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Bluetooth Hearing Aids, Made For iPhone Hearing Aids

Bluetooth hearing aids have been really popular over the last few years. It seems like 2020 will be a bumper year for In The Ear Bluetooth hearing aids. In 2019, Resound introduced a Bluetooth enabled CIC (Completely In Canal) hearing aid that is both Made For iPhone and Made For Android. I think that will be the new standard for Bluetooth hearing aids in 2020. Already we have seen Phonak announce the introduction of a Made For Any Phone In The Ear hearing aid. That means Bluetooth connection to any phone, in fact any Bluetooth enabled audio output device. We have also seen Starkey announce the introduction of a Bluetooth enabled ITE that is both Made For iPhone and Made For Android. It leads me to wonder who will be next, anyway, let's talk Bluetooth hearing aids.

Hearing aids with Bluetooth capability have caught the imagination of the buying public in the last few years. However, often people aren't sure what digital Bluetooth hearing devices are, whether all hearing solutions are Made For iPhone and what does Made For Android mean? Finally, what the hell is Made For Any Phone? Let's talk about hearing devices with Bluetooth.

Resound Quattro hearing aids in charger

Below you can find a detailed overview of all of the Bluetooth hearing solutions from some of the big hearing aid brands. First of all, we need to clear up some misconceptions. The concept of Bluetooth enabled hearing aids only covers hearing aids that have a direct connection to a phone for audio streaming. Up to now, when people have spoken about Bluetooth hearing devices, they were talking about Made For iPhone hearing aid technology (MFI Hearing Devices). Although with the introduction of the new Marvel by Phonak, I think the mantle of Bluetooth hearing aids will be stolen by Sonova with their Made For Any Phone devices.

Made For iPhone hearing aids were first introduced by GN Resound with their LiNX platform which was their first ever iPhone hearing aid a couple of years ago. They were quickly followed by Starkey, with their Halo Made For iPhone hearing aids. Originally, there was a linited range of MFI hearing devices from those manufacturers. That began to change a couple of years ago, the manufacturers are moving towards offering a full range of MFI hearing aid model types including In The Ear hearing aids. However, while many of these hearing aids are billed as Made For Android, they are, but not in the same way they are Made For iPhone. Finally, and to confuse you more, Phonak have delivered real Bluetooth hearing aids, that are Made For iPhone, Made For Android and Made For Any Phone. In the next couple of paragraphs I will try and clear up any confusion.

So, What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth was invented in 1994; the technology allows two or more devices to transfer data wirelessly between one another in the form of radio waves, in essence, Bluetooth is a wireless radio. Bluetooth was designed to cater for a cross-platform exchange in communication between electronic devices. In essence, it was first intended to transfer data; it was designed to move files from one computing device to another. It then developed over many years and is most commonly used to transfer audio. It can be found in many electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers. Bluetooth technology is, in fact, a wireless system of communication, a radio, which allows wireless communication between electronic devices.

Many hearing aid manufacturers saw the benefit of Bluetooth technology. However, there were drawbacks. Initially, the audio transferred wasn't very good. It was also exceptionally power hungry. Most manufacturers went down the route of designing their own wireless transmission system. They designed streamers using in-house designed radios that allowed them to avoid the problems with Bluetooth connection. However, both Resound and Starkey stuck with Bluetooth and delivered the first direct connection Made For iPhone hearing aids. 

Bluetooth Compatible Hearing Aids, MFI Hearing Devices, What's The Difference

This distinction is less important than it once was because most of the hearing aid brands now offer Made For iPhone hearing aids. However, it is still worth while understanding it. Just because hearing aids have an iPhone app, it doesn't mean they are iPhone hearing aids, confused much? In the hearing aid profession, we suffer from cognitive bias. We forget that you, don't know, what we know. I was surprised recently by a guy who contacted us, in essence, he didn't realise that the Widex Unique was not a Made For iPhone hearing aid, he saw the app and assumed it was.

It isn't, it is a Bluetooth compatible hearing aid via a connective device, in the case of the Unique from Widex, the Com DEX. Many wireless hearing aids are Bluetooth compatible. Oticon's hearing aids before the Opn were Bluetooth compatible, as were Signia's and Unitron's, Phonak's and everyone else's.

They nearly all connected to your iPhone or Android phone through a streamer. They all have iPhone apps that connect to and control the hearing aids via a streamer. So, you need to be clear about what you are buying. This type of set-up may well be the best set-up. The connection is always stable, and the audio quality is excellent. So think carefully about what you want. Here is a quick run down of the terms and what they mean: 

MFI Hearing Devices MFI hearing devices or Made For iPhone hearing devices will connect directly to iPhones without the aid of an intermediary streamer for streaming audio and calls. MFI hearing aids will not necessarily connect to Android phones in this manner and will usually need an intermediary streamer to do so. This is going to change moving forward.

Bluetooth Compatible Hearing Devices Bluetooth compatible devices are not direct connection, they will need an intermediary streamer to connect to a mobile phone for streaming of audio and control with an app. They will however connect to an Android device for exactly the same function once you have a streamer.

Made For Android Hearing Aids Made For Android hearing devices up to recently were a bit of a con, they did not directly connect and you needed an intermediary streamer to stream audio and take calls. However, with the recent introduction of the LiNX Quattro and Android 10, there is a future for direct connection between hearing aids and Android phones, however, it will not be backward compatible.

Made For Any Phone This is strictly a Sonova (owners of Phonak, Unitron, Audio Nova among others)strategy and is only available in Sonova hearing aids such as the Phonak Marvel, the Unitron Discover, the Costco KS9 etc. This strategy will connect to any mobile phone with a Bluetooth connection for audio and call streaming. In fact, this strategy will connect to almost anything that has a Bluetooth radio for audio.

What are Bluetooth hearing aid streamers?

All of the hearing aid brands have Bluetooth compatible hearing aid streamers. As I said before, streamers are the unique devices built by each hearing aid manufacturer to ensure stable, low energy, wireless streaming of audio to their hearing aids. Usually with outstanding audio quality. Why would you not want them?

What Made For iPhone Hearing Aids are Available?

Initially, both iPhone hearing aids were Receiver In Canal hearing aid types. GN Resound updated their LiNX with the LiNX 2 platform which was a full range of hearing aids including In The Ear and Behind The Ear hearing aids. While the platform had ultra small CICs, they weren't, in fact, compatible with iPhone connection, so you could say it was a bit of a con. Starkey upgraded their platform as well, launching the Halo 2 and more recently the Livio. They kept to RIC devices only. Nearly every hearing aid brand has launched a Made For iPhone hearing aid or aids plural. The full line up of Bluetooth hearing aids is:

  1. the Phonak Virto Black (new for 2020)
  2. the Starkey Edge (new for 2020)
  3. the Philips Hearlink range (new in 2019)
  4. the Oticon Opn S range (new in 2019)
  5. the Signia Styletto Connect (new in 2019)
  6. the Viron range from Bernafon (new in 2019)
  7. the Xperience range from Signia (new in 2019)
  8. the Costco KS9 Range (new in 2019, basically a Marvel)
  9. the Phonak Bolero Marvel Range (new in 2019)
  10. the Unitron Discover Range (new in 2019)
  11. the LiNX Quattro from Resound
  12. the Phonak Audeo Marvel Range
  13. the Oticon Opn range
  14. the Oticon Siya range
  15. the Zerena range from Bernafon
  16. the Widex Evoke Fusion 2
  17. the Widex Beyond Fusion
  18. the LiNX 3D range from Resound
  19. the Enzo 3D range from Resound
  20. the Halo 2 range from Starkey
  21. the Livio AI range from Starkey
  22. the Pure 13 BT from Signia
  23. the Nx range from Signia

What brands make MFI Hearing Aids

The thing was that MFI hearing aids caught the imagination of the broader tech community and users. They are popular hearing solutions; in fact, they seem to have seeped into the wider consciousness. Inevitably, the other hearing aid manufacturers began to take notice. Oticon, Signia and Widex have all launched their own iPhone hearing aids. Phonak also introduced their very own system, but it is different from everyone else. The full range of brands with MFI hearing aids are:

  • Philips
  • Oticon
  • Bernafon
  • Widex
  • Resound
  • Starkey
  • Signia
  • Phonak
  • Unitron

What Makes a Made For iPhone?

There is a real difference between MFI hearing aids and Made For Android, MFI hearing aids are designed to work very closely with Apple's operating system. They will connect directly to Apple Phones and iPads without the need for any intermediary device. In other words, audio from the phone or the tablet can be directly streamed to the hearing aids, that means phone calls, music, audiobooks and podcasts in stereo and to both ears. 

iPad hearing aid compatibility

Any hearing aid that is billed as Made For iPhone will be iPad compatible. But you need to ensure it is genuinely Made For iPhone like the LiNX 3D, the Halo 2, The Signia Pure BT, the Oticon Opn, the Bernafon Zerena, the Widex Beyond or the new Nx range from Signia. 

Are Bluetooth Hearing Aids Better?

Yes, I would have to say Bluetooth hearing aids are better. While the Bluetooth connectivity does not necessarily make your hearing aids perform better. One of the features of Bluetooth hearing aids is connectivity to remote microphones and mobile phones which offers real benefits. For instance, using a remote microphone in a noisy situation will let you hear your companion in a much clearer manner. Streaming audio from a mobile phone will allow you to make and receive calls easier and with more confidence that you will hear the person at the other end. All of this is delivered without you having to wear any ancillary device, just your hearing aids. The benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids include:

  • Direct connection to remote microphones
  • Direct connection to TV streamers
  • Direct connection to iPhone hearing aids
  • Stereo audio streaming for both phone calls and music or media

What Brands Have Hearing Aid Apps For Smartphones

Nearly every hearing aid manufacturer has hearing aid apps for both iPhones and Android phones. While once the iPhone hearing aid apps tended to offer more functionality than the Android hearing aid apps, that has changed. For instance, the Widex App for the Beyond, the Signia App for the Nx and the Resound App for the LiNX 3D and Quattro offers pretty much the same functionality across the different Smartphones. Up to now though, they have been limited by the fact that there is no direct streaming from Android phones.

Who Offers In The Ear Made For iPhone Hearing Aids?

Up to 2018, GN Resound was the only hearing aid brand to offer custom Made For iPhone Hearing Aids. However, that has changed radically. Oticon, Bernafon and Signia now also offer Made For iPhone custom hearing aids. There is one addendum, most of the brands are only Bluetooth enabled down to Mini-In-Canal models. However, in September 2019, ReSound introduced the first ever Bluetooth enabled Completley In Canal hearing aid. The size of the devices depends on the ear canal though.

Why are Made For Android Hearing Aids Different?

AS I mentioned earlier, Made for android hearing aids up to recently, have not been integrated into the Android system, the developers of Android had not invested time in hearing aid integration. That is the real difference between MFI and Made For Android, while the features are always similar, as are the apps for both operating systems. Connection to Apple is direct, connection to Android up to 2019 has always needed an intermediary streamer. With the introduction of Android 10 in September 2019, that has all changed. However, the new system isn't backward compatible to existing Android phones or perhaps even available hearing aids. For instance, the LiNX 3D range will never be able to stream audio from Android mobile phones.

When can we expect Android Hearing Aid Streaming?

We have it already with the introduction of the Phonak Marvel, the Unitron Discover and the Costco KS9 which will allow calls and audio to be streamed in stereo from any Bluetooth enabled phone including Android devices. While they work with Android, they are not Made For Android per se. The LiNX Quattro is the first ever Made For Android hearing aid. Since September 3rd and the release of Android 10, LiNX Quattro hearing aids will now connect directly to to Google Pixel 3 and 3a phones. The streaming experience is excellent and I have found it to be very solid and reliable. While initially, it is just the Quattro with the Pixel 3 range and the Samsung Galaxy S10 range, we expect to see it expand to other hearing aid brands and phone brands through 2020.

Can you Connect Hearing Aids to a Computer?

While this can be done with many modern hearing aids, it is usually only through a streamer device. However, with the advent of the new Made For Any Phone hearing aids from Sonova, you can now connect Sonova Made For Any Phone hearing aids direct to a computer. Phonak Marvel, Unitron Discover and Costco KS9 hearing aids will connect to either Macs or Windows devices directly. You will be able to hear music or talk on Skype, Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts, all without a streamer. 

How do You Connect Bluetooth Hearing Aids to TVs?

Most Bluetooth hearing aids (with the exception of the Sonova Made For Any Phone devices) will not connect directly to a Bluetooth enabled TV. The Phonak Marvel and it's stable mates will, but don't do it; it will eat your batteries. All Bluetooth enabled hearing aids will connect to a TV through a TV streamer. Every hearing aid brand has one, and the latest TV streamers are a direct connection device (streams TV audio direct to your hearing aids) and straightforward to set up and pair. 

How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Your Phone?

The process to pair hearing aids is pretty simple, but it differs from iPhone to Android phones, so let's take a look at each one in turn. 

How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Your iPhone?

The process to pair an Apple device isn't hard, you need to know where to look to do it. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions at first run. Pairing the hearing aids is beneficial because when you pair a Made for iPhone hearing aid to your iOS device, audio from your iOS device goes to your hearing aid. If you turn off your hearing aid, you need to reconnect it when you want to use it with your iOS device again.

To pair your hearing aid with an Apple iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open your hearing aid's battery doors.
  2. On your iOS device, tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Hearing > MFi Hearing Devices.
  3. If Bluetooth is off, turn it on under Devices.
  4. Close your hearing aid's battery doors. Your iOS device will search for your hearing aid.
  5. Under Devices, tap the name of your hearing aid.
  6. Tap Pair when you see the pairing request on the screen. If you have two hearing aids, you'll get two requests. The pairing could take up to a minute.

You can start using your hearing aid when you see it under Devices with a check mark. Control on Lock Screen will be on. Leave it on to control your hearing aid from the Lock screen (using the Accessibility Shortcut) and from Control Center.

Pairing With More Than One Apple Device

When you pair your hearing aids with more than one iOS device, the connection for your hearing aids switches from one device to the other when you use audio. The connection also switches when you receive a call on your iPhone. If you make changes to your hearing aid settings on one device, they're sent to your other iOS devices. 

To pair with a second iOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all iOS devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.
  2. Follow the steps for how to pair your hearing aid above.

How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to an Android Device?

The process to pair an Android device is pretty simple, you need to know where to look to do it. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions at first run. While you won't be able to stream audio from your Android device yet, pairing the hearing aids is still beneficial. It will allow you to use the accompanying app and will give you better control over your hearing aids.

  1. Go to the Android phone’s home screen and tap on the “Settings” icon.
  2. In the settings menu, tap on the Bluetooth icon.
  3. Tap on the slider button to turn Bluetooth on.
  4. Open both of your hearing aid battery doors for 5 seconds then close the battery doors (this puts it into pairing mode).
  5. If you have rechargeable devices with no battery door, put them in the charger for five or ten seconds and then take them out, this will put them in pairing mode
  6. On the Android phone, you will now see a message, “Available Devices.” If you don't, click scan for available devices. 
  7. The name of your hearing aids should appear on the screen. Tap on both of them to select and pair them.
  8. A connection beep will be heard in the paired hearing aid.
  9. Your Android phone should now be connected to your hearing aid.

Can You Use MFI Hearing Aids For Hands-Free Calls?

We were asked this question recently, and the answer is no, none of the Made For iPhone hearing aids can be used for genuinely hands-free calls unless you use a streamer. The only hearing aids that can be used at present for truly hands-free calls is the Phonak and Unitron Made For Any Phone hearing aids. 

What is Phonak Made For Any Phone Hearing Aids?

Phonak (one of the biggest hearing aid brands) felt some pressure from shareholders to introduce MFI hearing aids and spoke about moving forward with the devices in late 2017. The rumour mill worked hard on this one, and it said that the devices might not be just Phonak's first ever MFI technology, it was expected to be the first ever Made For Android hearing aids? That indeed proved to be the case, but it isn't quite that simple, it is, in fact, the world's first ever true Bluetooth hearing aid. While initially there were limitations with their system, the new Marvel MFA hearing aids do away with those completely. The Marvel hearing devices will connect to any Bluetooth enabled mobile phone using the Bluetooth classic protocol and stream audio and calls. More than that, it will also connect to Bluetooth enabled computers, laptops and even TVs.

Are Made For iPhone / Bluetooth Hearing Aids any Good?

I will say, that some Made For iPhone hearing aids have some problems with connectivity. They drop their connection to the phone quite a lot, therefore irritating users and causing some real problems for hearing aid manufacturers. The real issue is that Bluetooth is inherently unstable, or at least it was. It has got better, but it can still be problematic. The other factor is that the connection to the hearing aids is managed by the Apple system, which can be a bit rubbish at times.

These types of hearing aids are just getting better and the direct connection devices offer so many benefits over and above simple connection to a mobile phone. The other thing is that most of the hearing brands have moved towards these types of devices because they have been so successful. So yes, they are a good choice.

As time has passed and IOS has been updated, the problems with Made For iPhone hearing aids have receded somewhat, but still not gone away. Again, the issues here are Bluetooth, so we will probably never get away from them entirely. My thoughts on it are that the problems are worth the benefits, if however, you aren't very tech savvy, the difficulties might drive you mad. The easiest fix for all problems seems to be to forget the devices, restart your phone and then re-pair them. Generally, that fixes all issues. 

What Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Cost?

In essence, the majority of the latest hearing aids from the big manufacturers are Bluetooth enabled. While it is true that not all of them are, many of the devices are. That basically means that Bluetooth enabled hearing aids are no more expensive than non-Bluetooth enabled devices. It is not seen as a premium type of device anymore, they have become pretty much mainstream. In many cases, we have put aggregate pricing on the hearing aid details on Know. They are based on what we can find out in each marketplace. 

We would expect most modern Bluetooth hearing aids from the leading hearing brands to retail from £800.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1000.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

What are The Benefits of Modern Bluetooth Hearing Devices?

One of the significant benefits of modern direct connection hearing aids is the direct connection to ancillary devices. Resound has for years had hearing aid accessories that just connected directly to their hearing aids without any intermediary device. Many people love the idea of a remote microphone or TV streamer that just connects without them having to wear a streamer around their neck. I never really understood it, at least not until I used the Bernafon Zerena and the multifunctional SoundClip-A in the remote mic function. 

My experience was outstanding, the ease of use also struck me. I just had to turn it on and ask my companion to clip it to their shirt. I can see why only having to worry about one small device makes people happy. Most of the modern direct connection hearing aids now offer this function, the TV streamer and multifunction sound clip devices all seem to be made by the same manufacturer for the different brands. Resound still provides the most varied direct connection accessory range though. 

Use A Damn Streamer!

My own bias in the past has always been towards hearing aids that can connect via a streamer device. While I understood that many people felt the streamer was a pain in the ass, it still supplied an outstanding and stable connection. My attitude to that is changing somewhat as Bluetooth hearing aids evolve to offer outstanding connection and audio quality.

In finishing, Made For iPhone is pretty damn cool. However, there are some issues with dropped connections. Resound, and Starkey don't seem to have as many problems with that. With some manufacturers, it seems to be more of an issue. Although, as all of the brands get more experience with the connection it should get better. One of the leading issues though is in fact Apple. They change things, deliver upgrades, and then every hearing aid manufacturer has to run to catch up to ensure the connection is stable.

let's take a look at what is available: 

Philips Costco OticonBernafonPhonak ResoundSigniaStarkeyUnitron Widex

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Real Ear Measurements in hearing aid fitting

Real Ear Measurements Are Essential For Hearing Aids

Gold Standard Fitting

Real Ear Measurements, REMs or Speech Mapping are imperative for best practice hearing aid fitting. It is our best advice to you, to find a hearing care provider who does offer them when you are purchasing. Ask any provider you deal with, do they offer probe tube measurements, if they say no, tell them you will go somewhere else.

Learn More

Starkey Edge AI

A Rechargeable Bluetooth In The Ear Hearing Aid

Since lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids exploded onto the scene in 2016 many people have wondered if the technology would transfer to In The Ear (ITE) hearing aids. While thee have been plenty of rumours about the different hearing aid brands working on the devices, up to now, we haven't seen any introduced. In February 2020, that will all change with the introduction of the new Starkey Edge AI range. For the first time, we will have a lithium-ion powered rechargeable Bluetooth ITE.

Starkey rechargeable Bluetooth in the ear hearing aids

In The Canal?

Judging by the images I have seen, the device is probably a half-shell device. I think that is going to depend on the size of the ear canal and ear. It looks like a dual-mic custom device with a push button. The faceplate seems to be raised in the middle with what I would assume are charging contacts. While the image shows a black device, I would imagine it will be available in the more traditional colours as well.

Made For iPhone, Made For Android

The devices are Bluetooth enabled and will offer a direct connection to both iPhones and some Android 10 phones. That means direct audio streaming and call audio from those phones without any intermediary streamers.

Lithium-ion Powered

Making a custom hearing aid rechargeable has been technically difficult, the main issue has really how are you going to charge it. Obviously, Starkey has solved the issue and this will be the first-ever lithium-ion powered custom hearing aid. They say the lithium-ion cell will give you 23 hours of battery life between charges. 

Blurring The Lines

Starkey has been blurring the lines between Hearables and Hearing Aids for a while now. The introduction of the lithium-ion powered Bluetooth ITE (In The Ear) device certainly does that. In fact, I think it is the first device from the hearing aid industry that can be firmly called a Hearable. 

Back To Brands

Virto Black

Phonak unveiled a brand new Marvel powered custom device at CES 20202 in Vegas. It is the first of the Marvel In The Ear devices to be introduced and it really is interesting. They are calling the Virto Black a stigma busting hearing aid designed to look like a hearable but offering so much more. They say "Virto Black is the world’s first custom-made hearing aid that directly streams from both iOS®, Android™, or virtually any other Bluetooth®-enabled audio device. It boasts up to 16 hearing performance features that work together to help wearers connect with everyone in their life. Meanwhile, its microprocessor chip runs five wireless protocols at the same time including Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth LE, Binaural VoiceStream Technology™, Airstream Technology™ and Roger, providing the wireless connectivity that today’s wearers expect." Let's take a look at them and what we know so far.

Phonak Virto Black hearing aids

Part of a Wider Launch

We now know that the Virto Black is part of a wider Marvel Virto launch. The Black is just one model in a full line up of In The Ear hearing aids. They are to be launched on February 19 in the states and we assume the UK.

Fully Featured

Most of the new Marvel Virto range will come with all of the features and connectivity that we would expect from a Marvel device. Including the proprietary BVST and hands-free calls. They will also connect directly to Roger devices, giving custom hearing aid wearers their first-ever opportunity to use that astounding Roger Pen or Select. The CIC and Titanium version will not come with the Marvel connectivity, but that is to be expected.

They have also made it clear that they will use biometric calibration, the feature they introduced with Belong, to ensure the hearing devices are built with the details of your outer ear in mind.

Funny Colour?

Virto Black pair

Phonak have specifically picked the colour design of the Black as part of their strategy for this device, they believe if we are to beat the stigma, we need new ideas about what's acceptable. Most modern hearables come in Black, so a discreet black In The Ear device makes perfect sense within that context. They said:

"Virto Black was designed to blur the lines between a hearing aid and a hearable and help people seek treatment sooner thanks to the stylish design and innovative hearing aid technology designed to meet the needs of even severe hearing losses. A recent survey of more than 600 non-hearing aid wearers worldwide with hearing loss revealed a majority would choose Virto Black in comparison to traditional in-the-ear hearing aids.3 This was most prominent in the 18-56 age range, suggesting younger wearers may be more comfortable wearing a bold, stylish product like Virto Black in their ears."

As the rest of the Marvel In The Ear range are released, there will be more traditional colour options available. I think it will be interesting to see how well accepted the Black devices are by consumers.

Virto Black Size

It is a little hard to tell but I would imagine the devices are no bigger than a traditional half shell and probably a little smaller than that. They run on a size 312 battery. You can see in the image below that they look quite a bit smarter in the ear than many of the typical Hearables available.

Virto M in ear

On top of that, I would expect the battery life to be far better than the typical four hours that most Hearables offer. Although battery life for something like this will be interesting to see. The protocols they are running are power-hungry and we know they struggle to get much more than three to four days out of a 312 RIC.

Virto Marvel Models

The models are expected to be, a Titanium, a size 10 CIC, size 312 ITC and a larger size 13 Full Shell model. They will be available across four levels of Phonak technology. Closer to the release date we will update with images and full details.

Back To Brands

Philips Hearlink hearing aids

Hearlink is the name of the new hearing device range from Philips. Not the entire range will be Made For iPhone, but the three Receiver In Canal devices, the behind the ear model and one of the in the ear models will be able to directly connect to Apple products. 

Five Technology Levels

The range will be available in five technology levels which is not unlike the Bernafon set up. The top three levels will have the premium features available in differing parameters. The bottom two technology levels use the same chipset but will have more basic features. The features themselves are interesting.

Key Philips Features

They say that their new entry into the hearing aid market uses two key technologies - SoundMap and SoundTie. SoundMap is the management system of the devices and creates the sound of Philips HearLink. It amplifies voices and makes them clearer in difficult environments by reducing the noise. It also ensures that the sound details are audible. SoundTie is the name of the connection technology they are using, it connects Philips HearLink hearing solutions and their users to the outside world. It makes activities like watching TV easier and more enjoyable. SoundTie also provides intelligent interaction with smartphones and helps HearLink users stay connected with distant friends and family.

Philips

Hearlink Mini RITE

Small and sleek Made For iPhone RITE instrument with size 312 battery that fits discreetly behind the ear. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses. The device will be available in five levels of technology.

Hearlink miniRITE Prices

We would expect the Philips Hearlink miniRITE range to be sold at prices from £700.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the level of technology. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €800.00 to €3000.00 depending on technology level in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 depending on the level of technology in the USA.

Philips Hearlink MiniRITE

Philips

Hearlink MiniRITE-TR

Lithium-ion Made For iPhone rechargeable RITE instrument with a lithium-ion power pack. Fully charged within only 3 hours and providing a full day of use. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses. The device will be available in five levels of technology.

Hearlink miniRITE-TR Prices

We would expect the Philips Hearlink miniRITE-TR range to be sold at prices from £700.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the level of technology. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €800.00 to €3000.00 depending on technology level in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 depending on the level of technology in the USA.

Philips Hearlink MiniRITE Rechargeable

Philips

Hearlink miniRITE-T

Discreet Made For iPhone RITE instrument with size 312 battery, telecoil and double Program Button. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses. The device will be available in five levels of technology.

Hearlink miniRITE-T Prices

We would expect the Philips Hearlink miniRITE-T range to be sold at prices from £700.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the level of technology. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €800.00 to €3000.00 depending on technology level in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 depending on the level of technology in the USA.

Philips Hearlink MiniRITE-T

Philips

Hearlink BTE PP

Full-featured powerful Made For iPhone BTE instrument with size 13 battery, telecoil and double Program Button. This hearing aid style is most commonly used for severe to profound hearing losses. It’s powerful and easy to handle. The device will be available in five levels of technology.

Hearlink BTE PP Prices

We would expect the Philips Hearlink BTE PP range to be sold at prices from £700.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the level of technology. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €800.00 to €3000.00 depending on technology level in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 depending on the level of technology in the USA.

Philips Hearlink BTE PP

Philips

Hearlink In The Canal (ITC)

Philips Hearlink ITC hearing aid

Offers many options for individualization including Program Button and Volume Control. It is likely that this device will be a Made For iPhone hearing device. This in-the-ear hearing aid offers many options for individualization and is suitable for mild to severe hearing losses. The device will be available in five levels of technology.

From £700.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the level of technology. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €800.00 to €3000.00 depending on technology level in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 depending on the level of technology in the USA.

Back To Brands

Costco Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids

Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aids

The new Kirkland Signature 9.0 is manufactured by Sonova and it is built upon the same hardware as the Phonak Marvel and Unitron Discover. It is important that you understand that the Kirkland 9.0 is similar to these hearing aids but is not exactly the same. The Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aid range is made up of one Bluetooth enabled Receiver In Canal hearing aid at one premium level of technology. While the range is limited, the hearing aid will fit most hearing losses because of the interchangeable receivers (speakers). The Kirkland Signature 9.0 can use four different receivers,which allows the hearing aid to cover hearing losses from mild to severe to profound hearing losses. The device is an IP68 rated hearing aid with a dual control that is powered by a 312 zinc-air battery, it doesn't have a telecoil on board. Again though, it is a Bluetooth hearing aid and unlike other Bluetooth hearing aids, it offers direct connection to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone.

Hands-Free Phone  Calls

The hearing aids provide hands-free phone calls from your connected cell phone. You simply press the button on the hearing aid to answer the call and talk away.You can also end the phone call with a simple touch of the button on your hearing aids.

TV Audio Streaming

There is a TV streamer accessory for the device that allows you to stream audio from any TV or sound system direct to your hearing aids without a streamer. The TV accessory provides excellent sound quality.

App Based Remote Control

There is also an accompanying app for both Android and iPhones which will allow you to control your hearing aids remotely from your smartphone.

Kirkland 9.0 Prices

Overall, the Costco Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids seem like pretty good hearing aids considering their purchase price of $1499.99 for a pair. As I said, the technology is not identical to the Phonak Marvel or Unitron Discover line of devices, but they are similar. Kirkland hearing aids, or any of the hearing aids available at Costco do not have any kind of Tinnitus Features inside of their devices, so it’s something you need to take into consideration if that’s important to you.

Kirkland Signature 9.0 Features

The Kirkland Signature 9.0 uses the Sonova Sword chip for communication just like the rest of the Made For Any Phone ranges from their brands. The features are as follows:

  • Third-generation enhanced automatic operating system
  • Premium-level classification of environmental sounds and streamed media
  • Binaural signal processing and binaural beamforming
  • Direct connectivity to any Bluetooth phone with audio streaming to both ears
  • Hands-free phone calls with built-in microphones
  • 20 fine-tuning channels, 9 automatic programs, 3 manual programs
  • Receiver-in-canal (RIC) form factor with 312 battery
  • 4 receiver power levels
  • Accessories: TV Connector

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Resound

LiNX Quattro LT61

Resound introduced the Quattro range in 2018. As we reported on our blog (13/08/2018), Resound has announced the launch of a new premium plus hearing aid called the LiNX Quattro, initially, the range consisted of just two Receiver In Canal devices. However, in August 2019, they expanded the range to include four new custom In The Ear devices. The Quattro range is built to be Made For iPhone as well as Made For Android. With the introduction of Android 10 on September third 2019, the Quattro range is the first hearing aids to support audio streaming of calls and media to Android phones. Initially, that feature will only work with Google Pixel 3 phones and Samsung Galaxy S10 phones. However, we would expect the feature to be available on more and more handsets over 2020.

Resound Quattro hearing aids in charger

A quick run-down of the salient points:

  • The Quattro range is available in three technology levels
  • Quattro devices are now both Receiver In Canal devices and In The Ear Devices
  • All of the Quattro devices are Bluetooth direct connection hearing aids
  • The devices use a brand new chip platform
  • The chip has 100% faster processing than 3D
  • The chip has 100% additional memory over the 3D
  • Resound are using a new way of handling directionality inputs
  • They have introduced a redesigned wireless radio with extra signal strength
  • They have extended the bandwidth of the devices giving extra high-frequencies
  • They have increased their dynamic input range, calling it industry-leading
  • The Quattro range has an outstanding Lithium-ion rechargeable device available
  • The rechargeable hearing device will deliver 24 hours of use with 50% streaming on a three-hour charge
  • The Lithium-ion devices will deliver 30 hours of use without streaming on a three-hour charge 
  • The Quattro range offers the first-ever Bluetooth direct connection Completely In Canal hearing aid ever

A Lithium-ion Rechargeable Made For iPhone Hearing Aid

The LiNX Quattro is a rechargeable direct connection, Bluetooth enabled or Made For iPhone hearing aid just like all the LiNX devices before it. Resound have redesigned the wireless radio though and they say that it is more powerful than ever before. That translates into pretty stable connection to the iPhone and Android phones. Making it a rechargeable device makes a lot of sense, although they have used the chip upgrades to improve power consumption, a rechargeable option allows you the comfort of never having to worry about hearing aid batteries. The battery life is also fantastic, they say that you will get 24 hours of life even if you are streaming for 50% of the time, that's pretty amazing. The device shown above is the rechargeable option, but they are also offering a traditional hearing aid battery Receiver In Canal model which is based on the LT-62 using a size thirteen battery.

Custom Hearing Aids

LiNX Quattro custom hearing aids

While normally with new technology we would expect teething problems, ReSound have been offering Made For iPhone custom hearing aids for a long time. It appears that the custom hearing aids don't present with too many problems. The CIC isn't quite a CIC though, for most ears, it appears to be more a Mini In Canal hearing aid. That is still pretty discreet.

Premium Plus Price Point

Resound have not introduced the devices as a replacement for the LiNX 3D, rather, they have introduced them as a new premium price point above the LiNX 3D 9 and 7 and 5. With the expansion of the Quattro range to now include custom hearing aids, they will be more attractive to more people. The fact that this is the first-ever Made For iPhone and Made For Android CIC is also to be celebrated.

You can read more about the LiNX Quattro 9 hearing aid range here.

You can read more about the LiNX Quattro 7 hearing aid range here.

You can read more about the LiNX Quattro 5 hearing aid range here.

Resound

LiNX 3D Hearing Aids

The Latest Made For iPhone Hearing Aid Platform

The Resound LiNX 3D hearing aids were launched in 2017 by GN Resound. They offered the pinnacle of Resound technology at the time and they also offered a whole new way to experience hearing care. The original ReSound LiNX allowed users to adjust their own settings as they went, but with the new LiNX 3D, they can request assistance wherever they are directly from their mobile app, and their hearing professional can make all the adjustments necessary. It was the very first large-scale introduction of Telecare in the Audiology sphere. Let's take a high-level view of the Resound LiNX 3D range

The ReSound LiNX 3D includes GN Hearing's 5th generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology and 3rd generation binaural directionality. They say it will provide users with "clear, natural sound, exceptional speech understanding and the best sense of where sounds are coming from." There are eleven different hearing aid models in three levels of technology.

LiNX 3D Prices

We would expect the range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA. Just to be clear, we don't set prices here and they differ from Practice to Practice across the World so our expectations aren't binding, they are just a guess and some research. Always remember, we all like to shop around, but always be clear about what is being delivered. You will need care and support, make sure you will get it. You will also need your hearing aid validated or verified to get the best experience, paying a little more to ensure your experience is good, is not wasted money. That's our price rant for the day over, let's talk about the devices. 

Resound LiNX3D

  • It is up to 50% better at identifying speech across various environments
  • It enables users to hear up to 80% more of the sounds around them, and
  • It enables users to understand up to 40% more speech in noise

When connected to the brand new apps that have been designed for iPhone and Apple Watch, users will be able to access custom control features for the hearing aid. There is also built-in guidance steps to understand both the hearing aids and the software, there is also coaching assistance to get the most out of the hearing aids. When compared to competitors, the company said that the ReSound LiNX 3D and companion app are up to 50 per cent better at identifying speech across various environments, enable users to hear up to 80 per cent more of the sounds around them, and enable users to understand up to 40 per cent more speech in noise.

Direct Connection and Accessories

Resound were the very first hearing aid manufacturer to offer direct connection accessories and they have an entire line. They offer remote microphones and TV streamers that directly connect to your hearing aids without the need for an intermediary streamer. Their accessory devices are pretty solid and offer great audio quality. They are worth investigating further. 

Read More About Resound Hearing Aids

Made For iPhone Hearing Aids For Severe To Profound Hearing Loss From Resound

Resound Enzo 3DResound Enzo 3D Hearing Aids

Resound launched their latest hearing device for people with severe to profound hearing loss in 2017. They have updated Enzo Made For iPhone (MFI) Bluetooth hearing aids with their new 3D platform which brings all of the benefits of that new system to this market. Those benefits include better spatial awareness and much better speech understanding in noise. With Made for iPhone® technology, you can stream phone calls, music and more from your iPhone, iPad® or iPod touch® directly to your hearing aids. If you have an Android or any Bluetooth-enabled phone, you can still stream calls, music and more with a discreet ReSound Phone Clip+ wireless accessory. 

Connect directly to Apple products with the Enzo 3D

Vibrant and crystal clear sound

Like the LiNX 3D range from ReSound, Enzo 3D hearing aids come with the superior sound quality of Surround Sound by ReSound. They work together, continuously exchanging data about your sound environment for optimised performance. The hearing aids are available in three levels of technology, the top of the range 9, the 7 and the 5. 

Enzo 3D Prices

We would expect the range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA. Just to be clear, we don't set prices here and they differ from Practice to Practice across the World so our expectations aren't binding, they are just a guess and some research. Always remember, we all like to shop around, but always be clear about what is being delivered. You will need care and support, make sure you will get it. You will also need your hearing aid validated or verified to get the best experience, paying a little more to ensure your experience is good, is not wasted money. That's our price rant for the day over, let's talk about the devices. 

Two Models, Huge Power

There are two hearing aid models in the range both of which are Behind The Ear hearing aids and both of which are extremely powerful. The BTE 88 is the smaller of the two and takes a size 13 battery. The BTE 98 is larger but takes the 675 battery that many people with this hearing loss are used to.

The 98 is also more powerful than the 88, although not by much. However, Resound say that the 98 will get twelve days of use on the 675 battery, that's fantastic battery life for a smart hearing aid.

Resound

Enzo 3D ET-88

Resound Enzo 3D 88ReSound ENZO 3D ET-88 is the smaller of the two hearing aids but it is a complete super power hearing solution. It provides high levels of amplification without feedback. It offers exceptional clarity and sound quality, and balances improved hearing in noise with preserved access to environmental sounds.

The Smart Range C platform in ReSound ENZO 3D supports their 5th generation of 2.4 GHz wireless technology. This allows ear-to-ear communication along with direct connection to the ReSound Smart 3D™ app and lets the hearing aids connect wirelessly to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and select Android phone models via Bluetooth 4.0.

It also includes the industry-first ReSound Assist, which offers you fine tuning and hearing aid update opportunities remotely via secure cloud technology. ReSound ENZO 3D HP BTE hearing aids are iSolateTM nanotech coated for optimum durability and meet the IP58 classification for ingress protection.

Enzo 3D ET-88 Prices

We would expect the ET-88 to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Resound

Enzo 3D ET-98

Resound Enzo 3D 98ReSound ENZO 3D ET-98 is the larger of the two hearing aids but it does offer a more traditional 675 battery super power hearing solution. It provides high levels of amplification without feedback. It offers exceptional clarity and sound quality, and balances improved hearing in noise with preserved access to environmental sounds.

The Smart Range C platform in ReSound ENZO 3D supports their 5th generation of 2.4 GHz wireless technology. This allows ear-to-ear communication along with direct connection to the ReSound Smart 3D™ app and lets the hearing aids connect wirelessly to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and select Android phone models via Bluetooth 4.0.

It also includes the industry-first ReSound Assist, which offers you fine tuning and hearing aid update opportunities remotely via secure cloud technology. ReSound ENZO 3D HP BTE hearing aids are iSolateTM nanotech coated for optimum durability and meet the IP58 classification for ingress protection.

Enzo 3D ET-98 Prices

We would expect the ET-98 to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA. $

Read More About Resound Hearing Aids

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Phonak

Audeo Marvel Hearing Aids

Phonak Audeo Marvel

Made For Any Phone Hearing Aids

Phonak introduced Marvel platform to the world at EUHA 2018, and it is a pretty fantastic hearing aid range. The Marvel isn't just a Made For iPhone; it is a Made For Any Phone hearing aid. It is a true Bluetooth hearing device which means a direct connection to any Bluetooth enabled mobile phone or audio device. Initially, the new Marvel range was available in the Audeo type which is Phonak's Receiver In Canal style of hearing aids. However, they have expanded the range as time passed to include a Bolero BTE range. Their initial offering was a Lithium-Ion powered rechargeable hearing aid version and a traditional size 312 Zinc-Air version, the rest of the Audeo hearing aids arrived over the next twelve months.

While Phonak had introduced the concept of Made For Any Phone with the Audeo B-Direct, that device was a compromise. It connected to phones but only allowed you to hear the call in one ear. It also didn't stream audio from your phone. The Marvel hearing device is a hugely multi-functional and feature-rich hearing aid which streams audio to both ears. There is a huge amount to talk about with the Marvel platform, almost so much that you wonder where to start. The Marvel contains probably every single one of the current headline features in the hearing aid world, and they have even thrown in some new ones, here’s the quick list:

Audeo Marvel Hearing Aid Prices

We would expect the Audeo Marvel range to be sold at prices from £800.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1000.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

  • Stereo Bluetooth streaming: Stereo streaming from any Bluetooth enabled device, that means iPhone, iPad, laptops, computers, Macs, Android phones, Windows phones, hell any Bluetooth-enabled phone.
  • Real Hands-free calling in stereo: Like the Audeo B-direct, the Marvel offers true hands-free calling from Bluetooth-enabled phones and VOIP services like Skype, except, to both hearing aids.
  • TV Streaming: Marvel can stream directly from Bluetooth-enabled TVs, and can also stream from the Phonak TV Connector accessory.
  • Rechargeability: They say both Marvel rechargeables will deliver a full day of hearing aid use from a single charge.
  • Remote adjustments: Marvel hearing aids can be adjusted remotely by your hearing expert.
  • New App Eco-System: Brand new apps to make life easier and engage the consumer in the process.
  • RogerDirect: This is really fascinating, for the first time, users will be able to stream from Roger devices directly to their hearing aids.
  • Full Phonak Feature Set: Unlike the Audeo B-direct, the Marvel devices will not be hobbled, they will offer full and up to date inter-ear features.

Phonak Marvel Hearing Aids family

You can read our article on the introduction of the devices which gives a decent rundown on the new Phonak Marvel here

Feature Comparison LiNX Quattro Audeo Marvel
Direct Wireless Connectivity To iPhone Yes

Yes

Direct Wireless Connectivity To Android Yes

Yes

Stream Phone Conversation Yes

Yes

Answer Phone With Hearing Aid No

Yes

Handsfree Calling No

Yes

Phone Conversation in Both Ears Yes

Yes

Streaming of Audio From Phone Yes

Yes

Use iPhone as Remote Microphone Yes

No

Find Lost Hearing Aid Feature Yes

No

Remote Fine Tuning of Hearing Aids Yes

Yes

Tinnitus Therapy Feature Yes

Yes

Phonak

Bolero Marvel Range

The Bolero Marvel range is the latest range of Behind The Ear hearing aids from Phonak. It consists of just two hearing aid models, The Bolero Marvel M and the Bolero Marvel PR which is a little strange. Both devices really only cover hearing losses up to moderate to severe. Phonak would usually introduce a larger range of Bolero devices includinh a device that would cover severe to profound hearing loss. This time, they haven't, I think that means that we will see the Naida Marvel range of hearing aids introduced soon.

Bolero Marvel Hearing Aid Prices

We would expect the Bolero Marvel range to be sold at prices from £800.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1000.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Bolero Marvel M

Bolero Marvel M with slimtube configuration

The Bolero Marvel M is a pretty discrete mini BTE with a multi-functional button, not unlike the button used on the Audeo. The M can be fitted with a slim tube (which you can see above) or an ear hook for traditional tubing and ear mould. The M will cover hearing losses down to 75 dB in the low to 95 dB in the high frequencies. That, of course, depends on configuration, with the slim tube fitted, that reduces to 80 to 85 dB in the high frequencies. The M has all of the features of the Marvel platform with a direct connection to any Bluetooth mobile phones and  Roger devices. However, the M does not have a telecoil onboard so a connection to a Loop System is out. The device will be available in the four levels of technology, the 90, the 70, the 50 and the 30

Bolero Marvel PR

Bolero Marvel PR with slim tube fitted

The Bolero Marvel PR is slightly larger than the M, but it is still relatively discrete. It uses the same multi-functional button as the smaller M. The PR is a  lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aid can be fitted with a slim tube (which you can see above) or an ear hook for traditional tubing and ear mould. The PR will cover hearing losses down to 80 dB in the low to 100 dB in the high frequencies. That, of course, depends on configuration, with the slim tube fitted, that reduces to 70 in the low and 90 dB in the high frequencies.

The PR has all of the features of the Marvel platform with a direct connection to any Bluetooth mobile phones and  Roger devices. It also has a telecoil onboard so it can be used to connect to a Loop System. Phonak say that you will get a full day of use out of one charge and use time is similar to the Audeo. The device will be available in the four levels of technology, the 90, the 70, the 50 and the 30

Phonak

Audeo B-Direct

Audeo B-Direct hearing aid

Phonak Delivers Made For Any Phone

Phonak introduced a device called the Audeo B-Direct in 2017. This was a revolutionary hearing aid that changed Bluetooth wireless connection to a mobile phone forever. The Audeo B-Direct connected to any Bluetooth® enabled mobile phone, directly without a streamer. Even better, it offered true hands-free calling. As it supports the classic Bluetooth protocol, it provides direct connectivity to cell phones – including AndroidTM, iPhone® and even classic cell phones – with no extra body-worn streaming device required. 

Not Quite Made For!

While these hearing aids will stream phone calls from iPhones and Android phones, they didn't fall within the same feature concept as the Made For iPhone hearing aids discussed here. They did not have the same features and abilities, let's take a look at what I mean, but first, the big question, price?

Audeo B-Direct Hearing Aid Prices

We would expect the range depending on the technology level, to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1200.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1200.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

True hands-free calling is now a reality

The hearing aids offer real hands-free voice calling. The wearer can answer or reject a phone call by simply pressing the push button on their hearing aid. The ringing of the phone is heard through the hearing aids and once the call is accepted, the conversation is instantly streamed. You don’t even need to pick up your phone. Your voice is picked up by the hearing aid’s intelligent microphone network and transmitted to the other caller similar to a wireless headset.

No Music Streaming

Unfortunately for people who like to stream music or audiobooks from their phone, this hearing device isn't the answer. While it delivers astonishing new power over mobile phone calls, it doesn't allow the type of streaming that delivers music or other audio. However, they have thought about music lovers and your TV viewing habits.

Hearing aids that double as wireless TV headphones

They have also introduced an accompanying TV Connector, which uses their proprietary AirStreamTM technology. It is designed to be a state-of-the-art compact multimedia hub that seamlessly connects wearers to their favourite TV programming for an immersive audio experience. It’s a plug and play solution that automatically turns a pair of Audéo B-Direct hearing aids into wireless TV headphones. The TV Connector can also connect and transmit to multiple sets of Audéo B-Direct hearing aids simultaneously. That’s a pretty good solution for couples with hearing loss.

TV Connecter

Three levels of technology

The new device will be available in three levels of technology, the 90, the 70 and the 50, so no entry-level device this time around. Although that was to be expected based on the introduction of the rechargeable devices.

Read More ABout Phonak Hearing Aids Here

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Viron Hearing Aids

Bernafon announced the Viron in a press release on April 1st, they said "Bernafon Viron is the industry’s first True Environment Processing™ hearing aids. The new chip platform delivers super-fast sound detection and processing so that users can receive more precise information about their environment in real time. Viron also includes a newly patented feedback cancellation system and is available in a brand-new rechargeable style." Since then a couple of promotional videos have turned up online. They talk quite a bit about True Environment Processing and say it will be the closest ever processing to natural hearing they have ever produced. I am pretty interested to see what this actually means and more importantly, how it sounds. 

Bernafon Viron Range

Four Hearing Aid Types

The Viron range will be available in four hearing aid types, three Receiver In The Ear models (one of which will be a lithium-ion powered rechargeable) and a Behind The Ear device.

Levels of Technology

The hearing aids will be initially available in the top three levels of Bernafon technology, the 9, the 7 and the 5. The range will cover hearing losses from mild to severe to profound as does their existing Zerena range.

Bernafon Viron rechargeable hearing aids
Bernafon Viron Rechargeable hearing aid

Viron Rechargeable Hearing Aid

The Viron rechargeable hearing aid uses the new lithium-ion battery pack designed by Demant. We assume, and only assume at this stage that the battery pack will be replaceable in the clinic as is the Bernafon version.

Viron Hearing Aid Models

Bernafon

Viron miniRITE

The Viron miniRITE hearing aid model is a very discrete wireless slimline 'Mini-Receiver-In-Ear (miniRITE)' hearing aid using a 312 battery. Powerful fully featured and offering amazing discretion. 

Bernafon Viron miniRITE Prices

We would expect the Bernafon Viron miniRITE range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Bernafon Viron MiniRITE

Bernafon

Viron miniRITE-R

wireless slimline Rechargeable 'Mini-Receiver-In-Ear (miniRITE)' hearing aid using a new lithium-ion rechargeable battery which offers 16 hours of use with five hours of streaming. The battery pack is easily replaceable in the clinic. The device also has a telecoil.

Bernafon Viron miniRITE-R Prices

We would expect the Bernafon Viron miniRITE-R range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Bernafon Viron MiniRITE Rechargeable

Bernafon

Viron miniRITE-T

The sleek and discreet wireless MiniRITE-T features a telecoil and double pushbutton for easy volume and program control. It is powered by a 312 battery

Bernafon Viron miniRITE-T Prices

We would expect the Bernafon Viron miniRITE-T range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Bernafon Viron MiniRITE-T

Bernafon

Viron BTE 105

The powerful and compact BTE 105 fits hearing losses up to 105 dB SPL to benefit people with severe-to-profound hearing loss. The plus power solution features a telecoil, a tactile double pushbutton for easy volume and program control and a two-colour LED indicator to monitor hearing aid status for both users and caregivers.

Bernafon Viron BTE 105 Prices

We would expect the Bernafon Viron BTE 105 range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Bernafon Viron BTE 13-PP

Bernafon

Zerena

Bernafon is a brand that we began to take notice of in 2017. They are a Swiss brand that have been around for a long time, however, for a couple of reasons I explained in the article Bernafon and why I was wrong about them. I have actually been wearing a set of the Zerena 9 MiniRITEs and using them with their remote mic. I have been impressed and you can see the review of the Bernafon Zerena 9 here.

Made For iPhone Hearing Aids

The Zerena range are all Made For iPhone enabled which allows direct connection to Apple products. The Zerena will also connect to a host of wireless accessories, one of which is the Soundclip-A. The device is a small and attractive multi-functional accessory that acts as a streamer for audio from Android phones and iPhones if you wish, a remote control and finally a remote microphone for use in difficult sound situations. I have been singularly impressed with this device. 

Bernafon SoundClip-A

SoundClip-A

Streaming Audio

The SoundClip-A will allow you to stream the sound from any Bluetooth enabled phone, modern smartphone, tablet or computer directly into your hearing aids. Low energy use and a microphone for capturing your speech make your hearing aids into a wireless headset with all the benefits that come with the hands-free experience.

High-quality audio capability lets you stream stereo music from any of your devices straight into your ears. A richer sound with more details delivers a quality experience that is less strenuous to listen to.

Remote Microphone

Not satisfied with delivering an outstanding streaming audio experience, Bernafon went a step further. The ConnectClip also functions as a remote microphone, which means you can give it to someone who is speaking and then hear their voice clearly and directly in your hearing aids. Ideal to help you hear better in more complex situations. 

Remote Control

Yep, streaming audio and remote microphone just wasn't enough, so they added a remote control functionality as well. You can use your SoundClip-A as a basic remote control. That means that you can control the volume of your Zerena hearing aids, switch programmes, and turn them on and off remotely.

Bernafon TV-A Audio Streamer

Bernafon TV-A Streamer

TV-A (TV adapter) is the latest Bernafon TV Audio Streamer which works with the Zerena. It offers clear and sharp sound directly from your TV to your hearing aids with no intermediary device. This makes watching TV more comfortable and enjoyable, as not everyone wants to listen at the same volume level. You simply turn on the TV-A and the audio appears in your hearing aids, no fuss, no hassle. 

Five Levels of Technology

The Zerena range originally was introduced in three levels of hearing aid technology, however, Bernafon has now introduced two further basic levels of technology. The line up is now, the 9 which is premium, the 7, the 5, the 3 and the 1 at the bottom end. 

Bernafon Zerena Prices

We would expect the range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA. Just to be clear, we don't set prices here and they differ from Practice to Practice across the World so our expectations aren't binding. Let's talk about the devices. 

The Models

Zerena Hearing Aids

There are three models available in the range at the moment and one of them has a rechargeable option. The custom in the ear hearing aids from this range are to be released this year hopefully in late November. They will be Made For iPhone down to the In The Canal hearing aid.

miniRITE Hearing Aid

The minRITE is a small receiver in the ear hearing aid that is suitable for hearing losses from the mild to severe. It can use four different speakers which means it is suitable for most hearing losses. As with the rest of the range, it has twin radios, one which is a Bluetooth radio and the other which is a proprietary Bernafon radio. The Bluetooth radio makes these hearing aids Made For iPhone, the proprietary radio is used for communication between the hearing aids which ensures settings and features are co-ordinated and act in a more effective manner. The hearing aid works on a 312 battery and it comes with a programme button. 

miniRITE Rechargeable Hearing Aid

The minRITE rechargeable hearing aid is exactly the same as the miniRITE with the exception of rechargeability. It uses a ZPower silver Zinc rechargeable system which delivers a full day of use on an overnight charge. The ZPower system is such that if you forget to charge your hearing aids or if something happens, you can switch to normal hearing aid batteries without any issues.  

miniRITE T Hearing Aid

The minRITE T is again small receiver in the ear hearing aid that is suitable for hearing losses from the mild to severe. It can also use four different speakers which means it is suitable for most hearing losses. This hearing aid has three radios, one which is a Bluetooth radio, the proprietary Bernafon radio and a Tele-coil. The Bluetooth radio makes these hearing aids Made For iPhone, the proprietary radio is used for communication between the hearing aids which ensures settings and features are co-ordinated and act in a more effective manner and the Tele-coil receives broadcasts from a loop system (very handy). The hearing aid works on a 312 battery and it comes with a multi-functional button that also acts as a volume control. 

BTE 105

The BTE 105 is a traditional behind the ear hearing aid that is suitable for hearing losses from the mild to severe. It can be used with a slim tube or a traditional tube and mould. This hearing aid has three radios, one which is a Bluetooth radio, the proprietary Bernafon radio and a Tele-coil. The Bluetooth radio makes these hearing aids Made For iPhone, the proprietary radio is used for communication between the hearing aids which ensures settings and features are co-ordinated and act in a more effective manner and the Tele-coil receives broadcasts from a loop system (very handy). The hearing aid works on a 13 battery and it comes with a multi-functional button that also acts as a volume control.

Five Zerena Custom Hearing Aid Types

The new Zerena customs will be available in five different In The Ear models at five different technology levels. That's an IIC. a CIC, an ITC, a Half Shell ITE and a Full Shell ITE. The last three in that list will be Made For iPhone hearing aids which will make many people happy. It makes Bernafon the joint second hearing aid brand with Oticon to offer Made For iPhone custom hearing aids. Let's take a look at the devices.

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Oticon

Opn S Hearing Aids

Oticon Opn S Range

Oticon released the new Opn S platform in March 2019, initially the Opn S will be available in four models and three technology levels. The devices are internet enabled and Bluetooth enabled just like the previous and original Opn. Oticon has made the Opn S even better with new and upgraded features which build upon the original.

Oticon Opn S Prices

We would expect the Oticon Opn S range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Oticon

Opn Hearing Aids

Oticon's Latest Most Advanced Premium Solution

Oticon introduced the groundbreaking Opn hearing device range a couple of years ago.  The internet-enabled Oticon Opn comes with a number of additional features because it can connect to devices via the internet and Bluetooth. The hearing aids will connect directly to your Smartphone so you can make phone calls and listen to music without any intermediate streaming device. They are also water resistant to 1m. The Oticon Opn has been exceptionally well received, no one seems to be able to explain how their new directionality system works to my satisfaction. The point is, it really seems to work well. Users are pretty much blown away by it. Oticon began copying Widex in relation to processing sound a few years ago. they will deny it, but they did. So, sound from Oticon hearing aids is pretty damned good. 

The devices can be connected to any device that has a Bluetooth connection. This means that the hearing aids can also be connected to things like doorbells, appliances, or even baby monitors. Then when the doorbell rings, for example, the person gets a small 'ring' in their ear to let them know.

In June 2018, Oticon announced that they were going to launch custom hearing aids on the Opn range. There will be a full range of in the ear models but they will not all be Made For iPhone enabled. We will keep you updated and detail the hearing aids here when they are launched. 

One open sound experience
Three levels of BrainHearing™ support

BrainHearing™ support is delivered by a unique combination of technologies working together to reduce listening effort and provide the brain with better conditions to perform in. The Oticon Opn range has now been expanded into three levels of technology, Level 1 which iod top of the range, level 2 and level 3. 

Opn hearing aids technology levels

All three members of the Oticon Opn™ family provide the open sound experience that is proving so popular. However, each model gives the brain a different level of assistance – a different level of BrainHearing™ support. Oticon have not stopped at that though, they have also expanded the fitting range of the Opn devices and they can now fit even profound hearing losses. 

Oticon Opn Prices

We would expect the Oticon Opn range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Oticon Opn new fitting range

Oticon

Opn Mini RITE: wireless slimline 'Mini-Receiver-In-Ear (miniRITE)' hearing aid using a 312 battery

Oticon Opn rechargeable hearing aids

Oticon

Opn Mini RITE Rechargeable: wireless slimline Rechargeable 'Mini-Receiver-In-Ear (miniRITE)' hearing aid using a rechargeable Silver Zinc 312 battery (can also use disposable hearing aid batteries). All Oticon Opn miniRITE hearing aids sold since the introduction last year and going forward can be retrofitted to be rechargeable.

From £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Oticon Opn Mini RITE-t

Oticon

Opn Mini RITE-T: The sleek and discreet miniRITE-T (which you can see above) features a telecoil and double pushbutton for easy volume and program control

From £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Oticon Opn BTE 13-PP

Oticon

Opn BTE13 PP: The powerful and compact BTE13 PP fits hearing losses up to 105 dB SPL to benefit people with severe-to-profound hearing loss. The plus power solution features a telecoil, a tactile double pushbutton for easy volume and program control and a two-colour LED indicator to monitor hearing aid status for both users and caregivers.

From £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Five Opn Custom Hearing Aid Types

The new Opn customs will be available in five different In The Ear models at every technology level. That's an IIC. a CIC, an ITC, a Half Shell ITE and a Full Shell ITE. The last three in that list will be Made For iPhone hearing aids which will make many people happy. It makes Oticon only the second hearing aid brand to offer Made For iPhone custom hearing aids. Let's take a look at the devices.

Oticon On App

The Oticon ON app lets you adjust volume, switch programs and check the battery level. The app also offers convenient 'find my hearing aid' search feature, counselling advice and links to user instructions. The app is also where the connection to the IFTTT network happens. 

A World of Possibilities

Oticon Opn is the world's first hearing aid that connects to the internet via the If This Then That network (IFTTT.com)

If you want your lights to turn on automatically when you switch your hearing aids on or want to be notified by your hearing aids that someone is at your door then these are a few of the limitless possibilities available using ifttt. Oticon has introduced their own recipes that can be easily downloaded, however, it is easy to make new recipes for action. 

The Oticon Opn seems to have really caught the imagination of both professionals and users alike. It is a particularly popular aid and the feedback from users is excellent. It seems that the Opn may be a real winner for Oticon. 

Read More About Oticon Hearing Aids

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Unitron Discover Hearing Aids

Unitron released the new Discover range which is their brand new Made For Any phone range of hearing devices in mid 2019. Unusually for Unitron, the new range was introduced with just Receiver In Canal hearing aids first. The initial range included a new lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aid they call the Moxi Jump R and a 312 zinc air powered hearing aid they call the Moxi Fit. In October 2019, they announced they were expanding the range with a rechargeable Moxi Jump R with Telecoil and a new lithium-ion rechargeable Stride BTE. The new devices will connect to any mobile phone, once it has a Bluetooth connection, and stream audio and calls directly to your hearing aids. Even better, you will be able to take phone calls hands-free. Let's take a look at what the new range has to offer.

Unitron Discover

Four Hearing Aids

As I said, the range is now up to four hearing aid models, three Receiver In Canal and one Behind The Ear model. Of the four, three are lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aids.

Made For Any Phone

The devices will connect to any mobile phone or tablet with a Bluetooth connection, so that means Android devices, iPhones and iPads and even dumb mobile phones. The connection offers stereo audio streaming from those devices for both calls and any other audio signal. That means you get the audio in both ears from your device.

Hands-FreeCalls

The new devices also provide hands-free phone calls, that means that you can chat away with your caller without picking up your phone. Better than that, you can actually answer a call simply by pushing the button on your hearing aid. You don't even need to pick up your phone to take a call. All without the need for a streamer hanging around your neck. It works directly. 

Technology Levels

Unitron hearing aids are normally split into five levels of technology, however, they have split the new Discover into four, the Discover 9, 7, 5 and 3. There are certain features that are available in all levels of technology, but the higher the number, the better the features and ability to handle complex sound situations. Let's take a closer look at the hearing aids.

We would expect these hearing aids to retail at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1500.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

The Moxi Fit

The Moxi Fit is powered by a size 312 zinc-air battery and it offers a multi-functional push button for volume and programme changes among other things. The pushbuttons can also be used to answer or end a phone call. The Moxi Fit can use four power levels of receiver, so that means it will cover hearing losses from mild, to severe to profound. The device does not have a telecoil, unfortunately. 

Made For Any Phone

The device is a Made For Any Phone hearing aids which will mean a seamless stereo connection to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone or sound source. You will be able to take calls just by pressing a button on the hearing aid and using the hearing aids hands free. 

Unitron Moxi Fit hearing aid

The Moxi Jump R

The Moxi Jump R  is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and it offers a multi-functional push button for volume and programme changes among other things. As with the Fit, the pushbuttons can also be used to answer or end a phone call. The Moxi Jump R can use four power levels of receiver, so that means it will cover hearing losses from mild, to severe to profound. There is no telecoil on the Jump R either. The device should deliver a full day of use with one three hour charge even with up to eight hours of streaming.  

Made For Any Phone

The device is a Made For Any Phone hearing aids which will mean a seamless stereo connection to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone or sound source. I would assume you will be able to take calls just by pressing a button on the hearing aid. 

Unitron Moxi Jump R 9 hearing aid

Stride P R

The Stride P R is a lithium-ion rechargeable BTE (behind-the-ear). Unitron says that the devices will offer a full-day hearing (including streaming), a convenient recharging power pack, and quick charging. The Stride PR will also offer that hands-free phone experience and video calls, phone and stereo media audio streamed to both ears (made for all phones). I expect it to cover losses down to severe in nature.

Unitron Stride P R

Moxi Jump R with telecoil

The Jump R with Telecoil is basically the lithium-ion powered Jump with a telecoil added. So you are looking at all the benefits of Moxi Jump R, plus access to hearing loop systems. I know many loop advocates in the US will be very happy with that.

Unitron Moxi Jump R 9 hearing aid

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Signia Made For iPhone Hearing Aids

Signia is another hearing aid brand who introduced Made For iPhone hearing aids to their line-up. They started out with the Pure Primax 13 BT which was a very interesting device and it represented some real firsts for the hearing aid industry. It was based on the Pure RIC hearing aid types. It was the first-ever Made For iPhone hearing aid that uses the sensors on the iPhone to recognise movement and adjust how the hearing aid worked. Signia expanded their Made For iPhone options across their Nx platform on which they delivered a stunning new feature called Own Voice Processing. With the recent release of their Xperience platform, they now offer that OVP experience with hearing aids that have movement sensors onboard to recognise movement and automatically adjust.

Multiple Models, Three Levels of Tech, One New Platform

Initially, when Signia introduced their new Nx platform there were just three models available across three levels of technology. As is the norm with their tech levels naming system, the levels are the premium 7, the mid-range 5 and the entry-level 3. The models themselves were two Receiver In Canal devices and a BTE. They have since expanded that range to include a completely new type of device called a Slim RIC and they have added custom models. The initial Slim RIC the Styletto was not Bluetooth enabled, however, in March 2019, the introduced the Styletto Connect which is. The larger of their custom In The Ear models are also Bluetooth hearing aids.

With the launch of the Xperience, Signia has introduced just two models across three levels of technology. Again, the levels of technology are named the 7, the 5 and the 3. Let's take a look at the Xperience and then the Nx.

Xperience Hearing Aids

Signia Xperience hearing aids

Signia has launched a brand new platform that they are calling the Xperience range. The platform has several new features which many are excited about already. I myself have tried the Signia Pure 312 7 Xperience and I was very impressed with the devices, their new Own Voice Processing feature and the new access to sounds all around me. Let's take a look at both the devices and the features on offer.

New Model Designs, New App

The Xperience platform offers the new Pure 312 X (with optional T-Coil) and rechargeable Pure Charge&Go X hearing aids in three levels of technology. It also brings brand-new, all-in-one smartphone app offering greater convenience for users.

Those Motion Sensors

They say that the new platform introduces the world’s first combination of advanced acoustic sensors with a built-in motion sensor. The hearing aids will be used to provide a more complete analysis of the wearer’s dynamic soundscape. They say that the new system will allow for automatic adjustments between sounds in front of and all around the wearer for a more personalized listening experience. In essence, they are saying that they use the motion sensors along with their new analysis system to give users more access to the sounds around them without compromising on clarity.

Signia say the three key features of YourSound technology are:

  • Acoustic-motion sensors for a complete analysis of each wearer’s dynamic soundscape
  • Dynamic Soundscape Processing for natural sound and speech from any direction, in any situation – even when moving
  • Own Voice Processing (OVP™) for a natural sounding own voice

New Chipset, Smaller & More Powerful

The new Signia Xperience chip includes 80% more transistors and seven times the memory of the previous Signia Nx chip, while also being 60% smaller. As a result, the first two hearing aids on the platform, the Pure® 312 X and the Pure® Charge&Go X, are smaller yet more powerful than their predecessors.

Pure 312 X

Pure X 312

The new Pure 312 X offers a brand new design with a rocker switch powered by a 312 battery and an optional T-Coil.  The receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid also has Bluetooth® connectivity for effortless streaming of phone calls, music, and TV audio. The optional telecoil will be delivered in the next month or so and it is an inspired design.

While Signia has a fascinating add on telecoil that lives in a battery door, they have now designed a hearing aid case that has the telecoil built into it. It will simply be a case, of changing the case (see what I did there?). Anyway, I think it is inspired. If you purchase a 312 X and then decide at a later stage that you would like to sample the delights of modern induction loops, you simply get a new case put on your existing hearing aid.

Pure Charge&Go X

Signia Pure X Charge&Go

The Pure Charge&Go X will be available in November 2019, it is a lithium-ion powered rechargeable RIC with Bluetooth connectivity. Signia say that the devices have 20% more charging capacity and are 16% smaller than the previous Pure Charge&Go Nx. It adds up to a svelte and discrete device that offers better battery life even with streaming. Signia have introduced a new inductive charger with a lid to protect the hearing aids as they charge, something that many people had complained about. The charger also works as a dehumidifier and is designed to fit custom ear molds.

The New App

Pure X with app

The new Signia app combines three existing Signia apps into one unified easy to use app that should meet user’s needs, including:

  • Providing wearers with direct support from a hearing care professional
  • Remote control so the wearer can personalize their hearing experience
  • Easy management of streaming accessories to fully enjoy phone calls, music, and TV

Signia NX models

Pure 13 NX

This device is an updated version of their Pure 13 BT, it offers the new system which separately processes the wearer’s own voice. It comes with superior connectivity with direct streaming and the myControl App. The hearing aid has a rocker switch which allows programme changes and volume changes. It is IP68 rated and can be fitted with the four levels of receiver power making it suitable for most hearing losses.Signia say that users will enjoy the longest wearing time in its class while streaming. It also has access to the full live remote support via TeleCare 3.0.

Pure 13 Nx

Pure 312 Nx

This device is a very svelte Pure (RIC) device using a 312 battery, again it offers the new system which separately processes the wearer’s own voice. The hearing aid has a rocker switch which allows programme changes and volume changes. It is IP68 rated. It can also be fitted with the four levels of receiver making it suitable for most hearing losses. It comes with superior connectivity with direct streaming and the myControl App. It also has access to the full live remote support via TeleCare 3.0.

Pure 312 Nx

Motion 13 Nx

This device is a BTE device using a 13 battery, again it offers the new system which separately processes the wearer’s own voice. It also comes with superior connectivity with direct streaming and the myControl App. It also has access to the full live remote support via TeleCare 3.0. The device also offers the rocker switch for programme and volume control changes. This is a pretty versatile device which offers a telecoil option with the simple switching of the battery door. The device is IP67 rated for dust and moisture. 

Motion 13 Nx

Signia

Styletto Connect

Styletto Connect Hearing Aids

The Styletto Connect hearing aid is a discreet device that offers coverage for mild to moderate hearing losses. It is an attractive if different design and reminds you of high-end electronics as opposed to traditional hearing aids. The charger case is outstanding and it delivers four extra charges for the devices which means you can go away for a long weekend and forget your plug.

Like the original, the receiver is fixed in the hearing aid and can not be replaced in the clinic, it will have to be a factory repair job. That means that you will need to take care of it to ensure it doesn't fail. Generally, people do not take care of their receivers, we see them failing all of the time through user negligence. They get full of wax and moisture and die.

Three Levels of Tech

The new model will be available across the three usual levels of Signia tech, the 7, the 5 and the 3. If we hear anything else, we will update the page. 

Styletto Connect Hearing Aid Prices

We would expect the Styletto Connect hearing aid range to be sold at prices from £1400.00 to £2200.00  in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1800.00 to €3000.00  in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1900.00 to $3200.00  in the USA.

The Relevant Power Facts

Signia say that Styletto Connect's high-capacity power cell will allow for enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. This will enable users to enjoy high-quality, long-lasting stereo streaming of TV audio, music, and phone calls directly to both hearing aids.

They say that you will be able to stream up to five hours per day and still benefit from 16 hours of battery life before needing to recharge. That's pretty good streaming time and battery life. So for a quick overview:

  • Up to 16 hours of battery life with 5 hours of streaming
  • Just 3 hours to fully charged
  • 30 mins of charging gives 6 hours of use
  • Easy wireless charging, drop them in the charger and voila
  • Made For iPhone, Direct connection to iPhone
  • High-quality audio streaming
  • Ultra HD e2e and Bluetooth connectivity

The New Stuff

OVP, Own Voice Processing

Signia have made a very big deal of the OVP or Own Voice Processing, in essence, this is the first ever device to process the user's own voice differently from everything else. In fact, they have dedicated a completely separate processor on the platform to facilitate that. They say that the strategy will increase the acceptance of a user's own voice dramatically. For new users of hearing aids the sound quality of their own voice can be off-putting, but it is usually something that they get used to. However, as Signia point out, used to does not mean happy with. This system promises to deal with the issue.

Direct Connection

They have expanded their Bluetooth system across this range, offering direct connection with the RICs and the BTE. Their original offering, the Pure 13 BT was well received, the system was innovative in that it used the sensors on the iPhone to assess the forward movement of a user. This allowed the hearing aids to change how they were processing sound. This system and feature set has now been expanded across the new range. The new range also offers new direct connection accessories. 

Telecare 3.0

This is a really interesting development, Signia has made the Telecare service a live service. They were initially the first to offer Telecare with a limited fine-tuning option although Resound quickly followed with the launch of the LiNX 3D and their Remote Assist which had more functionality. Signia though quickly expanded that fine-tuning option and added video calling to the system. Now they have enabled full live remote tuning with video support which is a pretty huge breakthrough.

The new service means that you can set-up a video call with your hearing professional and explain the issue you are having in the situation you are having it in. While you are connected, your hearing professional can tweak your hearing aid’s settings live and you can quickly assess if they are better.

So for the first time ever, it’s possible to have for a provider to fine-tune your hearing aids while you are in the listening environments that matter to you. It will be interesting to see how many providers offer and use the service. It will also be interesting to see how it is offered. 

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Widex

Beyond Hearing Aids

Widex Beyond Hearing Aid

The Beyond is the very latest addition to the Widex Line-up, it is their first ever Made For iPhone hearing aid. It is a slightly changed Fusion device based on the Unique technology, and it has three different radios onboard, the one for Widex Link, a telecoil and the new radio for direct iPhone connection making it possible to stream music and conduct phone calls directly to the hearing aid without any intermediary device. Widex Products are famous for their sound quality, according to all of the reports, even from rival manufacturers, the sound quality here is outstanding. The device is slightly longer than the original Fusion but it is thinner, it also has a new button. We have recently written an article outlining some problems that Widex are having with the Beyond, it can be read at Beyond Fusion, Not So Made For iPhone

Beyond Hearing Aid Prices

We would expect the Beyond range to be sold at prices from £800.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1000.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1000.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

User Fine Tuning?

Widex have also introduced a smartphone app with the Beyond which is currently available on ios and will soon be available on Android. The Beyond app seems to have the usual features that are available with Made For iPhone devices generally, you can set geo locations for different sound programmes and make changes to how the hearing aids are working on the go. However, there also seems to be an element of self fine-tuning on the app, whereby users can actually change the frequency response of the hearing aids. They are calling this feature the Preference Control and it seems to break down frequencies into three bands, Bass, Middle and Treble. It is interesting to see manufacturers begin to hand over this type of control to users. It means that you can have some control over how the hearing aid actually works as you change the sound settings.  

Beyond App personalisation

While Widex has now introduced a 2.4ghz BlueTooth radio to the Beyond for the connection to the smartphone, it has retained both the WidexLink and a telecoil on the hearing devices. 

Beyond from Widex

Widex Link

Retaining the Widex Link makes sense for several reasons. The first being, that it is still, without doubt, the single best system available for streaming high-quality audio. The second is that it will mean that any Widex users who upgrade their devices to the Beyond will still be able to use their Dex accessories. Retaining a T-Coil also makes some sense, the T-Coil system is making a huge resurgence in the United States and many in the UK and Ireland are used to using the T-Coil in public places. 

As we discovered retaining the WidexLink radio also ensured that all of the inter-ear features that Widex has become famous for also continue to work even if you are streaming audio to the hearing aids. The inter ear features, in particular, the inter-ear compression ensure that Widex hearing aids work as well as they do and sound so natural. 

The Beyond at present appears to be only a Fusion type hearing aid and it has been introduced as part of the Widex Unique family, however, it will be interesting to see how and if Widex expands the range beyond just the initial offering. The Beyond is available in a 440, 330, 220 and 110 version in line with their usual technology level offers. You can read more about the Widex Beyond story here.  

Read About The Widex Beyond 440 Here

Read About The Widex Beyond 330 Here

Read About The Widex Beyond 220 Here

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Starkey

Halo 2 Hearing Aids

Halo 2The Halo 2™ is Starkey's latest wireless hearing solution with their all new Synergy® platform. Synergy is the only platform to feature quad core twin compressor technology and the first to provide supreme precision for audibility and the ultimate optimisation for listening enjoyment. Synergy, in combination with Acuity OS, their new high-definition operating system, enables speech and sounds like music to be processed uniquely for the first time ever.

Delivering advancing speech audibility and listening enjoyment of music in all environments. So, I have never been mad about Starkey, don't really like them as a company. However, I have been wearing a set of Starkey Halo 2 recently and I have to say I am impressed. More on that later. 

Synergy also incorporates 900sync Technology, our patient preferred wireless technology, delivering a pristine audio experience that is made to aid unilateral loss with our new Halo 2 CROS System as well as improve phone understanding with our new ear-to-ear phone streaming.

Technology Levels

The Halo 2 is available in three levels of technology

You Can Read About The Premium i2400 Here

You Can Read About The Advanced i2000 Here

The Standard i1600 

We would expect the range to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1400.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1400.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

Let's Talk Styles

The Halo 2 range comes in two styles

Halo 2 RIC 13Starkey Halo 2 RIC 13

Wireless RIC (receiver-in-canal) device, small, ultra discreet but powerful hearing solution. With push button and multiflex tinnitus therapy (size 13 battery). A relatively discreet option that offers good battery life from the size 13 battery. Here's the full Android compatibility list: Compatible with Google Nexus™ 6P, Google Nexus™ 5X, Samsung Galaxy S® 7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S® 7, Samsung Galaxy S® 6 Edge Plus, Samsung Galaxy S® 6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S® 6, Samsung Galaxy S® 5, Samsung Galaxy S® 4, Samsung Galaxy Note® 5, Samsung Galaxy Note® 4, Samsung Galaxy Note® 3, HTC One® M8 and HTC One® M7. And for Apple users, here's the Apple compatibility list: iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 3, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation) and Apple Watch. Use of Apple Watch requires iPhone 5 or later.

Halo 2 RIC 312Starkey Halo 2 RIC 312

The new Halo 2 RIC 312 allows people to benefit from a small, nearly invisible Made for iPhone hearing aid. The Halo 2 family also benefits from all of the new and improved features of Acuity OS 2. Small, ultra discreet but powerful hearing solution. With push button and multiflex tinnitus therapy (size 312 battery). The smaller battery will mean sacrificing discretion for battery life. Here's the full Android compatibility list: Compatible with Google Nexus™ 6P, Google Nexus™ 5X, Samsung Galaxy S® 7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S® 7, Samsung Galaxy S® 6 Edge Plus, Samsung Galaxy S® 6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S® 6, Samsung Galaxy S® 5, Samsung Galaxy S® 4, Samsung Galaxy Note® 5, Samsung Galaxy Note® 4, Samsung Galaxy Note® 3, HTC One® M8 and HTC One® M7. And for Apple users, here's the Apple compatibility list: iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 3, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation) and Apple Watch. Use of Apple Watch requires iPhone 5 or later.

Halo 2 Hearing Aids Features

The features of the Halo 2 are as follows:

  • Channels: 24 channels
  • Directionality: Across 24 channels
  • Bandwidth: Up to 10kHz
  • 900 Sync: Yes
  • TruLink:Yes
  • 900 Wireless Streaming: Spatial Streaming
  • Speech Compression: Full Acuity Speech Optimisation
  • Environment Manager: Level 4 across 7 environments
  • WhistleFree Feedback Manager: Standard
  • Frequency Lowering: Standard
  • Multiflex Tinnitus Tech: Standard
  • Surflink Accessories: Yes 
  •  

Music Optimisation:

  • Music Memory: Standard
  • Music Adaptation: Level 4
  • E2E Music Adaptation: Full

Ear To Ear Technology:

  • E2E Wind Noise Management: Level 4
  • E2E Machine Noise Adaptation: Level 4
  • E2E Directionality: Standard
  • E2E Phone Streaming: Standard

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