New hearing aids Chalfont, Bucks
New hearing aids in Bucks at the Chalfont hearing centre. We are used to new hearing aids arriving from various manufacturers all year round, but when something is really new and exciting we love to tell you and our existing clients why we are so excited.
Hearing aids have evolved in recent years. Digital hearing aids have made the devices so small and powerful they are no longer what people expect to see. The huge hearing aid of old is getting less visible these days, the new as powerful hearing aids are now tiny. If you are looking for new hearing aids in Bucks, we are the place for you!
New hearing aids Buckinghamshire
The tech inside these little wonders are amazing on so many levels. Take one of the many things they can do. They can connect to your mobile phone and you can talk wirelessly without the phone in your hand as if you were talking to a person next to you. The hearing aid is catching your voice and transmitting this to your phone via bluetooth. You can hear perfectly as your hearing aid is in your ear so you don’t have to really listen hard to get what the conversation is. It’s all done without you doing anything. This tech isn’t new, it has been around for some years, but if your hearing aids are not ”Connected” versions, then maybe when you are next due a new set of hearing aids, you can ask to be told of what’s new in this ”Connected” world.
Bucks hearing aid centre
Leon Cox the lead audiologist at Chalfont hearing will be happy to show you and explain all about what is new and on offer. He will also show you how you connect your new digital hearing aid with various tech such as mobile phones, iPads, and the T.V.
Make your appointment with Leon now by calling reception.
Chalfont hearing news:
Semtech and Sonova Launch Jointly-Developed Radio System
Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC), a supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and Sonova, a developer of hearing care solutions, announced a jointly developed advanced radio system. The ultra-small integrated circuit (IC) is said to be a main component for a new generation of hearing aids, enabling support for multiple radio protocols in the 2.4GHz band, as well as effective operation on very low power, according to the announcement.
New hearing aids Bucks
“This chip allows Sonova to move in a new direction with our hearing aids,” said Marc Secall, director, research & development, wireless, at Sonova. “The breakthrough radio technology and power management are the game changers for hearing aids. It allows them to support a number of applications that have previously not been possible in a hearing aid, all at low power consumption and low supply voltage. Possible applications span from connectivity to any Bluetooth®-enabled audio device (eg, a smartphone or television) to full duplex audio streaming between hearing aids and connectivity to wireless microphones.”
Ear wax removal Chalfont, Bucks
“Semtech continues to innovate and create flexible, reliable solutions for challenging applications associated with the best radio frequency connectivity at the lowest power and 0.8V supply voltage,” said Jean-Paul Bardyn, vice president of research and development of Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Sonova has long been a leader for hearing devices. By implementing Semtech’s technology and enabling access to the Cloud, we believe that these devices will enrich the IoT-connected solutions which Semtech is serving with LoRa Technology.”
Source: Semtech, Sonova
Images: Semtech, Sononva
Starkey hearing aids, Little Chalfont
We sell and dispense all types of hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre. One of the big guns is Starkey. Recently they announced a new innovation for their Live Ai hearing aids. It now comes with fall detection, meaning it will detect if you have a fall and if you are paired with your phone it will message up to 3 contacts that you have specified before hand.
Read the full press statement bellow for more info, or if you are interested in knowing more please pop in or make an appointment so we can walk you through the new hearing aid and it’s features.
Chalfont hearing news:
Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users
Starkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has released its new Fall Detection and Alert feature in Livio AI hearing aids to a limited number of hearing professionals, and plans to offer the feature to all dispensing professionals and their clients in late February, according to CTO Achin Bhowmik, PhD, in an interview with Hearing Review on Tuesday, December 18. Using integrated sensors, the Fall Detection and Alert feature is designed to automatically detect falls and send messages to as many as three contacts.
Fall detection sensors are currently implemented in all Livio AI devices as part of its standard hardware platform, and Starkey has been working on the Fall Alert feature to maximize its utility for end users prior to the system’s widespread implementation.
Falls are a massive public health problem, particularly for older adults. It’s estimated that injuries due to falls will account for $67.7 billion in public health spending by 2020, and according to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) falls are currently responsible for an older adult being admitted to a US emergency room every 11 seconds. Additionally, people with hearing loss are particularly susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study suggests that having hearing loss triples the risk of falls for people age 40 and older—and the findings hold up regardless of whether their hearing loss is moderate or severe.
How Starkey Fall Detection and Alerts work. Starkey’s new Fall Detection system is said to have several benefits over existing stand-alone medical alert systems, which are typically attached to a lanyard around the neck. “The first key advantage is that a hearing aid is almost always in your ear during your active hours, making for one less thing to carry or remember. One of the major problems with medical alert systems is getting people to wear them,” says Bhowmik. “Second, we have two fall detection sensors [in binaural fittings] for the right side and the left side, whereas most fall detection systems have only one. And the way the two sensors are spaced apart and the way in which you hold your head, we can get better and more accurate results than neck-worn sensors designed to detect falls.”
According to Bhowmik, part of Starkey’s recent research has revolved around what constitutes an actual fall as opposed false-positives such as quick downward movements or even accidentally dropping the hearing aid. “If you take the hearing aid off your ear and drop it on the ground, you will not get a false-positive for falling with Livio AI,” says Bhowmik. “We have been working on [eliminating false-positives] for over a year. A good AI system is only as good as the data you train the system with. In this particular case, if the left hearing aid detects a fall, it immediately checks with the right hearing aid to see if the data matches what would indicate a fall for the system. Unless it detects a fall from the hearing aids in tandem for both the right and left sides of the head, the device will eliminate those non-fall events and false-positives.”
The hearing care professional will be able to activate Fall Detection and Alerts through an easy-to-use interface within the fitting software for Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids. The user can then enter the Auto Alert contacts—up to three people who are to be alerted in the event of a fall within the Thrive Hearing App. When a fall is detected by the system, an audio prompt asks the user if they have fallen. He or she then has 60 seconds to provide an Event Cancellation and stop the outgoing Fall Alert messages from being sent to their designated contacts. If the hearing aid user has fallen and elects to send the Fall Alert message to his/her contacts, they receive confirmation when each contact has been successfully reached.
The system also allows for a Manual Alert which can be activated by simply pressing the hearing aid button, sending an alert for a fall or non-fall related event. “Maybe you didn’t fall, but instead just felt dizzy or were otherwise forced to sit down on the floor,” explains Bhowmik. “Obviously, this is not a fall. But you can still use the Manual Alert to get help when you need it. By tapping a button, you can send an automatic alert to your contacts, telling them you need assistance.”
This is just another step in the direction of making the hearing aid a multi-purpose, multi-functional device, according to Starkey.
To learn more about Starkey’s Livio AI you can visit: https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/technologies/livio-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids
Hearing aids Bucks
The Chalfont hearing centre is located in Little Chalfont Bucks. Little sister the the Henley hearing centre but does all the same procedures such as dispensing the latest Digital hearing aids and ear wax removal using Microsuction or the traditional syringing of the ears called water irrigation. Microsuction is the better way to remove wax in most cases.
Ear wax removal is available by appointment and a limited amount of out of hours appointments are available but please call reception if you require out of hours.
Comprehensive hearing tests are also available. Please make sure that any ear wax issues are clear before you take the test, if you need ear wax removing prior the test please call reception and make this clear to reception that you will need ear wax clearing first.
Hearing aid batteries Chalfont hearing centre
Hearing aid batteries are available for all types of hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre Bucks. Pop in and collect your hearing aid batteries or if you call us we can arrange then to be posted.
Chalfont Hearing Centre News:
Rayovac Earns WorldStar Package Award from World Packaging Organisation
Rayovac® announced that its hearing aid battery packaging was honored by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), earning the WorldStar Package Award for its innovative hearing aid battery package design.
Rayovac, in collaboration with Plastic Ingenuity, reinvented its hearing aid battery package, reportedly to address the unmet need of the millions of people living with hearing loss. The 2018 packaging innovation includes: longer tabs* designed for “easier handling,” a ratcheting dial design that is designed to allow consumers to remove one battery at a time, and a recloseable dial for secure storage.
Hearing aid batteries Chalfont hearing centre
The WorldStar Package Award is an international achievement given to packages superior in design and technology to others within its category across the globe. Rayovac was titled a 2018 Ameristar Package Award holder, qualifying the hearing aid battery package for the global recognition from WPO.
The winners of the 2019 WorldStar Awards will be recognized during the Awards Presentations and Gala Dinner to be held in Prague, Czech Republic on May 15, 2019.
*vs. Rayovac® previous design
Hearing tests Chalfont, Bucks
Hearing tests in Bucks are available at the Chalfont Hearing Centre. Covering the the whole of Buckinghamshire and offers the very latest in hearing tests and other hearing related services such as ear wax removal using Microsuction and the traditional water irrigation technique (sometimes referred as ear syringing).
Chalfont hearing centre ear wax removal
The latest digital hearing aids would be offered after a comprehensive hearing test. These can be discussed after the test depending what your hearing loss (if any) are needed. Small in the ear digital hearing aids to the more powerful over the ear hearing aids are all available.
Chalfont hearing News:
Hearing aids have been getting a lot better over the years thanks to the tiny electronic hardware that can be packed inside and smart algorithms that produce great sound.
Henley hearing tests
Eargois a company that’s trying to introduce new features to hearing aids to make them more comfortable, easier to use, and cheaper to afford, an important issue in this field.
Henley hearing aids
The new Eargo Neo hearing aids are almost invisible when inside the ears. They have tiny “Flexi Palms” soft tips that keep the hearing aids inside the ear comfortably while optimizing the sound quality. They have a 16 hour battery life per charge, but a recharge case can be used to refresh the Neos on the go. Something useful when taking a plane ride.
Best place to buy your hearing aids, Bucks
Chalfont Hearing Centre is based at Little Chalfont Bucks and is run by Leon Cox the lead audiologist. Offering a full hearing service including hearing tests, ear wax removal (using Micros-Suction) and the fitting of the latest digital hearing aids for the Bucks area including Amersham and Beaconsfield. The Chalfont Hearing Centre can sometimes fit in early appointments through cancellations, so always ask to see if there are any early appointments needed for Ear Wax removal. Please mention this when you book an ear wax removal appointment.
Chalfont Hearing Centre, News:
Widex Announces TV PLAY and RedDot Award Honor
Widex A/S, Lynge, Denmark, the privately-owned Danish hearing aid company, has announced the launch of WIDEX TV PLAY™, a high-end TV accessory and streaming solution for WIDEX EVOKE™ hearing aids. The sleek and versatile TV PLAY received the Red Dot Design Concept Award last Friday, September 28, for its pleasing design.
Bucks hearing aids
Widex has also been honored as a leader in innovation in the RedDot Design Ranking for Design Concepts. The company placed number 4 out of 15 companies in the Americas and Europe region in recognition of its pursuit of design excellence over the past 5 years, reports the company.
Shipments of TV PLAY will start in November.
A valuable accessory for hearing aid users. A 2017 Nielsen survey1 reported that the US 65+ population consumes a daily average of 6 hours and 57 minutes of TV. Despite the growing number of mobile and web-based streaming services, watching TV is more popular than ever. But for some, it’s a struggle to hear the TV. Hearing aid users can find it hard to hear the TV over the other sounds in the room. In fact, some studies suggest that 78% of hearing aid users have trouble understanding things on the TV.
Hearing aids Chalfont Bucks
Designed for ease of use. According to Widex, TV PLAY lets hearing aid users enjoy great TV sound effortlessly through their hearing aids by providing direct streaming to both ears. TV PLAY is designed for fast and easy to set up, intuitive to control, and delivers outstanding and stable sound.
TV PLAY drops the “boxy” look of many TV streamers and instead has a futuristic design that blends in with modern homes. And if you prefer to have TV PLAY out of sight, the slim and discrete design fits behind flat screen TVs with no trouble, according to the company.
Ear wax removal In Bucks
“At Widex we work to ensure that hearing aid users get the most of all aspects of life,” said Widex President and CEO Jørgen Jensen in a press statement. “We know that TV is an important part of staying in touch with the world around them through news and entertainment programs. TV PLAY gives them a better and more stable experience that also looks great in their living rooms.”
Maximum streaming stability. With Widex’s patent-pending dual-antenna technology, TV PLAY is said to offer maximum streaming stability. An easy-to-use app lets users balance the volume of the TV sound with ambient sounds and conversations—or choose just to hear the sound from the TV.
1. Nielsen. Total Audience Report Q2 2017. November 16, 2017. Available at: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-q2-2017.html
Source: Widex A/S
Hearing solutions for Buckinghamshire
Hearing solutions, Bucks, Hearing aids and earwax
Hearing solutions, Bucks, Hearing aids and earwax available at the Chalfont hearing centre near Beaconsfield and Amersham. The Chalfont hearing centre is conveniently situated between Watford and High Wycombe but covers the whole of Bucks. They also cover South Bucks and North Buckinghamshire. If you are suffering with blocked ears or think you may have ear wax issues please make an appointment with our receptionist to see Mr Leon Cox the lead audiologist. If you are in need of a comprehensive hearing test, theChalfont hearing centre can help there too. Dispensing thousands of hearing ads through their time in Bucks, Leon Cox knows a thing or two about hearing aids. The very latest digital hearing aids are available.
Chalfont hearing news:
Cochlear and GN Expand Smart Hearing Alliance Collaboration
Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), a maker of implantable hearing solutions, and GN (GN.CO), a manufacturer of intelligent audio solutions, signed a new agreement to “significantly expand” their Smart Hearing Alliance collaboration, GN announced on its website.
The Smart Hearing Alliance was established in 2015 to develop the most integrated, best-in-class hearing solutions—giving hearing aid and cochlear implant recipients access to the latest in connectivity and wireless technology, and helping bimodal recipients to achieve seamless connectivity between a cochlear implant in one ear, and a GN hearing aid in the other. The deepening of this relationship includes joint research and development, shared technology, and strengthened global Smart Hearing Alliance commercial collaboration between Cochlear and GN Hearing, the hearing aid division of the GN Group.
Bucks hearing tests
Cochlear and GN Hearing are now strengthening focus on their integrated product offering and expanding their presence in the clinical hearing aid and implantable hearing solutions markets globally. According to the announcement, the vision for this new collaboration will include a focus on fast-moving connectivity and wireless technology to allow for closer integration between Cochlear and GN Hearing technologies. The two companies will leverage research and development investment to jointly develop firmware and software technologies.
In addition to technology sharing, the two companies will strengthen the commercial collaboration and work together to enable clinicians to deliver a more seamless solution and best-in-class hearing experience to their patients.
GN Hearing CFO Marcus Desimoni and Cochlear CEO and President Dig Howitt welcomed the signing of the expanded agreement.
Ear wax removal Bucks
Desimoni said: “This strengthened alliance is an important step forward for the millions of people around the world with disabling hearing loss—making the most advanced technology more accessible and simplifying the experience with more integrated solutions. GN Hearing is committed to advancing what is possible for people with hearing loss. This strategic partnership is a very smart and cost-effective way to expand the R&D capacity of both companies to reach our goals.”
Howitt said: “At Cochlear, we’re driven to develop hearing solutions that empower people to connect with others and live a full life. By expanding our collaboration with GN Hearing, we’re able to bring the latest in connectivity and wireless technology to our implant recipients more quickly. We’re also able to give bimodal recipients—those using a cochlear implant in one ear, and a hearing aid in the other—unparalleled performance and a seamless experience with both devices. As two leaders in our areas of hearing health, this collaboration demonstrates our commitment to design and bring to market the best hearing solutions available.”
Hearing aids Buckinghamshire
This collaboration aims to improve the hearing outcomes for more people with moderate to profound hearing loss. In developing more integrated bimodal hearing solutions, Cochlear and GN Hearing have focused on helping to achieve greater connectivity for people—not only between the two companies’ devices, but also with Apple and Android technology. Most recently, Cochlear and GN Hearing collaborated to bring to market the what is said to be the “first Made for iPhone” Smart Bimodal Solution, enabling recipients to synchronize streaming to both ears from a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The Nucleus® 7 Bimodal Solutionis delivered by using a Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor in one ear, a compatible ReSound hearing aid in the other ear, and a paired iPhone or iPod touch to control functionality for both hearing devices.
The Smart Hearing Alliance delivers bimodal solutions connecting Cochlear Nucleus cochlear implants, Cochlear Baha bone conduction implants, wireless accessories, and ReSound hearing aids.
Source: GN, Cochlear Ltd
Image: GN, Cochlear Ltd
Bucks Ear Wax
Chalfont hearing centre is a premium independent hearing centre based in Buckinghamshire at Little Chalfont. Family run and lead by Leon Cox a specialist audiologist for many years.
If you are suffering with blocked ears or think you may need a hearing test please book in with reception. Leon is a fully qualified hearing aid dispenser and can show you how to connect any recent digital hearing aid to your iPhone, iPad etc. Please ask Leon for his sound advice when it comes to T.V. streaming to your hearing aid.
Based in Chalfont the hearing centre covers the whole of Bucks from Henley to Beaconsfield and beyond.
Chalfont hearing news:
Oticon Announces Five New Opn Custom Solutions Styles
Oticon announced the launch of five new custom hearing aid styles, including what is said to be the “smallest hearing aid style Oticon has ever produced,” using BrainHearing™ and Opn’s technology to support the brain in making sense of sound and enabling users to identify where sounds are coming from, even in challenging environments.
“The variety of Opn Custom styles, functionalities, and features combined with Oticon’s groundbreaking open sound experience provides hearing care professionals with even more Opn choices for their patients, especially those who are reluctant to try hearing aids,” says Don Schum, PhD, Oticon vice president of audiology. “For many first-time users, the appeal of an invisible hearing solution, our smallest IIC ever, may be the catalyst for taking action to address their hearing loss.”
No Compromise on Quality, Reliability, Performance
Opn Custom hearing aids are said to break through some of the challenges faced by people with hearing loss: understanding speech in noise and handling multiple speakers, according to Oticon. The custom lineup includes styles with 2.4 GHz low-energy Bluetooth® connectivity that offer wireless possibilities.The miniaturization of all components can help enable more functionality in less space, resulting in fewer compromises and more modeling freedom to support a better physical fit and a higher fit rate. The effect and availability of Opn Custom features varies with hearing aid style and prescription.
Bucks, hearing aids and Ear wax removal
The new Oticon Siya amplifies the detail of sounds, which can enable users to be able to follow conversations in noisy environments. Oticon BrainHearing technology and a chip that reportedly processes sound 50 times faster than Oticon’s previous generation of essential hearing aids are said to deliver high-resolution sound quality to improve speech understanding.
Chalfont hearing centre
With 2.4 GHz Bluetooth low-energy technology, Siya is said to be the “first hearing aid” in the essential category to allow wireless connectivity with low battery consumption to modern smartphones, TVs, and other Bluetooth®-enabled devices. Siya comes in a complete lineup of styles, ranging from invisible custom styles to power hearing aids.
Beaconsfield hearing aids, ear wax removal
HearingFitness™ is a new tool, available in Oticon’s proprietary ON App, to help people with hearing loss understand how they can optimize their hearing health behavior to take full advantage of their hearing aids. Users of internet-connected Oticon Opn and Oticon Siya hearing aids can use HearingFitness to track how long they wear their hearing aids and receive notifications and prompts to help them reach their wearing goals and track the noise levels they are frequently exposed to. The new tool can be especially useful for first-time users who find it difficult to adapt to wearing hearing aids.
For more information on the new Oticon Opn Custom solutions and the extended Oticon Opn family, visit www.Oticon.com/OpnCustom. For information on Oticon Siya, visit www.Oticon.com/Siya. For information on the Oticon ON App with the new HearingFitness tool, visit www.Oticon.com/HearingFitness.
Buckinghamshire hearing aids
Hearing aids at the Chalfont Hearing Centre covering Bucks and beyond
The Chalfont hearing centre are a truly independent small hearing company based in Little Chalfont. Leon Cox is a fully qualified audiologist and a member of the professional body of hearing experts. Fully comprehensive hearing test, ear wax removal using Micro-Suction and the traditional ear wax removal using water irrigation. For a full hearing test please call to book an appointment.
Our comprehensive hearing tests are conducted with the latest hearing and digital audiology equipment. Please go here to watch our hearing test video and other hearing related videos. If you feel you need a hearing test them please call Sam on reception to book an appointment.
Digital hearing aids
We pride ourselves on dispensing the very latest digital hearing aids supplied by the leading hearing aid manufacturers. The digital hearing aids of today are more advanced than you could imagine. They connect wirelessly with your mobile phone, iPad, and T.V. just ask Leon Cox our lead audiologist to advice you on hearing aid connectivity.
Chalfont hearing News:
Widex Announces New Insights into EVOKE Hearing Aid’s AI Function
Widex announced the first data gathered from the WIDEX EVOKE™ hearing aid, which is said to achieve “a new level of Artificial Intelligence (AI)” through machine learning, and is helping to bring new insights into how users are taking control of their sound environment to improve their hearing experience, according to the company.
Denmark-based Widex launched the WIDEX EVOKE hearing aid in April. The hearing aid is reportedly the first to give users the ability to employ real-time machine learning that can solve the tricky hearing problems that users face in their daily lives.
“We launched WIDEX EVOKE with SoundSense technology to put users back in control of the most difficult hearing situations,” said Jens Brehm Nielsen, data science & machine learning architect at Widex. “And we can see that EVOKE users have taken the opportunity to do that and, in the process, are helping us understand more about them. That information will help us to make the EVOKE and future hearing aids even better.”
Hearing aids in Bucks
SoundSense Learn is an AI system, because AI is said to refer to systems that solve tasks humans are inherently good at—such as driving a car, doing the dishes, etc. SoundSense Learn expands into entirely new applications by helping end users adjust their hearing aids in the moment, reportedly something that no humans can replicate to the same degree of accuracy, according to Widex.
The SoundSense Learn smartphone app is connected to the EVOKE hearing aids and uses machine learning to guide users in optimizing the settings to their exact needs. The app gathers a variety of anonymous data such as how often they turn the volume up or down, which sound presets they use, and how many custom settings they create—including those made with SoundSense Learn.
Ear wax removal Amersham
Tagging of custom settings has proved to be one of the interesting pieces of data generated by EVOKE.
“We found that many people have created a setting and tagged it with, for instance, ‘work’ which suggests that it is something that our end users need and want,” said Nielsen. “And from SoundSense Learn we already have an idea of how they like the settings.”
Some hearing aids give users the ability to customize their sound experience by adjusting frequency bands to boost or cut bass, middle or high tones. Adjusting frequencies works well in many situations once the initial settings have been set by a skilled audiologist. However, some situations are so complex that hitting the right combination of adjustments can be difficult.
“Widex hearing aids are well known for the quality of their sound,” said Nielsen. “But SoundSense Learn has added an extra layer of quality sound on top of that by using a machine learning algorithm together with reinforcement learning—the two key ingredients in state-of-the art AI algorithm, that enables the algorithm to learn in the moment.
“The algorithm learns an optimal setting every time a user finds the sound to be a little below expectations in a given sound environment. It learns these settings by simply asking the user to compare two settings that are carefully picked by the algorithm. This allows it to learn an optimal setting in a new environment very fast.”
By collating and analyzing the anonymous data WIDEX EVOKE will continue to become even smarter as time passes.
Best hearing test in Bucks
Hearing aids and ear wax at the Chalfont hearing centre
Ear wax can be a debilitating condition if not treated. Your hearing will suffer and you maybe become less involved in your surroundings. Not being able to hear properly really can be a pain in the ear in more ways than one. At the Chalfont hearing centre we can asses your ears, if there is ear wax to be removed then we can do this painlessly and very quickly using Micro-Suction. You don’t feel anything at all and it can be done very very quickly by Leon Cox the lead audiologist at the Chalfont hearing centre.
Ear wax removal
Book an appointment and we can soon sort out any hearing issues or ear wax issues. Todays hearing aids/instruments really are breathtaking on how they have evolved in the last 5 years. These digital hearing aids are something else when it comes to connectivity. They will connect to your iPhone, Android phone and wearable digital watches. Ask us to give you more information.
Ear wax removal for the Buckinghamshire area and beyond.
Chalfont hearing centre News:
Phonak Launches Marvel with Universal Binaural Streaming and New Level of Sound Quality
New levels of binaural sound quality and universality. One key feature that immediately jumps out in Audéo M is its sound quality. For real audiophiles and others accustomed to hi-fi systems, the sound quality in today’s hearing aids is very good, but can still prompt them to ask why the devices can’t sound like stereo headphones. Of course, the problem—which has been around even before made-for-iPhone (MFi) systems became available—stems primarily from the venting of the aid for real-life environmental speech and sounds. This provides the important natural sound benefits associated with open-fit aids, but has required a trade-off in streamed sound quality. With the Audéo M, Phonak has reinserted a clear richer sound into streamed music, TV, or other devices via hearing aids—and demonstrated fairly dramatic differences in a paired comparison test. The system features AutoSense OS 3.0 which reportedly classifies streamed media for optimized listening.
“We have the first classifier that also operates on the streamed signal,” said Christine Jones, AuD, Phonak US vice-president of Audiology and director of the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) in Warrenville during a presentation at the media event. “Some of the early work we did highlighted that there was an opportunity with streaming—as with the unique listening environments that can also be encountered by patients—where someone’s preferences may be very different than when listening to streamed speech, or dialog in media, movies, etc. Listening goals can be different, and sound quality preferences can be different. So, now we are not only classifying the environmental sounds, but we can also classify those streamed sounds to deliver the best possible experience under all listening conditions.”
Although the advanced design of the previous Audéo B-Direct model is award-winning, it does not feature binaural streaming. With the new Audéo M, wearers can now binaurally stream audio content, including smartphone calls, music, eBooks, and more, to both ears from any Bluetooth device.
Phonak points out that iPhones account for only 13% of smartphone use worldwide compared to 86% for the Android OS, and wearers’ choices have been limited primarily to hearing aids that utilize the MFi protocol. Additionally, even with IOS-compatible devices, some forms of MFi hearing aid streaming (eg, streaming from MacBooks and iMacs) were unavailable until now. SWORD 3.0 is capable of running Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth LE, AirStream Technology (for TV), and Binaural VoiceStream Technology for high-speed data transmission between the two hearing aids in a binaural fitting. The new system even works with Siri and LiveListen. (Phonak’s proprietary Roger 2.4 GHz signal will also have direct streaming capabilities to the hearing aid next fall.)
“This means we now have universal binaural wireless connectivity,” said Dr Jones. “In order to have the best access to speech on the phone, it’s best to hear well with both ears. And, beyond that, we are the only product that now connects to not just Apple and Android, but any Bluetooth device. This opens up a new world of connectivity for people because of its universal nature…What this means is, that in those cases where something is not accessible through the Apple iPhone or device, it should be accessible through the hearing aid.”
Jones explained that Phonak has also created a sophisticated system called “Environmental Balance” that controls how users hear the streaming in addition to how they hear the surrounding environment, both of which can still be adjusted via the basic volume control. All of this has the potential to open up even more of the popular streaming applications.
Better processing and noise reduction, reducing cognitive load.Additionally, the enhanced SWORD OS incorporates Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ into Marvel hearing aids, a technology most recently employedin Advanced Bionics’ Naida CI sound processor. This four-microphone technology is reportedly capable of improving speech understanding by up to 60% in noisy places like restaurants, while simultaneously reducing the amount of effort by 19% required to listen and understand.1,2
“Audiology is at the heart of everything we do at Phonak,” said Sonova Group VP Martin Grieder in a press statement. “That’s why Marvel is such a game-changer for our industry. Marvel technology empowers people and provides a true ‘love at first sound’ experience. We believe the sound quality is second to none, and it begins the moment the person puts the hearing aids on.”
Lithium-ion rechargeable technology for “a full day of streaming.” While no reliable statistics exist on the market penetration of rechargeable hearing aids, most experts estimate that about 17-20% of all hearing aids now feature rechargeability. Phonak has been a pioneer in rechargeable hearing aid technology, creating in 2016 the first lithium-ion hearing aids—a technology that appears to be gaining ground with hearing aid manufacturers.
According to Phonak, Marvel hearing aid wearers can enjoy a full day of hearing aid use—including streaming— on a single charge. The Audéo M rechargeable hearing aid also offers new features, automatically turning on or off when taken out or being placed into the charger. The system includes new LED lights and a new mini charger.
Remote fine-tuning and live voice-to-text transcription apps. With Marvel hearing aids comes the introduction of a suite of convenient smart apps. The myPhonak app allows wearers to have their hearing aids adjusted in real-time, in any situation, anywhere via videocall by the hearing care professional. It also gives consumers the ability to rate their hearing aid satisfaction in various environments and directly send this feedback to their hearing care professional.
The myCall-to-Text app reportedly provides live transcription of phone calls from the other party in more than 80 languages. This provides an extremely useful option for hearing aid users in noisy environments, or for people who prefer additional visual captions when using the phone.
New marketing campaign and rollout. A suite of marketing materials has been developed to promote the Marvel launch. Phonak US Vice-president of Marketing Barb VanSomeren explained that the marketing surrounding Marvel emphasizes its multifunctionality, providing consumers with access to the world of sound that we all want via enhanced sound quality, a constellation of devices and streaming options, and phone calls. The new marketing assets highlight Phonak technology, audiology leadership, and Marvel’s diverse capabilities, and includes a video series that features two women exploring all the different ways Marvel can be used in a contemporary format (eg, the women’s dialog resembles the TV show Grace and Frankie) .
The rechargeable Audéo M-R will be available in November along with the zinc air Audéo M-312, and Phonak will add the Audéo M-312T and Audéo M-13T in February 2019. A rechargeable version of Marvel with T-Coil (Audéo M-RT) and RogerDirect functionality will be available as a firmware upgrade in Fall 2019.