EUHA 2014: The best of the best

Just a few highlights from EUHA 2014 in Hannover. We zoom in on novelties by manufacturers. Apart from novelties, the most remarkable thing becoming apparent in Hannover is the positive mood in the German market. Whilst several markets went through major changes in 2013, the German market did far better than manufacturers generally expected.

Phonak's Venture

This manufacturer presents, among other things, its new Venture platform at the 59th international hearing aid specialists congress. “The chip set doubles the calculation speed and at the same time uses 30% less power while streaming”, Roger Baumann PhD declares. The Phonak GmbH CEO sits together with the Group Vice President for Phonak Martin Grieder in one of the stand’s meeting rooms to show the novelties in the portfolio. The low power consumption chip set comes in handy, as Phonak focuses on binaural voice-streaming, which is normally quite power consuming. “Apart from that, the platform diminishes distortion and offers a richer, more natural sound”, says Baumann. “Furthermore, the Venture devices are better equipped to automatically recognise and adapt to different sound environments.” In this way, up to seven hearing programmes can be switched seamleassly from one hearing situation to the next.” New are the programmes “understanding of speech in driving noise” and “comfort in reverberant situations”. These are at first only available in the 90’s range, towards the lower end there are less programmes available as yet. Still, on the whole it is an upgrade. “The present V 30 has a set of features comparable to that of the former Q 50”, says Baumann.

Watch here our interview to Martin Grieder, Phonak's Groupe Vice President.

Virtual eight microphone network at Siemens

Especially popular at the Siemens stand was the so called “Hörbar” - audible – a device to vividly demonstrate the new hearing aid technology presented with the new Binax chip generation. Visitors could experience the sound of the newest Siemens hearing system live by themselves, while at the same time monitoring the low power consumption of the system. “The Binax hearing systems make hearing important information in noisy surroundings impressively clearer and far more natural“, says CEO Germany Christian Honsig. “The core is a virtual eight microphone network e2e wireless 3.0. Researchers of Siemens and Oldenburg University won the 2012 German Future prize for laying the foundations of e2e wireless technology. The first generation involved a volume and programme alignment. The second phase was characterised by the transfer of real stereo signals with the Tek audio streamer to the hearing systems.”

BestSound Technology Binax simulates the natural hearing process electronically. With binaural hearing aids, each device processes both of its microphone signals as well as those of the hearing system at the other ear. In this way, a virtual eight microphone network configuration is created. “This resembles what the brain does in normal hearing and is a step towards real spatial hearing”, Honsig explains. The system picks up signals from both sides, processes these, translates all signals into a total “sound picture” and with this it enables directional hearing. Parallel to the better performance of the new Binax chip generation, Siemens has at the same time diminished power consumption. This enables binaural audio data transfer, activated automatically whenever necessary.

Bernafon launches Juna family

Bernafon Berlin CEO Carsten Braun is also satisfied. Bernafon has welcomed many new customers during last year and is looking forward to a new exciting period. As novelties Bernafon introduces the 9 and 7 models of the new product family Juna. With Juna, Bernafon presents new high end features, that bring the Audio Efficiency technology to a new level. Juna for instance has features that especially focus on understanding of speech, hearing comfort and individualisation of hearing aids. “In order to boost understanding of speech, Juna offers the Speech Cue PriorityTM. Behind it hides a new speech processing technology, enabling hearing aid specialists to offer customers an amplification strategy that answers their specific hearing impairment level”, says Braun.