto, the end of the nozzle being open at 12; the nozzle includes a tubular passageway (not shown) leading to a transducer or speaker (not shown) within the hearing aid body 10. The nozzle 11 is provided with a plurality of radially extending lugs l3, 14, two of such lugs being'shown in use in this case (see FIGS. 1 and 2). The transition piece or auricle mountingunit 20 of the hearing aid (FIGS. 3 and 4) is designed so that the end 21 thereof may be secured over the nozzle 11 abutting the end wall 22 (FIGS. 1 and 2) of the hearing aid body 10.

A continuous tubular opening 25 is provided in the transition piece or auricle mounting unit 20 communicating with the nipple 26 formed by the flange 27 at the end of the transition unit or auricle mounting member 20. A plastic tube (not shown) may then be slipped over the nipple 26 and flange 27 to provide a connection to the ear. The inner surface of the tubular passage 25 in the member 20 is provided with radial flanges or lugs (FIGS. 3 and 4) matching geometrically the radial flanges or lugs 13, 14 of the nozzle 11. The member 20 is made of elastomeric material, as previously described. It is slipped manually onto the nozzle 11 in the proper orientation to extend the curvature of the hearing aid member 10. In the example shown, rotating the transition piece about the center line at nozzle 12 displaces lugs 33 and 34. from the corresponding lugs 13 and 14 of the hearing aid nozzle 11 snap. Reverse rotation of the transition piece aligns the lugs 33 and 34 with lugs 13 and 14 of the hearing aid. The elastomeric material of the transition piece has effected a seal betwen the transition piece and sealing ring 36.

The various dimensions of the radial extensions of the lugs l3, l4 and the corresponding dimensions of the lugs 33, 34 together with the elasticity and strength of the elastomeric material of unit 20 can be chosen to vary the retention force to a high enough value to provide adequate protection against accidental separation at the nozzle end while nevertheless providing protection against accidental misuse by permiting the elastomer to deform and slip off the lugs in the event of an application of excessive force.

In the foregoing, the invention disclosed has been described only in connection with a preferred illustrative embodiment thereof. Since many variations and modifications of this invention will now be apparent to those skilled in the art, it is preferred that the scope of this invention be defined not by the specific disclosures herein contained, but only by the appended claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive privilege or property is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A behind-the-ear hearing aid comprising:

a hearing aid body,

a nozzle extending from one end of said hearing aid body,

an auricle mounting unit having a passage therethrough,

radial lugs extending from said nozzle,

corresponding radial lugs in said passage of said auricle mounting unit adjacent an end of said passage and said unit,

said auricle mounting unit and the internal wall of the passage thereof being elastically deformable,

said radial lugs engaging when said auricle mounting a unit is placed onto said nozzle and toward the said end of said hearing aid body.

2. The hearing aid of claim 1 wherein,

said end of said auricle mounting unit and said end of said hearing aid body meet and form a continuous unit when said auricle mounting unit is secured on said nozzle.

3. The hearing aid of claim 2, wherein,

4 said hearing aid body is curved and said auricle mounting unit is curved on an extension of the curve of the hearing aid body forming a continuous unit having a continuous curve adapted to hang together on a human ear. I

4. The hearing aid of claim 3 in which the end of the auricle mounting unit opposite the end thereof connected to the hearing aid body is provided with means for receiving and securing a tube thereto.

5. The hearing aid of claim 1 wherein an acoustic seal is effected by the face-to-face abutment of the transition piece.

6. The hearing aid of claim 1 wherein an acoustic seal is effected by diametral interference of the hearing aid nozzle and the transition piece.

7. The hearing aid of claim 1, wherein each said radial lug in said passage of said auricle mounting unit extends only partially around the circumference of said passage, thereby defining gaps about said passage circumference between neighboring said radial lugs in said passage;

said radial lugs extending from said nozzle being oriented about the periphery of said nozzle so as to be alignable with said gaps between said radial lugs in said passage, whereby said radial lugs extending from said nozzle can be moved into and through said passage past said radial lugs in said passage when said auricle mounting unit is placed onto said nozzle.

8. The hearing aid of claim 1, wherein said radial lugs extending from said nozzle and said radial lugs in said passage are elastically deformable. i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3491214 *Jan 12, 1967Jan 20, 1970Otarion Electronics IncHearing aid with adjustable sound inlet means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4381830 *Jul 27, 1981May 3, 1983Jelonek Chester JContinuous flow earmold tubing connector
US4564955 *Oct 19, 1983Jan 14, 1986Danavox A/SCoupling for use in the securing of a hook-shaped sound part on a behind-the-ear hearing aid
US4977976 *Sep 27, 1988Dec 18, 1990Microsonic, Inc.Connector for hearing air earmold
US5488205 *Feb 6, 1995Jan 30, 1996Microsonic, Inc.Hearing aid tubing connector
US5975235 *Jan 26, 1998Nov 2, 1999Schlaegel; Norman D.Seating member for connecting a continuous-flow earmold tubing connector to an earmold
US7522743 *Jan 27, 2004Apr 21, 2009Step CommunicationsHigh comfort sound delivery system
US7715580 *Mar 21, 2006May 11, 2010Widex A/SInterchangeable attachment means for attaching a conductor to a hearing aid
US8462971May 15, 2008Jun 11, 2013Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd.Ear mold with adapter seal
US8498436 *Mar 1, 2011Jul 30, 2013Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd.Hearing device with a conducting element, in particular a sound tube
US20110211716 *Mar 1, 2011Sep 1, 2011Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd.Hearing device with a conducting element, in particular a sound tube
DE3720591A1 *Jun 22, 1987Jan 7, 1988Oticon AsHook or ear tube for behind-the-ear hearing aids
EP0108734A1 *Nov 1, 1983May 16, 1984Gn Danavox A/SCoupling for use in the securing of a hook-shaped sound part on a behind-the-ear hearing aid
Classifications
U.S. Classification381/330, 381/324, 381/87
International ClassificationH04R25/02
Cooperative ClassificationH04R25/60, H04R2225/63
European ClassificationH04R25/60