EUHA 2014: The best of the best

Starkey: Communicate innovations!

The new fixed rates introduced in Germany in November 2013 introduced many changes but these didn’t cause the market to develop negatively like the industry feared. The Starkey team from Hamburg is therefore in a good mood in Hannover. “A year ago we didn’t expect this market development”, Thorsten Quaas remembers. “The market changes resulted for Starkey in strong growth. We have been able to welcome a lot of new customers, also in market segments where we were not very well represented.” He expects this growth to slowly stabilise. As a highlight Starkey presents the made for iPhone hearing system Halo. Quaas: “It is a very innovative product, although the target group does not use iPhones massively.” No problem, he says, as innovations take time to be adopted. “The important thing is to communicate the capabilities of new technologies to the outside world.”

Widex

At the Widex Hörgeräte GmbH stand, Birgit Ramin, scientific head for audiology, is presenting the company’s latest offerings. At Widex, the aim is to further advance the performance of hearing systems, she says. The company is particularly thinking of those who are not happy with their hearing aids. “There is really only one solution: to invest in sound”, says Ramin. In this area, the Widex “Dream” platform offers the best solution. “These are the three dimensions that are transforming the highly developed chip in a way that has never before been achieved on the market”, says Ramin. This is where the AD-converter plays a decisive role. Up to 113 dB SPL, it can process without restricting the signal. And even when the signal reaches above 113 dB SPL, there is only distortion of about 10%. “This already provides significant hearing comfort. That is the first dimension“, Ramin explains. The second dimension lies in the frequency bandwidths that the chip transmits. “With a sampling frequency of 33 kHz, our technology is in a position to transmit 11 kHz. Already when dealing with music, the devices are a sound marvel – even at low frequencies”, she says. The third dimension is contrast. In this case too, the wearer has optimal adjustment and the device can now offer “dynamics and frequency without distortion for the highest hearing and speaking comfort”. Even the most demanding client group, musicians, are happy with the natural sound, according to Ramin.

Oticon presents IIC devices with wireless technology

At the Oticon GmbH stand from Hamburg, several people are presenting the latest innovations, including Horst Warncke, head of audiology. In Hannover, Oticon presented the “Pro” variants of the Alta-, Nera-, and Rialines, which are now available as design devices. With these, the aim was to take better account of the needs of primary care providers, says Horst Warncke. “They want something inconspicuous”, he says. “And that’s exactly what we are now offering with the wireless IIC devices, or with our smallest BTE hearing instruments, the smallest available worldwide”. These are able to provide “the full functionality of larger models”, says Warncke. One of the most important hurdles to being able to offer IIC devices worldwide with wireless technology was the antennas, Warncke explains. These needed to be designed as small as possible, with the use of a pre-amplifier. “To bring all of this into such a small space was a huge challenge, but our engineers managed to do it”, says Horst Warncke.

The new ConnectLine Control from Oticon was also presented. It is no larger than a modern car key and is therefore “not easily recognisable as a hearing aid remote control”. “The great thing is that it is backward compatible back to the Epoq-system from 2007”. This brings Warncke to the Oticon app. For his demonstration, Horst Warncke pulls out his smartphone which has the EUHA app installed and opens the Oticon-app. “The acoustician can make adjustment and so can the end user. Our app for the end user is therefore about as big as a large display”, he says.

Read the whole report on the 91st issue of Audio Infos UK, available on PDF on Audiology Worldnews Kiosk.

Dennis Kraus


Photo: Innocentia, G.B. Videos: Innocentia Verlag