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.
Starkey has turned a previously single-use device into an unprecedented multi-purpose hearing aid, an artificial intelligence “Healthable” device. The Livio AI is billed as a “gateway to better health and wellness.” With its embedded sensors and artificial intelligence, it is the first ‘Healthable’ hearing aid in the world, the first to monitor physical activity and brain health.
A brand-new mobile app has also been introduced alongside the device called Thrive. 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.
The power of integrated sensors and AI
- Using the wonders of integrated sensors, the Livio AI features the following technologies:
The ability to detect falls from the user, using integrated inertial sensors.
- Integration with Apple® Health and Google® Fit apps, with the information from the inertial sensors providing important personal health statistics.
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
Oticon has extended the Opn family since the successful worldwide launch of the original Oticon Opn hearing aids. This latest model, the Opn S, gives those with hearing loss even more influence and control over their hearing.
The technology integrated into Opn S tracks acoustic changes around the user, providing a 360-degree sound experience. Thanks to sophisticated sound processing capacities, voice perception is said to be as good as ordinary hearing for Opn S wearers, even in demanding conditions.
The Opn S miniRITE R style also comes with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as standard, which provide an entire day’s power on just one charge.
OpenSound Booster enables Opn S wearers a special function to help give them an edge in more challenging listening environments by reducing the effect of unwanted speech and background noises. This helps them to focus on the sounds in front of them. All of this is accessible through the Oticon ON App.
Phonak Audeo Marvel
This is the first hearing aid model to offer full support in stereo for Android, iPhone and many other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Wearers have the ability to stream audio to both ears from any Bluetooth device, including music, podcasts and audio from your video content. Users can also benefit from real-time voice-to-text transcriptions of phone calls, which will help them communicate better on the phone.
Finally, the Marvel boasts rechargeable technology that offers a full day’s worth of power on just one charge. Music lovers can also rejoice – this device also allows some of the highest quality music streaming out there.
Love at first sound
The Marvel features AutoSense OS 3.0. Using artificial intelligence, this technology was created to automatically learn, detect and adapt to any listening setting. AutoSense OS 3.0 also involves Binaural VoiceStream Technology that allows for better voice comprehension and a lowered listening effort in noisy environments.
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 Phonak 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
This is a new range of elegant, high-performance hearing aids from Signia. It is the first to deal with the common problem of the ‘changed own voice’ experienced by hearing aid users. This off-putting and unnatural sound can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to accepting the hearing aid.
With the Signia Pure NX, their OVP technology increases the chances of the wearer accepting their own voice by processing the own voice sound separately from other sounds.
In fact, using the Signia Pure NX, spontaneous acceptance of the own voice is improved by 75%.
Remote hearing care with Signia TeleCare
The Signia NX leverages the powerful Connexx ® fitting software for complete live remote tuning. This means that hearing care professionals can now make real-time personal hearing aid fittings via video calls. This makes it more convenient for the user to receive changes to their hearing aids at a time that suits them.
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.