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New Hearing Aids

Latest technology from the top manufacturers

With the hearing aid industry, new technology is a gift that keeps on giving. In recent years, the major innovations for hearing aids include Bluetooth connectivity and rechargeability. As smart, fast, aesthetically-pleasing, and user-friendly electronics continue to evolve and bring significant benefits to our lives, hearing aid manufacturers have met consumer calls for more sustainable and intelligent products.

Highlights in New Hearing Aid Technology

Connectivity

From hearing aids to smartphones to laptops to tablets, connectivity is a ubiquitous part of our daily life in the 21st century. Connectivity brings awesome benefits by enhancing our listening experience with wireless streaming, and it allows us to enjoy audio at its richest. From phone conversations to FaceTime video calls to jamming to your favorite albums on Spotify, Bluetooth connectivity gives hearing aid wearers seamless access to enjoy the multitude of sounds in daily life. Bluetooth connectivity is now a major feature in hearing aid technology, and most major brands offer this option.

Another important aspect of Bluetooth connectivity is the ability to make simple adjustments through a smartphone app. With Bluetooth-equipped hearing aids, users can make adjustments to volume, features, and programs directly on their phone, without having to fiddle with buttons on the hearing aid. It is important to note that while the majority of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can connect directly to iPhone and other Apple products, they may require a wireless streamer to connect to Android smartphones.

Rechargeability

In the past, hearing aid wearers would have to change out their traditional zinc-air hearing aid batteries weekly or bi-weekly. The cost of batteries would add up, and even more, fumbling with the small mechanisms on the hearing aid might pose a challenge for those with dexterity issues. All of the used batteries posed a grander challenge in the big picture – these batteries were not recyclable, so they would make their way to landfills, where they posed potential environmental risk with seepage into soil and groundwater.

While rechargeable options did exist a few years ago, they were not widely used. Fortunately, hearing aid wearers were loud and clear about their desire for rechargeable hearing aids. Most major manufacturers now offer a rechargeable model, utilizing lithium-ion batteries (the same ones found in your laptop, smartphone, or tablet). This new technology brought several benefits to the hearing aid wearer’s experience:

Fast-charging and long-lasting battery life: On a single overnight charge, rechargeable hearing aids can be worn for up to 24 hours at a time. Gone are the days when you worried about having an extra pair of batteries on you!

Easy-to-use: With rechargeable hearing aids, you simply place your devices into the recharging station before going to bed and wake up to fully charged batteries. No need to fuss with the small battery door and the tiny batteries!

Sturdier construction: Since there is no need to remove the battery with rechargeables, hearing aids have a more solid construction that more effectively resists the infiltration of debris, dust, lint, and moisture.

The Best New Hearing Aids of 2019

We’re thrilled with the many advanced hearing aids on the market in 2019. Hearing aid manufacturers continue to pour dedicated research and development into designing life-changing technology. Here are our favorite new hearing aids:
Oticon’s OPN series is known for its “open sound” platform, which is designed to provide a truly natural listening experience. Older hearing aids provided a narrow cone of sound, amplifying sounds such as speech while leaving other environmental noises to fade into the background. With the open sound platform, OPN S provides wearers with a more natural relationship to sound and relies on smart algorithms to analyze and process sounds, thus empowering wearers to choose where to focus their attention. OPN S is a rechargeable hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity.
While other Bluetooth-equipped hearing aids connect only to Apple products directly, Phonak’s Audeo Marvel has the ability to stream audio directly from both iPhones and Android. If streaming technology is at the top of your wish list, the Audeo Marvel is a great choice. Additionally, when it comes to accessories, Phonak offers a wide-range of assistive listening devices with their Roger line. Looking forward, Phonak plans to equip the Marvel with telecoil options, which allows wearers to “loop in” to access sound from hearing-looped venues. Phonak’s Audeo Marvel is a rechargeable hearing aid, chock-full of awesome features, including the AutoSense 3.0, which automatically makes adjustments to your listening experience for you. This eliminates the need for the hearing aid wearer to make manual adjustments and provides a seamless listening experience.
The LiNX Quattro is an exciting new hearing aid from ReSound, providing a remote fine-tuning feature that is revolutionary both for hearing aid wearers and hearing health professionals. In the past, if you needed professional adjustments to your hearing aids, you’d have to pay your hearing health provider a visit. With remote fine-tuning through ReSound Assist on their smartphone app, we can make adjustments to your hearing aids wherever you are. In addition to being rechargeable (on a fully battery, you get 24 hours of use, with 50% of the time streaming), ReSound has imbued the LiNX Quattro with their most advanced listening features, including the ability to capture a dynamic range of sound in any environment.

The AI in Starkey’s Livio AI stands for artificial intelligence – and before you get turned off by the idea of a 2001: A Space Odyssey mini-HAL in your ears, hear us out. Artificial intelligence is now a large part of our lives – think about talking to your Google Maps on your smartphone or asking Alexa to give you the weather forecast for the day. Starkey has successfully incorporated AI into their newest model, the Livio, to improve the well-being of the wearer. Livio AI is a “healthable” hearing aid, which means it tracks your steps and physical activity the way a FitBit would. Additionally, the Brain Score keeps tabs on the different experiences you have in terms of Active Listening and Engagement with others. This is especially important, as it touches upon the link between hearing loss and dementia. Overall, according to Starkey President Brandon Sawalich, “Livio AI is so much more than just a hearing aid – it is a gateway to better health and wellness.”

Like the AI in the Livio model, Widex’s EVOKE is a smart hearing aid with machine learning. EVOKE asks for your listening preferences in real-time, in a variety of different environments, and uses this information to tailor your listening experience to you. Even more, Widex feeds the data you provide into an anonymous database along with other Widex EVOKE wearer experiences to create a smarter, more precise listening experience for all. Widex is known for their trademark “Widex Sound,” delivering rich, natural sound. It is also a rechargeable hearing aid.

Upgrading or Purchasing New Hearing Aids

When it comes to purchasing a new pair of hearing aids, or upgrading to a new pair of hearing aids, it is important first to visit us at an Ear to Hear clinic. Hearing aids do provide significant benefits for people with hearing loss, but even more so if they are properly fitted and adjusted to meet your specific hearing needs. Since consumers spend a lot of time online, researching their future purchases, we do want to stress that advanced hearing aids must be fitted properly to your hearing needs in order to provide the most benefit.

Ear to Hear

If you’re in the market for a new pair of hearing aids, or you’re looking to upgrade from your current pair, contact us at Ear to Hear. We’re excited to share the latest in hearing aid technology with you, and we’re here to make sure that you find the best solution for your hearing needs.