Microphones are designed to respond to acoustic pressure fields, but they can also be excited by external sources of mechanical vibration. In hearing aids, feedback is a difficult problem to resolve due to the high gain used to amplify sounds. The problem is worsened by the location of microphones and loudspeakers in close proximity, coupling both the acoustic and mechanical feedback paths. The first proposals of microphone vibration measurement techniques and definitional structure were published by Mead Killion in the 1970’s. Significant improvements in measurement technique have been published over the last 10 years. This talk will focus on a new measurement technique that allows for direct measurement of the “intrinsic vibration sensitivity.” The technique gives the ideal zero acoustic pressure condition at the microphone port and isolates room acoustic noise from the desired vibration signal. The noise floor of the new technique is 30dB below Z axis measurement, allowing for exceptionally clean measurement of primary-axis vibration sensitivity up to 10 kHz. Improvements are robust enough to enable the clean measurement of off-axis sensitivity of the microphone, which is often below 50 dB SPL equivalent at 9.81 m/s^2 of acceleration.

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