It’s been a little over four months since we posted our Fall 2015 hearing aid update, which means it’s time for a new edition of what’s happening in the world of hearing aids and hearing devices.
Each year, the Big 6 hearing aid manufacturers have two big releases of new products…a spring launch (typically around March to May) and a fall launch (typically around October to December). They not only aim to enhance the products to be better than ever, but to also differentiate what sets them apart from each other.
This year is no different. Each of the manufacturers have launched an update to their line of products. In this article, I will introduce you to what is new in hearing aids this spring.
Primax has officially been released as Signia’s first hearing aid. Here’s a few notes and features:
- Available styles: RIC, BTE, ITE
- Available performance levels: 7px, 5px, 3px
- CROS and BiCROS technology
- Twin phone technology that allows you to hear the phone conversation in both ears
- HD music
Signia called them “…the world’s first hearing aids clinically proven to reduce listening effort and provide better than normal hearing” and “hearing aids made specifically for music lovers.”
There are four separate hearing aids within the primax line, which include the Ace, Pure, Motion, and Insio. You can read more about all of them here.
Starkey had a lot going on over the past several months from new hearing aids to new partnerships in the hearables market.
Let’s start with hearing aids first.
Starkey has upgraded its line of “made for life” hearable solutions. We’ve talked about the Halo when discussing some of the first hearing aids made specifically for the iPhone. Well, the Halo 2 is now here.
The Halo 2 is a made for iPhone hearing aid that is aimed at the user that wants to directly stream calls, music, videos (or anything really) from your iPhone wirelessly to your hearing aid. You can read more about the Halo 2 here.
If you have single-sided deafness then you may want to check out the Muse, built on Starkey’s new 900 sync wireless technology. The Muse comes in both the CROS and BiCROS systems and RIC and BTE styles.
You can find out more about the Muse here.
“Invisible, powerful, and now wireless.” That’s the tag line for the new wireless version of one of Starkey’s most popular invisible hearing aids.
Read more about the SoundLens here.
Synergy Platform and Acuity OS
The Muse and SoundLens are also built on Starkey’s new Synergy Platform which utilizes the following new tech:
- Twin compressors: one for speech and one for music
- 24 channel adjustment
- New dedicated music program
In addition, all of the hearing aids above include Starkey’s new Acuity OS, which according to Starkey is “…designed to improve speech audibility in difficult listening situations along with Speech Shift.”
Bragi and Starkey team up
Last, but certainly not least, Starkey has teamed up with Bragi. If you’re not familiar with them, they’ve been working on a truly wireless earbud device that will include biometrics (heart rate measurements, etc). Starkey will be teaming up with them to make these earbud devices “customizable” using an earmold impression and custom shell creation process. It is suspected that this may lead to a hearable technology including biometrics in the future. If done well, it could be a game changer.
Check out more about the Bragi Dash here.
ReSound is calling their new made for iPhone hearing aid, the ENZO 2, “…the smallest and most powerful super power hearing aid available…”
Here’s a pretty cool testimonial from someone who actually uses the ENZO 2.
ReSound also added two new remote microphones: the Micro Mic and Multi Mic. You simply “clip it on the person you want to talk to and enjoy the conversation, even in background noise – and you can still hear them even if they are more than 80 feet away.”
Lastly, since Beltone is a subsidiary of ReSound we thought we’d mention that they’ve launched a new super powered hearing aid, called the Boost Plus, for those with severe-to-profound hearing loss.
Update 4/20/16: Oticon released new information at AudiologyNOW! 2016 (read our full recap about the conference here)
Update 5/23/16: The Oticon Opn is now available!
Oticon has launched a new product called Opn that focuses on tackling the difficulty people with hearing loss have with speech understanding in noisy environments.
The Opn product features Oticon’s new Velox platform that is 50 times faster than the current hearing aid processors. This gives them the ability to “open up” the sound experience with their new OpenSound Navigator so that the user can hear all of the important speech sounds around them, without limiting the speech to only what is directly in front of them, one of the limitations of the current technology with directionality. The Velox chip is able to analyze and balance the sounds in the environment 100 times/sec and remove the unwanted background noise, even between words.
Oticon’s new Opn product also includes another industry-first dual-wireless technology. Their TwinLink technology includes both a near-field magnetic induction (NFMI) wireless technology for fast and efficient ear-to-ear communication, as well as a 2.4 GHz wireless technology for direct connectivity to iPhones and other Bluetooth devices for easy streaming without the need for an intermediate device worn around the neck (Streamer).
Plus, the Opn is also the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid, allowing your hearing aids to control things like your doorbell and lights in your home.
The possibilities are endless with Oticon’s new internet-connected Opn hearing device, and users will experience more natural and effortless conversations in noise, something that has not been accomplished up until this time. The Opn will be available for you hearing healthcare provider in May 2016.
Read more details here.
No news at this time, after a big Fall 2015 launch. You can check out their new Fall 2015 products here.
Phonak has rounded out their Venture product portfolio by updating their power products, the Naida, to their Venture technology. The Naida V is “now 60% more robust than its predecessor and water resistant”. The Naida V is available in a receiver in the canal and behind-the-ear style hearing aid, as well as four different technology levels, the V90, V70, V50, V30. You can find out more about the Naida V here.
Phonak has also just launches their new pediatric portfolio designed with children in mind, the Sky V. It features a new program specifically designed for children that will automatically switch depending on the environment they’re in. It is RogerReady, meaning that the hearing devices will automatically activate the Roger program when the device is detected. Parents will be notified by a new indicator light when Roger is activated and when the hearing aid is on.
Check out all the Sky V options below:
They have also expanded their Roger accessories to focus on education and improve classroom learning and participation. Roger’s pass-around microphone, multimedia hub, charging rack, and touchscreen are designed for convenient use by both teachers and students in the classroom.
Read all about the Roger for Education accessories here.
That’s it for the Spring edition. Check back in about six months and we’ll have the Fall edition ready to go. Also, be sure to leave a comment below if you’ve got any questions.