As we approach 2017, we look back on the innovations in hearing technology from 2016. It has been a banner year for our favorite hearing aid manufacturers, who have introduced smarter and sleeker devices based on consumer demand and sophisticated technological advancements.
If you’ve been thinking about updating your hearing aids, why not invest now? Let’s take a look at the best hearing aids of 2016.
Phonak – Audeo B-R
Taking into account customer demands for a sustainable, rechargeable solution, the Swiss manufacturer Phonak introduced the Audeo B-R in 2016. Audeo B-R is powered by the Belong Platform, offering intuitive features such as AutoSense OS, which analyzes the wearer’s sound environment at an incredibly fast speed and makes automatic adjustments for natural hearing. UltraZoom, another feature of Belong, helps wearers with speech recognition by 60%, compared to previous models.
The most important feature of the Audeo B-R is its brand-new rechargeable battery program. Audeo B-R uses lithium-ion battery technology, a first in the hearing industry. Lithium-ion battery technology, commonly found in smartphones and laptops, provide 40% more power than other rechargeable batteries. As a result, Phonak’s Audeo B-R provides wearers with 24 hours of uninterrupted listening on a 3-hour charge. If you’re short on time, a 30-minute charge will provide 6-hours of listening!
The Audeo B-R is available as a receiver-in-canal hearing aid, with four performance levels.
Unitron – Moxi Now
If you stacked two blueberries on top of one another, you’ve got the size of the new Unitron Moxi Now. Moxi Now is powered by Unitron’s North Platform, which provides clear sound signals and excellent sound quality, with four channels dedicated to clearer conversation. The North Platform also provides features such as SoundNav, Speech Zone 2, and Sound Conductor for a crisp and natural listening experience.
Moxi Now hearing aids are currently the world’s smallest receiver-in-canal hearing aids. For their tiny size, they pack a lot of punch when it comes to listening features. Speech Zone 2 adjusts microphones to focus on speech from any direction, which is especially useful in challenging noise environments. SoundNav is an automatic program that provides seamless listening for wearers moving through different environments. Sound Conductor works in conjunction with these features to balance sounds.
Moxi Now is available in three technology levels, with other features such as wireless connectivity to smartphones, data logging, feedback elimination, and wind control.
Oticon – OPN
Oticon, a Danish manufacturer, recently introduced the Velox Processing Platform, powered by a tiny chip that runs at a high speed. Velox reduces listening effort by 20% and provides wearers with 20% more capacity to remember. Both features assist with the brain’s auditory process. Velox also provides wearers with 30% more speech understanding.
Velox is at the center of the new OPN (pronounced “open”) hearing aid. OPN provides wearers with an open sound solution, which means they have access to a full soundscape, even in the most challenging environments. OPN differs from traditional hearing aids that are designed to suppress certain sounds and enhance others. With an open sound solution, the brain is empowered in the auditory process. OPN provides wearers with a natural listening experience, which allows them to take in environmental sounds and decide which sounds they want to hear.
OPN’s achieves this with the OpenSound Navigator Environmental Analyzer, which scans the full 360 degrees of the wearer’s current listening environment 100 times a second. During this process, algorithms analyze, and balance every sound. With this rich sound picture, OPN wearers are more fully connected to their environment. OPN also offers TwinPhone, two wireless communication systems in one, as well as connection to the Internet to assist wearers identify common sounds. OPN is available as a mini receiver-in-canal hearing aid.
Signia – Primax and Silk
Signia is the newest brand from Sivantos Group, which is also the parent company of Siemens. Building upon the technological advancements of Siemens binax – the world’s first hearing aid to outperform normal hearing in challenging noise environments – Signia has produced the most advanced instruments to date with primax.
Based on an independent study by the University of Northern Colorado, primax hearing aids have been found to reduce listening effort throughout the day. Primax hearing aids boast two main features to accomplish this: SpeechMaster and EchoShield. SpeechMaster monitors the wearer’s environment and automatically focuses on the speaker, while reducing background noise. EchoShield protects sound quality in acoustically-difficult spaces, such as hallways, lecture halls, atriums, and auditoriums. EchoShield eliminates reverberation and provides wearers with a comfortable and natural listening experience. Signia primax hearing aids are available in receiver-in-canal, behind-the-ear, and in-the-ear styles.
Silk is the newest member of the Signia primax family, and is the world’s first ready-to-wear hearing aid. Silk is a completely-in-canal hearing aid, with a new innovation called Click Sleeves. Click Sleeves, made of soft silicone, is designed to fit in almost every ear, and encourages first-time wearers to experience the difference with hearing aids immediately. Silk is comfortable, discreet, and flexible, while providing the same innovative features found in the Signia primax family.
Ready to try some of the best of 2016? Contact us at Hearing Centers of Hawaii today.