Distortion refers to the presence of additional components of sounds at the output of a hearing aid, which are not present at the input. While distortion is typically unwanted (i.e., undesirable and unintentional), it is possible that in some situations one purposefully creates distortion to reach an intended purpose (i.e., desirable and intentional). A well-known example of intentional distortion is frequency or spectral shaping, where unequal amplification of different parts of the spectrum is provided in order to compensate for frequency-dependent hearing losses. Another example of intentional distortion is frequency lowering, which lowers high-frequency sounds to a lower frequency region with the objective of providing audibility of the high-frequency sounds.

A linear system satisfies the superposition principle, which requires that the response of the whole system ...

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