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Starkey S Series: A review of its features

Starkey S Series hearing aid

I’ve been wearing a pair of Starkey’s new S Series hearing aids for about a month now. I have the in-the-canal (ITC) model. On Starkey’s website they list the S Series’ main features. I’ve written a bit below about how each feature is working for me.

PureWave Feedback Eliminator

I have not had a single squeak of feedback. The feedback-elimination program was run when I had the aids fitted and they’ve been perfect since.

Acoustic Scene Analyzer

Speech is definitely clearer and easier to understand with the S Series. Voices are not so deep sounding and are less muffled. I quite often walk along next to a busy road during the day and the noise of the cars passing used to muffle the voices of the people I walk with – the S Series helps a lot to reduce the road noise and keep the focus on the voices.

I’ve written before about this feature, I think it’s a great idea. I don’t have it set up at the moment as I do not have a touch-tone mobile phone. The standard S Series gives your audiologist the ability to switch between T² or volume control via an on-the-shell knob – it is possible to have both the T² and volume-control option together but you need to ask for it before the aids are sent to Starkey for building.

InVision Directionality

The thing that most impresses me about the S Series is that I am can now localise sound much easier – i.e. I now know where voices are coming from! Meetings at work which had more than 4 or 5 people in used to be a nightmare for me because I could hear that someone had spoken and in most cases hear what they said but often I wasn’t able to quickly work out who said it because I didn’t know which direction the voice was coming from. The S Series has really helped to pinpoint voices for me – I’ve really noticed a difference, especially when more than one person is talking at once.


The noise reduction is good. This is really the first time I have used noise reduction so I don’t have anything to compare it against. As I’ve said before, road noise is now reduced but voice clarity remains – it’s easier to hear people when I’m travelling in the car with them. The noise reduction is sometimes noticeable when it changes, it is not a always completely seamless thing – if there’s a noise then it’s loud for a second and then your hear it reduce when the reduction kicks in. Having said that, I don’t find the noticeable reduction a problem and it’s not that often that it occurs.

Wind noise is still a problem for me. Not as bad as it used to be but I still have a problem understanding people in strongish winds.

Intuitive Features

The inbuilt indicators do a good job – most of them feature a voice rather than just a beep. You get someone in your ear telling you that your battery is low. Your audiologist can also program them to tell you when they are due for a service or you are due for a checkup, which is an easy way to remember. As you turn up the volume there’s a beep to let you know that you’ve gone up to the audiologist’s recommended volume setting, a good way to avoid over-amplification. You get a voice telling you which programme you have selected when you switch.

Last but not least the S Series has a self check feature – if you open and close the battery door 3 times the aid will self test and then tell you whether it is working correctly or not.

Automatic Telephone Response

There is a telephone programme that the aids switch to as you put the phone to your ear. I have found that voices are now clearer and a bit easier to hear with the S Series but I do still struggle, but considering the extent of my hearing loss this isn’t surprising.

Music & Television Processing

Can’t say I’ve noticed any major difference when watching TV or listening to music.


I’ve been really pleased with my S Series, they help me to hear better in a number of different situations. I haven’t tested them on different programmes yet, I always use the default setting – next time I’m at a party or a pub I’ll try out the programmer for that. I really want to try out the T² feature as well. I’m going to write another article about other things I’ve noticed with the S Series but here I wanted to try and give a user’s perspective on whether Starkey’s buzzword feature list make a difference – they do.

Oticon Opn S

Whistling hearing aids are a thing of the past, try it for yourself at your nearest hearing aid centre

Simply put, no more whistling, so you can get as close as you like without worrying about the embarassing screech. And with a new lithium-ion rechargeable option and speech understanding on par with normal hearing, you can get on with enjoying life

Try The Opn S Yourself
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