Hearing Aid Styles
Though small, and often invisible, hearing aids are powerful electronic devices that reconnect you to the sounds of your life and empower you with confidence in your abilities. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes, but they all share the same components: microphone, processor, amplifier, receiver, and battery.
Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes, and the configuration of these components differ depending on the style of the hearing aid. The main hearing aid styles are:
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are a form of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, which are worn deep inside the ear canal. These are usually custom made devices made to fit inside your canal, which gives them the benefit of being visually discreet. ITC hearing aids may be difficult for people with dexterity issues to control, while the lack of a directional microphone means they are better suited for people with moderate levels of hearing loss. They come in completely-in-canal and invisible-in-canal styles.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are worn inside the ear, with the shell of the hearing aid at the surface of the ear. The options are full shell or half shell. ITE hearing aids house all of their components in a plastic shell. While these hearing aids benefit people who wear glasses or experience arthritis, they may not be convenient for those who have dexterity issues due to their small controls.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are worn on the back of the ear with a plastic tube that delivers sound to a custom ear mold. BTE hearing aids are easier to control and treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss. They may be inconvenient for people who wear glasses, but the placement of their controls will be easy for people who have dexterity issues.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids; the difference is that the receiver is worn in the canal. RIC hearing aids are discreet and treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss. Like BTE ones, they may pose a challenge for those who wear glasses due to their placement.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers
Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies is committed to their mission, “Alone we can’t do much. Together, we can change the world.” As the sole American hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey Hearing Technologies created the first in-canal hearing aid and first custom, digital and fully programmable hearing aid. Starkey uses evidence-based design and research to update their hearing aids, thoroughly testing them at the Starkey Hearing Research Center in Berkeley, California. The Starkey Hearing Foundation donates hearing aids to developing countries for every purchase made of a Starkey hearing aid; to date they have gifted over 1 million hearing aids.
Livio AI is the best performing hearing aid ever produced by Starkey. They have transformed a single-use device into the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid, with the use of artificial intelligence. Far more than a hearing aid, Livio AI is designed to help improve overall health and wellness.
With this device, you are able to monitor your health through the Starkey Thrive App. It offers two measurements to gauge your health, a score for the body and a score for the brain. A combination of activity, strides and overall movement calculates the body score. This kind of health tracking could go a long way towards keeping you fit and healthy.
A hearing aid first: Fall detection
Livio AI hearing aids can detect when a wearer falls by using their built-in 3D sensor. It will then send alert texts to chosen friends or family members whenever a fall is detected, which also includes the wearer’s GPS location. The family member can then contact the user to assist them fully.
The Thrive Hearing App
Thrive gives you the power to easily monitor your body and brain health via your smartphone. Compatible with both Android and Apple smartphones, the Thrive app gives you a Body Score, a Brain Score and an overall score combining the two, called a Thrive Wellness Score.
Oticon is a Danish manufacturer of hearing aids, with the new open-solution hearing aid, OPN. OPN builds on previous Oticon technological successes, such as BrainHearing Technology. With the understanding that hearing happens in the brain, Oticon has designed features to support brain function as it makes sense of sound in the auditory process. Powered with the Velox Processing Platform, OPN reduces listening effort by 20% in noisy environments and improves speech recognition by 30%. OPN’s most remarkable innovation is the ability to connect to the internet through the webservice If This Then That. Oticon BrainHearing Technology is found in a number of other hearing aid models such as Alta, Nera, and Ria.
Oticon Opn S
The latest offering from Oticon is the Oticon Opn S. It’s most sophisticated line of internet-connected hearing aids engineered to provide a more efficient and customized hearing experience for people with hearing loss.
Oticon is known for its in-house development, engineering, and building breakthrough hearing technologies and they have continued in this tradition with the Velox S. This powerful system enables Opn to host specialized technologies addressing a wide range of needs. In order to generate the unparalleled ‘Open Sound’ experience characteristic of an Oticon hearing device, a synergy of these techniques operate together.
Open S also features the OpenSound Booster, which offers an additional level of support in noisy environments.
New rechargeable technology
The Opn S miniRITE R style is new with this release and features a ground-breaking lithium-ion rechargeable solution that delivers a full day of power. The system can achieve an ultra-fast charge of up to 50% in one hour, and 25% in just thirty minutes for those who need power fast. Opn S wearers have a full day of power at full charge which will prepare them for whatever the day throws at them.
Phonak Audeo Marvel
A motivating factor behind Phonak is to include all hearing aid users, irrespective of their smartphone operating system. With that in mind, the Phonak Marvel has the ability to stream audio directly from virtually any of the world’s smartphones.
The built-in microphones enable hands-free phone conversations from both iPhone and Android smartphones in full stereo. Users can enjoy a full-day’s hearing on an overnight charge with Marvel hearing aids, and that includes any streaming they care to do on top of that. The myPhonak app enables wearers to have their hearing aids calibrated by a hearing care professional anytime, anywhere via a video chat.
AutoSense 3.0 – Automated customization
AutoSense OS is a revolutionary new operating system that controls the Phonak Marvel. With your daily listening scenarios in mind, it is engineered to adapt effortlessly to background sounds wherever you are. It evaluates every 0.4 seconds the sounds around you and can recognize whether you’re in a noisy restaurant, vehicle, concert hall or at home. It then draws on various characteristics to produce more than 200 separate configurations to suit your precise sound environment exactly.
Binaural VoiceStream Technology is also included in Marvel hearing aids. This has been demonstrated to improve speech comprehension by 60% in noisy places such as restaurants and to reduce listening effort by 19%.
Introducing: Phonak Audéo™ B-Direct
Featuring cutting-edge technology, Phonak Audéo B-Direct allows you to connect directly to any Bluetooth® phone.
Phonak Audéo B-Direct functions just like a Bluetooth wireless headset by utilizing its built-in microphones to pick up your voice for phone calls. Now you can hear the phone ringing directly in your hearing aids.
Audeo B-R: Rechargeable Hearing Aids
With lithium-ion battery technology, Audeo B-R provides wearers with 24 hours of hearing on a single, three-hour charge, making it one of the quickest charging hearing aids available on the market. If you’re in a hurry, a 30-minute charge will provide six hours of use. Furthermore, Phonak B-R experiences 40% more battery power than conventional rechargeable batteries. Unlike traditional hearing aid batteries, which require replacement and disposal, Audeo B-R’s battery lasts four years, in a sealed compartment. Recharge your Audeo B-R hearing aids with the Phonak Charger Case (which also doubles as a secure storage case), the Phonak Power Pack, or the Phonak Mini-Charger.
Widex is a family owned company founded in Denmark in 1956. Today, it is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids. Their approach to innovation has led to such advances as the world’s first fully digital in-the-ear hearing aid, as well as their own revolutionary wireless technology. Widex believes that hearing aids are more than the technology inside them. In addition to focusing on helping people hear better, Widex also ensures their products are comfortable and easy to wear. Widex focuses just as much on design of hearing aids as on technology to create a near-natural hearing experience. Widex’s newest model, EVOKE connects wirelessly to your cell phone and allows you to stream calls, music, and other media directly to your hearing aids. The Widex App is user-friendly, allowing you to make convenient adjustments to your listening experience.
Widex EVOKE: Made for iPhone
EVOKE allows wearers to stream music, media, and phone calls from their iPhones (and Androids) directly to their hearing aids with a convenient and streamlined app. Through the Widex App, wearers experience a high level of personalization to ensure the best sound to meet their specific needs.
With the option to choose from a catalog of listening preferences, wearers may adjust sound settings and program templates that combine the elements that assist their hearing in a variety of different environments. Wearers may adjust the volume on each hearing aid individually, customize clarity of speech and comfort, equalize high, mid, and low frequency bands, mix sounds from both hearing aids, and select directionality of microphones.
As a sister brand of the German manufacturer Siemens, Signia came into its own in recent years with the Primax and Star listening platforms. Signia is also the latest brand from the Sivantos Group. Signia Primax hearing aids have been clinically proven to reduce listening effort. Primax hearing aids are equipped with features such as SpeechMaster, powered by noise reduction, directionality, and steering amplification; HD Music, which offers hearing aid wearers excellent high-fidelity sound quality; and EchoShield, to provide comfort and balance with reverbed sounds. Primax also offers wireless connection to smartphones through the easyTek app.
The Cellion Primax is Signia’s rechargeable hearing aid which utilizes lithium-ion technology for dependable battery life. Silk Primax hearing aids are Signia’s ready-to-wear model; designed with Click Sleeves, Silk Primax fits most ears and provide people instant access to clear, rich sound.
Signia Pure NX
The NX hearing aids are Signia’s most advanced offering currently. It is powered by a ground-breaking Ultra HD e2e binaural link, which offers full-bandwidth audio exchange.
The Ultra HD e2e uses binaural beam-forming technology to provide a clear understanding of speech in all sound environments. New algorithms power a more accurate spatial awareness, recreating the natural way we locate sound.
OVP technology improves own voice acceptance
When wearing their device, each hearing aid user experiences an unnatural shift in their own voice’s tone. Those who have just started out in their hearing aid journey are particularly vulnerable to this occlusion effect. This experience leaves a negative impression of hearing aids in general and often lead to the device being rejected by the wearer.
Signia Nx provides the first real solution to the problem of your own voice when wearing a hearing device. This is done by processing the sound of the wearer’s own voice of hearing aid separately of all other voices and sounds. Studies have shown that the Own Voice Processing (OVP) of Signia NX improves the spontaneous acceptance of own voice for 80% of the wearers of hearing aids who were previously unsatisfied.
Unitron is a Canadian hearing aid manufacturer with several impressive hearing aids: Stride, Moxi, and Max, all of which provide wearers with excellent speech recognition, noise cancellation, feedback elimination, and wireless connectivity. The Max hearing aid is designed to address severe to profound hearing loss. Unitron uses TrueFit Software to ensure the best fit for specific hearing needs, with a Flex program to allow wearers to test drive hearing aids to find their best fit.
Tempus Processing Platform
With the understanding that hearing loss makes communication a challenge, the Tempus Processing Platform is designed to elucidate conversations. As the platform for Unitron’s newest aids, Tempus answers the call from consumers to make conversations more accessible in challenging noise environments.
At the heart of Tempus is Unitron’s four-part SoundCore technology, which provides wearers with 50% more accuracy and 36% faster sound processing power. With features such as SoundNav, Sound Conductor, Spatial Awareness and Speech Pro, SoundCore ensures that Unitron hearing aids capture a rich picture of sound in any environment.
Founded in 1943, GN ReSound is a Danish manufacturer of hearing aids committed to helping people rediscover hearing. For the past few decades, ReSound has been a leader in shaping the technological advancements of hearing devices, especially with their Wide Dynamic Range Compression sound processing system and their Digital Feedback Suppression, the first of its kind to eliminate the whistling and buzzing of hearing aid feedback. With offices in 25 countries and distributors in 80 countries, ReSound uses research from hearing aid wearers around the world as they create new technology.
LiNX 3D: Made for iPhone
Building on their successes with the original LiNX and LiNX 2 Made for iPhone hearing aids, ReSound’s brand new LiNX 3D is the most advanced wireless hearing aid to date, ushering in a new era of Smart Hearing. With LiNX 3D, wearers now experience up to 50% better speech identification in a variety of environments, hear up to 80% more sounds, and understand up to 40% more speech in noise. Even more, when it comes specifically to noisy environments, LiNX 3D recognizes speech-in-noise environments and surrounding sounds with greater accuracy, while also improving directionality of speech recognition.
LiNX Quattro: A Rechargeable Option
ReSound LiNX Quattro is the world’s first Premium-Plus hearing aid with unprecedented Layers of Sound™ and the world’s most advanced rechargeable solution.
With ReSound LiNX Quattro both low and high-pitched sounds are fuller and more natural. Quiet situations are truly quiet and louder sounds are comfortable, crisp and distortion-free. Children’s laughter and the high notes and deep tones in music, are now fuller and more enjoyable.