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BlueTooth Hearing Aids, Made For iPhone 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 aids 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 aids with Bluetooth.

Below you can find a detailed overview of all of the Bluetooth hearing solutions from some of the big six 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). Although with the introduction of the new Marvel by Phonak, I think the mantle of Bluetooth hearing aids will be stolen by Sonova.

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. However, while many 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. 

So, What is Bluetooth Technology?

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 Aids, What's The Difference

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. 

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 Philips Hearlink range (new in 2019)
  2. the Oticon Opn S range (new in 2019)
  3. The Signia Styletto Connect (new in 2019)
  4. The Oticon Opn range
  5. the Oticon Siya range
  6. the Zerena range from Bernafon
  7. the Widex Evoke Fusion 2
  8. the Widex Beyond Fusion
  9. the LiNX Quattro from Resound
  10. the LiNX 3D range from Resound
  11. the Enzo 3D range from Resound
  12. the Halo 2 range from Starkey
  13. the Livio AI range from Starkey
  14. the Pure 13 BT from Signia
  15. the Nx range from Signia
  16. the Phonak Audeo Marvel Range

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

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. The direct one of the benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids is connectivity to remote microphones and mobile phones allows you great 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, they are only Bluetooth enabled down to Mini-In-Canal models.

Why are Made For Android Hearing Aids Different?

Made for android hearing aids are not integrated into the Android system, the developers of Android have not invested time in hearing aid integration. Unfortunately, until they do, it will be impossible to stream audio from an Android phone to a hearing aid without an intermediary streamer. 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. 

When can we expect Android Hearing Aid Streaming?

We have it already with the introduction of the Phonak Marvel 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; we expect to see true Made For Android hearing aids arrive in 2019. During 2018, the makers of Android have taken notice of hearing aids finally. In Android P, it is rumoured that they have set up their own system for direct connection to hearing aids which is similar to Apples.

Unfortunately, even when it is introduced, it will probably only be available on the Google Pixel phones, and because of their partnership with Resound, it will probably only be available on the LiNX Quattro range initially although it is expected that the major phone brands will probably introduce it quickly enough. The new feature will mean that direct connection devices should be able to connect directly to Android phones for the first time. That means we should see Made For Android hearing aids finally in 2019.

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 Phonak, you can now connect hearing aids to a computer. Phonak Marvel 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 Phonak Marvel) will not connect directly to a Bluetooth enabled TV. The Phonak Marvel 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. 

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 has always been towards hearing aids that can connect via a streamer device. I know the streamer is a pain in the ass, but, it will supply an outstanding and stable connection. You have to hear your favourite music via a Com Dex and a set of Widex Uniques to believe the quality. Although the LiNX 3D is no slouch delivering the very same through a Phone Clip. I tested a set of Halo 2 devices recently with an iPad and some favourite music and to be honest, and I was pretty impressed. More on that later in the blog. 

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. Wireless hearing aids are just as cool, and the connection tends to be more stable. That there are the facts, choose your weapon of choice

let's take a look at what is available: 

PhilipsOticonBernafonPhonak ResoundSigniaStarkeyUnitron Widex

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Real Ear Measurements in hearing aid fitting

Real Ear Measurements Are Imperative For Hearing Aids

Gold Standard Hearing Aid 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 hearing aids. Ask any provider you deal with, do they offer probe tube measurements, if they say no, tell them you will go somewhere else.

Philips Hearlink hearing aids

Hearlink is the name of the new hearing aid range from Philips. Not the entire range will be Made For iPhone, but the three Receiver In Canal devices, the behind the ear device 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. SoundMapis 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 devices 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.

Back To Brands

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. However, we would expect the feature to be available on more and more handsets over 2019 and 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 should translate into pretty stable connection to the iPhone and hopefully Android phones when Android releases the new version. 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 model which is based on the LT-62 using a size thirteen battery.

Custom Hearing Aids

LiNX Quattro custom hearing aids

It will be interesting to see how the custom hearing aids work out. 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 will be interesting to see just how small the CIC is and what type of battery life that they can get out of it.

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.

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 offer the pinnacle of Resound technology and will deliver outstanding results even in very complex sound situations. The LiNX 3D will also offer 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 is 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 percent better at identifying speech across various environments, enable users to hear up to 80 percent more of the sounds around them, and enable users to understand up to 40 percent 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. 

LiNX 3D Features

The overall feature set of the LiNX 3D technology levels is as follows, each hearing aid may not have the full range of features here as the features are both model specific and technology level specific.

  • 17 channels
  • Environment Optimiser
  • Binaural Directionality II
  • Spatial Sense
  • Directional Mix Processor
  • Adjustable Directional Mix
  • Natural Directionality II
  • Synchronised Soft Switching
  • Autoscope Adaptive Directionality
  • Binaural Environmental Optimizer II
  • Noise Tracker II
  • Low-Frequency Boost
  • Amplification Strategies (WDRC, Semi-linear, Linear)
  • Expansion
  • Sound Shaper
  • DFS Ultra III with Music Mode
  • Auto DFS
  • Acceptance Manager
  • Tinnitus Sound Generator
  • Ear To Ear Communication
  • Direct Audio Streaming (Made For iPhone)
  • Compatible with all Resound Wireless Accessories like the Micro Mic, Multi Mic etc.
  • Resound Control App (if you have a Phone Clip+)
  • Resound Smart 3D App
  • Compatible with Resound Remote Assist
  • Will take remote hearing aid updates

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

The Enzo 3D BTE 88 and the BTE 98 side by side

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. $

Resound Assist

Resound Assist iconResound Assist is the really big news for both Providers and Users. Resound Assist will allow your provider to adjust your hearing aids remotely. That means if you want adjustments on the go, they can be provided without you having to attend the clinic. The system is really easy to use and is quite intuitive. This might not be for everyone, but this feature will be a godsend for the people who love it. It will allow them complete freedom over their experience, over their customer experience. 

Find out more about the Resound Assist Service here

The App, Resound Smart 3D

Speech enhancer iconThe accompanying app also allows you to personalise your hearing experience in a deeper way. It has been re-designed to be more intuitive and easier to use and it offers real control. When more clarity is needed, patients can increase speech focus, reduce noise and even reduce wind noise. Again, this might not be for everyone, but for those who want it, it will enrich their experience. This has to be seen as an excellent thing.

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

Back To Brands

Phonak

Audeo Marvel Hearing Aids

Phonak Audeo Marvel

Made For Any Phone Hearing Aids

Phonak introduced Marvel 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 will be available in the Audeo type which is Phonak's Receiver In Canal style of hearing aids. However, they will expand the range as time passes. Their initial offering is a Lithium-Ion powered rechargeable hearing aid version and a traditional size 312 Zinc-Air version, the rest of the Audeo hearing aids will arrive over the next twelve months. My advice would be to go for the rechargeable version because I think these things are going to be power hungry.

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 3d Audeo B-Direct
Direct Wireless Connectivity To iPhone Yes

Yes

Direct Wireless Connectivity To Android No

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 have just introduced a device called the Audeo B-Direct. This is a revolutionary hearing aid that changes Bluetooth wireless connection to a mobile phone forever. The Audeo B-Direct connects to any Bluetooth® enabled mobile phone, directly without a streamer. Even better, it offers 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 don't fall within the same feature concept as the Made For iPhone hearing aids discussed here. They do 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 audio books 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

Feature Comparison LiNX 3d Audeo B-Direct
Direct Wireless Connectivity To iPhone Yes

Yes

Direct Wireless Connectivity To Android No

Yes

Stream Phone Conversation Yes

Yes

Answer Phone With Hearing Aid No

Yes

Handsfree Calling No

Yes

Phone Conversation in Both Ears Yes

No

Streaming of Audio From Phone Yes

No

Use iPhone as Remote Microphone Yes

No

Find Lost Hearing Aid Feature Yes

No

Remote Fine Tuning of Hearing Aids Yes

No

Tinnitus Therapy Feature Yes

No

Audeo B-Direct

The device is a receiver in canal (RIC) hearing aid which means that it will be suitable for a wide range of hearing losses and users. It is also the first device to make use of Sonova’s revolutionary SWORD chip and wireless radio technology. They say that the low-voltage radio chip has the lowest power consumption of any hearing aid using Bluetooth Classic.

The device uses a size thirteen battery and Phonak reports some excellent battery life figures. They say that the battery should last for six days with one hour of phone use and 3 hours of TV per day. That isn’t bad, I would say though, real-world experience will vary, some people like to talk more and watch a lot more TV. Even though the device is a size thirteen, it isn't actually much bigger than their Audeo B 312. 

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

Back To Brands

Bernafon

Zerena

Bernafon is a brand that we have just begun to take notice off. 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 singularily 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.

Back To Brands

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 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 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. 

Open Up A Closed World

Open up a closed world

20%

Less listening effort – reducing the load on the brain in noisy environments

20%

More capacity to remember – freeing up mental resources, enabling the user to recall more in noisy environments

30%

Better speech understanding – even in the noisiest environments, without suppressing surrounding sounds through narrow directionality

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.

Features

  • Acoustic notifications Provides notifications and warnings to assist and support confidence in daily use, e.g., start-up jingle, low battery warnings, etc.
  • Adaptation Management Adapts in 3 steps for gradual user acclimatization to a new hearing aid
  • App & Remote Control Discreetly adjusts volume, switches between programs or controls connectivity sources with Remote Control 3.0 or the Oticon ON App
  • AutoPhone Automatically activates a phone program in the hearing aid for telephones with a dedicated magnet
  • Bass Boost Controls compensation for bass leakage in open fittings when streaming audio
  • Binaural Coordination Coordinates program and volume settings between the two hearing aids
  • Binaural Processing Continuous data exchange between two hearing aids about the sound level at each ear to better maintain the difference in input between the ears
  • Clear Dynamics Expands the dynamic input range, processing sounds up to 113dB SPL, to preserve sound quality even at loud input levels
  • Data Logging Logs volume control usage, program usage and total use time
  • Feedback Analyzer Analyzes the risk of feedback with the prescribed gain and chosen acoustics in Genie 2
  • Feedback shield LX Employs an ultra-fast and effective feedback management system that prevents feedback without compromising sound quality or audibility
  • Fitting Channels 16 fitting bands for a precise fit and more fine-tuning options for client fittings
  • Fitting Formulas Include VAC+, NAL-NL1, NAL-NL2
  • Made for iPhone® Indicates compatibility. ‘Made for iPhone’ means that the hearing aid and accessories have been designed to connect to iPhone, and have been certified by the developer to meet Apple™ performance standards.
  • Multiple Directionality Options Enables conventional directionality settings in addition to OpenSound NavigatorTM transition settings
  • NFMI Near-Field Magnetic Induction – Improves speed of communication and bandwidth between two hearing aids with very low power consumption
  • OpenSound NavigatorTM Provides listening support by continuously analyzing the environment, balancing sound sources so focus sound is clear and competing sounds are not too disturbing. Finally, it attenuates remaining noise to provide a more accessible sound environment.
  • Oticon Firmware Updater Enables you to update VeloxTM-based hearing aids and connectivity solutions, adding new and improved features quickly in your office.
  • Phone Program Optimizes hearing aid for telephone conversations using the hearing aid microphone
  • Processing Channels Data is analyzed and processed in 64 channels, 100 times per second
  • REM AutoFit Enables more personalized fittings by taking individual ear acoustics into consideration
  • Soft Speech Booster LX Applies an individual amount of soft gain to increase soft speech understanding
  • Binaural Noise Management Optimizes listening in asymmetrical, noisy situations
  • Spatial SoundTM LX Uses binaural compression to provide precise spatial awareness that helps users identify where sounds are coming from
  • Speech GuardTM LX Preserves the dynamics of speech by combining the benefits of linear and non-linear compression Page 17 Stereo Streaming Streams audio input in stereo
  • Transient Noise Management Protects against sudden loud sounds with fast recovery to preserve audibility; offers four different levels for fine tuning, including ‘off’
  • TwinLinkTM Combines two distinct radio technologies in an innovative wireless communication system; features one technology to support seamless, energy-efficient binaural communication between two hearing aids (NFMI) and one to support communication with external electronic and digital devices (2.4 GHz)
  • Wind Noise Management Protects against the discomfort of wind noise
  • YouMaticTM LX Accommodates personal listening preferences and sound perceptions in the prescription of gain and automatics

Oticon Opn new fitting range

OpenSound Navigator

Less stress. Remember more. Better hearing.  Oticon Opn™ introduces groundbreaking technology that is fast enough to support the brain. With precision and accuracy, it analyzes the acoustic environment and differentiates between the individual sounds. The result is a significant improvement in the ability to understand speech in complex environments while, at the same time, preserving mental energy – ultimately empowering users to Open Up to the World. Users are provided with more accurate information making it easier to locate and separate sound sources so they can focus on what they find important. This happens so quickly it facilitates the listener’s ability to change focus when desired.

This is the premium hearing aid in Oticon’s range which uses their new Velox Sense processing chip. This range is a completely new way of processing sound and is suitable for more demanding listening environments.

Oticon Opn is available in a compact, newly designed miniRITE that sits discreetly on the ear. Oticon Opn offers a wealth of new features and functionalities all incorporated in a sleek and modern 312 battery-based design.  The Opn is available in a range of colours.

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.

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

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.

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 Connect Clip

Streaming Audio

The ConnectClip will allow you to stream the sound from any 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, Oticon 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 ConnectClip as a remote control. That means that you can control the volume of your Opn hearing aids, switch programmes, and turn them on and off remotely.

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 is being introduced with just Receiver In Canal hearing aids first. The range includes 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. 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

Two Hearing Aids

For the first time ever that Unitron is not launching a full set of Receiver In Canal (RIC) devices at the introduction. Their sister company Phonak did something similar with the Audeo Marvel. Unitron is doing the same thing and there is only a size 312 traditional battery RIC and a lithium-ion powered RIC at launch.

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.

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. I would assume you will be able to take calls just by pressing a button on the hearing aid. 

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

Unitron

Moxi All Hearing Aids

Moxi All

Rechargeable Made For Any Phone

Moxi AllLike their stablemate Phonak, Unitron has chosen to offer a hearing aid that will connect to any mobile phone with Bluetooth using a headset protocol. However, in a very smart move, they have decided to make the device's rechargeable. If you are considering the purchase of any direct connection hearing aid from any of the hearing aid brands, well then thinking about a rechargeable option makes sense.

Made For iPhone or Made For Any Phone systems are quite power hungry devices. Going for a rechargeable option makes financial sense here. The rechargeable system that Unitron is using seems to be the Z Power system that Unitron went with for the rest of their devices.

Five Different Price Points

The Moxi All will be available in five different levels of technology, so that means five price points. In other words, there should be one for everyone. 

No Streamer, Headset Functionality

The Made For Any Phone concept delivers pretty revolutionary hearing aids that changes Bluetooth wireless connection to a mobile phone forever. The Moxi All connects to any Bluetooth® enabled mobile phone, directly without a streamer. It offers 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.

One Ear Only

The Moxi All only offers mobile phone streaming to one ear only. However, that is not a real problem, during my use of them, I found no real issues hearing the caller even in a relatively noisy situation. You can read more about my experience with the Moxi All here.

No Music Streaming

While these hearing aids will stream phone calls from iPhones and Android phones, they are not typical Made For iPhone hearing aids. They do not have quite the same features and abilities, for instance, they will not stream music or audiobooks from your phone. However, if you just want a good mobile phone solution, well then these devices are ideal for you. 

Unitron TV ConnectorTV Connector

They will, however, stream audio from any sound source that you connect to their new TV Connector. The device will stream high-quality audio to both of your Moxi All hearing aids. I have spoken to a few people who have experienced the audio streaming via a TV Connector and they have all been exceptionally happy with the experience. 

Like the Audeo B-Direct from Phonak, you need to think a little carefully about the Moxi All before you buy them. However, because of the way many Unitron features work, there is no loss of benefits or features because of the new Bluetooth chip, unlike the Audeo B-Direct.

Read More About Unitron Hearing Aids

Feature Comparison LiNX 3d Moxi All
Direct Wireless Connectivity To iPhone Yes

Yes

Direct Wireless Connectivity To Android No

Yes

Stream Phone Conversation Yes

Yes, one ear only

Answer Phone With Hearing Aid No

Yes

Handsfree Calling No

Yes

Phone Conversation in Both Ears Yes

No

Streaming of Audio From Phone Yes

No

Use iPhone as Remote Microphone Yes

No

Find Lost Hearing Aid Feature Yes

No

Remote Fine Tuning of Hearing Aids Yes

No

Tinnitus Therapy Feature Yes

No

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Signia Made For iPhone Hearing Aids

Signia is another hearing aid brand who has introduced a Made For iPhone hearing aid 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 is 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.  Signia now also offer a more in-depth telecare system which allows live finetuning of hearing aids and video calling to your professional. Signia has expanded their Made For iPhone options across their newly released Nx platform. Let's take a look at them  

Multiple Models, Three Levels of Tech, One New Platform

Initially when Signia introduced their new Nx platform there was just three models initially 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 are 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 Bluetooh hearing aids.

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. 

StreamLine Mic

Signia Stream Line Mic

Streaming Audio

The StreamLine Mic 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, Signia went a step further. The StreamLine Mic 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. 

StreamLine TV

Signia StreamLine TV Streamer

The StreamLine TV is the latest Signia TV Audio Streamer which works with the Nx hearing aid range . 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 StreamLine TV and the audio appears in your hearing aids, no fuss, no hassle. 

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. 

Signia

Pure 13 BT Primax Hearing Aids

The Signia Pure® 13 BT px is their first ever Made For iPhone hearing aid technology. They say that it delivers uncompromising sound, industry-leading connectivity, and revolutionary remote hearing care, along with great battery life. Wearers will be fully connected to their environment, each other, their iPhone® and to their hearing care professional. The devices will be introduced worldwide in May 2017, they are based on the Primax platform and will be available in the usual three levels of technology. 

The devices represent a few firsts for the industry, they will be the world’s first telehealth-supported hearing aid with iPhone audio streaming capabilities, the first hearing aid to use iPhone motion sensors to improve hearing in certain situations and the first hearing aid to provide both “high-definition binaural hearing” and Bluetooth® audio streaming (from a connected device). The devices will be powered by a size 13 battery which is good news for users, the 13 battery combined with the low energy use should mean fewer battery changes. 

Pure 13 BT Primax 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. Let's talk about the devices. 

Signia Pure 13 BT

As with all Made For iPhone hearing aids the Signia Pure® 13 BT will stream audio directly from iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. It will use the Bluetooth® low energy (LE) standard. This will enable high fidelity stereo streaming with reduced energy consumption. Signia have also retained their own wireless radio on the devices, which means that when you are streaming audio, you don't lose the benefit of the ear 2 ear communication. This is important for the user, Signia’s ear-to-ear (e2e™) wireless system is used to provide better spatial awareness and speech understanding.

Motion Detection

People frequently move while they are speaking, and Signia think that their hearing aids should react dynamically and adjust to their changing listening situation. The Pure® 13 BT is the first hearing aid to utilize the iPhone motion sensors to deliver input that allows adjustments in sound processing based on your activities. Signia say that the devices understand when a user is in motion and for the first time ever this data will allow them to deliver optimal hearing in that situation.

Pure 13 BT Connectivity

Essentially when a wearer is walking, running or driving, the hearing aids understand they are in motion, and will automatically adjust to better hear a conversation partner at their side or from the back while maintaining awareness of environmental sounds like sirens, approaching vehicles, or pedestrians. Signia claims that motion detection will make their environmental classification system even more robust, by adding a valuable data point. I can not fault them here, it is an outstanding idea and a sign of real innovation. 

Signia AppCompanion App

The new myControl™ App is made specifically for Pure 13 BT hearing aids. It offers a range of advantages beyond direct streaming of audio. It acts as a remote control for quick and easy changes to settings like volume and programs, and delivers advanced adjustment options to the user for personalization of sound. 

The new app will allow you to make personalized adjustments to programs, volume, microphone directionality, and treble/bass, during audio streaming. Pure 13 BT hearing aids will help users look after their hearing health. Similar to a fitness tracker, they create a personal sound profile over time based on noise exposure, so you can protect your hearing health.

The app tracks your daily noise exposure and displays the information in an easily readable way. This is an interesting little datum point, it will allow you to understand what levels of noise you are exposing yourself to on a daily basis allowing you to understand the possibilities of damaging your hearing through noise exposure. 

Telecare 2.0

The Pure® 13 BT is the first Signia hearing aid to utilize TeleCare 2.0. This upgrade introduces additional capabilities such as advanced data logging, secure end-to-end encrypted data transfer, and improved remote hearing aid adjustments. The professional can now adjust your hearing aids remotely across four frequency bands (previously only gain and tone control were available to providers). The user will interact with your provider via the Signia myHearing App, which is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. 

Signia tele-care

You can read more about Signias outstanding Telecare innovation here

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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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