- Published on 20 March 2021
Who is going to bat an earlid when the hearing aids of the next few years deliver a hamper of Internet of Things (IoT) utilities, dozens more healthable functions, and who knows exactly what gimmicks and non-hearing extras?
What are we left with when we take away all the strictly hearing-related elements from today’s latest hearing devices in the marketplace?
As we shall see, some producers are notably more convinced than others that hearing aids should have so many non-hearing extras, but the tide is strong and those that still keep the focus squarely on hearing must feel some pressure to swim with it. Grateful for the help of the bulk of the major manufacturers, we have stripped down a host of today’s hearing devices and benched all those elements needed for amplification and the caressing of that amplified sound. Without the microphones, the myriad processing details, without even directionality tech, speech enhancement, noise reduction, ...WHAT are we left with?
In this second of a three-part Audio Infos UK summary, we focus on devices produced by Signia and Phonak.
SIGNIASignia Styletto X
Signia takes pride in its modern, discreet, comfortable Styletto SLIM-RIC design available in five contemporary colour combinations.
- Signia Assistant - A 24/7 virtual assistant using AI so that wearers can access instant support and troubleshooting, although this is chiefly for hearing purposes, it could also bring help from the provider on some non-audio aspects.
- Signia App, which includes TeleCare and the Signia Assistant.
- Signia TeleCare, like Signia App, this is an extra with an audiological purpose, although it is good for virtual appointments and giving daily satisfaction ratings too.
- Tinnitus Therapies - a choice of tinnitus therapies are built into Signia hearing aids, based on amplified notch therapy or traditional noise therapy signals. It is even possible to combine the two approaches – to help alleviate and reduce the effects of tinnitus.
Motion Charge&Go X range
Launched mid-Jan 2021, the new range of Signia Xperience BTEs are packed full of features – not formerly available in a BTE form factor. The new range also includes the rechargeable Super Power BTE! And this range, with its new Design, small and sleek (the Motion X range boasts locked ear hooks and a convenient rocker switch) repeats the non-audio extras of Signia Styletto X.
Stefan Launer, Sonova’s Senior Vice President, Audiology & Health Innovation underlined the significant reasoning behind making the hearing aid a device that can bring users so many other functions. And he made it clear that Phonak will not fall behind in adding healthables: “The ear is a hotspot for vital sign monitoring because it allows for accurate and precise analysis in a very convenient approach. The main vital signs to be monitored include physical activity as well as measures of cardio-vascular health,˝ he said.
˝Vital sign monitoring in the elderly and hearing impaired populations is particularly interesting because people in this target group are often suffering from multiple chronic health conditions and would benefit from this new vital sign monitoring application. Recent research has shown that hearing impaired people have higher risks of developing comorbid health conditions such as increased risk of falls, cardio-vascular problems, diabetes, and increased risk of cognitive decline. Henceforth, integrating vital sign monitoring in hearing instruments is a really promising approach to enable healthy hearing and ageing with a broader perspective.˝
˝Having recently launched our Well-Hearing is Well-Being concept, Phonak is dedicated to integrating “wellbeing” at the centre of our product development. We’re looking forward to bringing more health monitoring features in Phonak solutions in the very near future.˝
Phonak Paradise (currently only available in Audéo (RIC))
- 2 active Bluetooth connections at the same time
- Up to 8 possible pairings
- Tap control enabled through the built-in motion sensor
- Connects to smartphones, TV and more: Phonak Made For All
- MyPhonak App for remote control and remote hearing support technology
- Tinnitus Balance
- AutoSense OS™ 4.0 which is developed with AI
Roger On (launched February 2021) – a new Roger microphone
- Switches automatically between different modes. One product covers table mode, pointing mode, and presenter mode, and can change between these modes automatically.
- MultiTalker Network. Connects several microphones in a network to support meetings, lectures, classes, etc.
- Compatible with virtually all hearing aid brands and cochlear implants.
- Multimedia, Online chats/meetings/calls. Roger On can be used in digital meetings and phone calls.
Source: Audio Infos #140, January-February 2021