bone conduction transducer switch - stop and read this first

Bone Conduction Transducer Switch: Why It's a Bad Idea


As a hearing care professional (HCP), you may have faced a situation where your air or bone conduction transducers stop working. While it might be tempting to use transducers from a different audiometer, it's essential to consider the consequences. This blog will investigate why switching your transducers from one device to another is not a good idea.

In audiology, a bone oscillator, also known as a bone conduction transducer, bone conductor or bone vibrator, is a device that sends sound vibrations to the inner ear. During bone conduction testing, it is placed on either the mastoid bone behind the ear or forehead. The bone oscillator stimulates the cochlea by transmitting vibrations through the bones of the skull, bypassing the ear canal and middle ear.

Bone conduction testing in audiology is a diagnostic method that assesses a person's hearing ability by transmitting sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. During the test, the bone conduction transducer is typically placed on the mastoid bone behind the ear or the forehead.

The vibrations stimulate the inner ear, aiding hearing care professionals in evaluating hearing sensitivity and diagnosing the type of hearing loss: conductive (outer or middle ear) or sensorineural (inner ear).

All transducers used with an audiometer, including bone conduction oscillators, are calibrated to that specific audiometer. Different makes and models may have transducers with varying input impedances, leading to inaccurate threshold measurements when used interchangeably.

Stick to the Same Make and Model: Use transducers from the same make and model audiometer to ensure similar input impedance and calibration offsets. Contact your local e3 office promptly for transducer repair or replacement.

Avoid Different Makes: Do not interchange transducers from a different make audiometer, as the input impedance is likely to differ, resulting in varying calibration offset values and transducer linearity.

Perform Daily Biological Checks: Regularly conduct biological checks by measuring thresholds on office staff. If you need to use a transducer from one audiometer to another, compare thresholds to calculate correction factors.

While it is recommended not to swap transducers, understanding these considerations can help maintain testing accuracy in unforeseen circumstances. Always prioritize prompt repair or replacement of defective transducers and re-calibrate as necessary for optimal performance.

Did you know that inaccurate hearing test results and audiometer calibration issues often relate to unchecked transducers? Contact us for service if your transducers need an inspection.

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Other Good Reads: The Importance of Audiometric Calibrations


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