This chapter starts reviewing Fixator-Norator Pairs (FNP) as an effective tool used to design analog amplifiers for a prescribed bandwidth and frequency profile. Among number of cases and applications, designing for hearing aides are particularly important, where the hearing frequency profiles, known as audiograms, are changing from person to person, and also for a person by the age. The design is mainly focused on front-end or stand-alone amplifiers. In case of a front-end the response from the amplifier can be digitized, properly controlled and adjusted to fit the digital application. Here is how the design proceed. For a given audiogram, an Audiogram Generator Circuit (AGC) is initially constructed. This AGC, usually a complete passive circuit, produces a frequency response that closely matches with the audiogram, obtained from a hearing impaired patient. The AGC is then embedded in an amplifier circuit where a fixator is placed at its output port, “forcing” the amplifier to generate the desired output frequency response profile. A flat band frequency response, for example, compensates the hearing losses and provides a uniform hearing to the patient in the entire audio bandwidth. The amplifier can be further enhanced to perform other requirements, for example, to cancel undesirable noises in certain frequencies or to magnify the voice in critical frequencies for clarity. Another alternative design methodology is also introduced in this chapter, which uses the negative feedback technique.
Part of the book: Hearing Loss