New Features, New Sound, New Microphone Placement
ReSound today (18/08/2020) has announced the introduction of a brand new hearing aid platform they are calling the ReSound One. It offers a new look, new features, a new normalised sound and a breakthrough microphone placement. They say "Just like a fingerprint, each person’s hearing is unique. Yet, the most commonly worn hearing aids
use a standardized approach modelled on an ‘average ear’, which can often compromise sound quality. ReSound ONE is a long-awaited breakthrough that gives everyone a solution individualized precisely to their own hearing anatomy." Let's take a look at the new platform.
The Hearing Aids
The new platform will be initially introduced with three Receiver In Canal devices, a rechargeable aid, a 312 traditional battery aid and a size 13 traditional battery aid. The devices have a new casing which while similar to their old RIC casing looks a bit more angular. The rechargeable will come with their outstanding charger case which means charges on the go if you need it. Considering the battery life offered by ReSound though, it will be a rare event that you will be stuck. Having said that, it's nice to be able to go away for the weekend without worrying if you have your plug with you.
A Microphone in The Receiver
Alongside the typical microphones in the case of the aid, they have also placed a microphone in the receiver. It's a pretty interesting place to put a microphone, it makes a lot of sense to do so because of the more natural sound cues you can expect to pick up there. The outer ear helps us to localise sound naturally, localisation is key for us to work out where the sound comes from. The ability to localise also helps the brain to ignore the sound you aren't interested in. That's why with normal hearing, we can hear pretty well in noisy situations.
Resound Say "The outer ear (pinna) is designed by nature to work like an acoustic antenna. It helps the brain localize and tune in to a particular sound, for example when listening to a specific voice in a crowded café. However, the most popular styles of hearing aids (Receiver-In-Ear and Behind-The-Ear models) capture sound from microphones that sit behind the ear and then approximate the effect of the pinna. The result is an averaged and incomplete reproduction of sound, making it hard for the brain to achieve its natural localization and noise-cancelling function."
However, placing a microphone in the receiver is technically challenging, in particular, if you use an open fit. The problem is feedback, having the mic so close to the receiver is bound to cause squealy feedback. However, ReSound has introduced a brand new feedback management system which they are calling DFS Ultra III. They say that the new feedback manager combined with the newly designed receivers allows them to place the mic in the receiver without worrying about feedback.
That should equate to more normalised sound experience, a more normalised sound experience should mean even better performance in noisy situations.
New Directionality Modes
The platform also offers two new directionality modes, All Access Directionality and a user-activated Ultra
Focus setting. ReSound say "These enhanced operating modes significantly improve speech recognition while
preserving spatial perception in complex sound and noise situations." I am not sure what All Access Directionality refers to, but I will find out, the user-activated Ultra Focus Setting sounds like a feature in the app perhaps that allows you to narrow the focus of the microphones. Giving you a narrow beam microphone focused to the front of you. I have used something like this from another manufacturer in a really noisy environment and I was pretty impressed with the results.
Made For iPhone, Made For Android
Of course, the ReSound ONE platform will offer connectivity options to both iOS and AndroidTM smartphones
for streaming and hearing aid control. As we find out more, we will report it to you. All in all, it looks like a really interesting platform with some really interesting features.