Hearing Aid Ratings - Hearing Aid Reviews

Whilst trying to find a hearing aid instrument for our mother, we found a lot of interesting facts that could possibly help others get to know more about the world of hearing loss. Here we will show how we did the hearing aid comparisons and some hearing aid ratings. Join us in the quest of reviewing and comparing the best hearing aids.

Widex Hearing Aids

There are many Widex hearing aids to choose from and the product chosen will depend on many factors, examples which include the type and degree of the hearing loss and affordability.

The Widex hearing aid product range includes:

1) Widex Inteo:
- Premier digital Widex hearing aids
- Small, discrete and easy to operate
- Integrates Signal Processing (ISP) which has high processing and communication levels.
- Multi-directional feedback cancelling system
- Has a 15-channel adaptive directional microphone system
- Able to bring high pitched sounds that you cannot hear to a lower pitch range to help you hear
- Detects and enhances speech, regardless of the environment noise and location of the person who is talking
- Automatic

2) Widex Aikia:
- High-level ISP digital Widex hearing aids
- Exceptional performance in sound quality even in noisy environments
- More detailed hearing and has dynamic integrator system
- Multi-directional feedback cancelling system
- More flexible hearing as it enhances sound from a distance and allows soft sounds to become more audible
- 10-channel
- Sound is able to be more focussed, regardless of its direction
- Automatic
- Open-fit models are available

3) Widex Diva (also known as Widex Senso Diva):
- High-level digital Widex hearing aids
- Automatically adjusts to the user’s surroundings to give clear speech and noise reduction
- Soft sounds are more audible
- 15 channels
- Consumption of battery power is lower in relation to the hearing aid complexity
- Has dual microphone technology with digital signal processing techniques enabling the hearing aid to locate the source of the noise and adjust its microphone to reduce the noise
- Feedback cancelling system
- Great for music lovers as there is a special music programme which preserves the full acoustic music dimension

4) Widex Flash:
- A mid-level, lower priced range of Widex hearing aids with flash ISP technology
- Automatic
- Dynamic integrator
- 5 Channels and 5 bands
- Automatically adjusts to the user’s surroundings to give clear speech and noise reduction
- Flash locator system with adaptive dual microphone technology
- Flash feedback cancelling system
- Customised listening programmes

5) Widex Vita (also known as Widex Senso Vita):
- Advance mid-level digital Widex hearing aids
- Uses an omnidirectional microphone as well as a directional microphone - Combi-Mic Technology
- Uses the SoundShape system to automatically adjust the sounds to be more comfortable and amplified
- Reduces noise and optimises speech sounds
- Stabilizes sound
- Has four listening programmes which include for quiet environments, noisy environments, when you want to use the telephone and when you want to use the telephone and still be able to hear surrounding sounds.

6) Widex Bravissimo:
- Lower cost, basic digital Widex hearing aids with high quality
- Available in omnidirectional and directional microphones
- Automatic
- Sound stabilizer
- Noise reduction system
- 3-channel
- Automatic feedback managing to reduce feedback
- Long battery life with a beeping tone to warn you when the battery is low

7) Widex Bravo:
- Lower cost, basic digital Widex hearing aids with high quality
- Particularly suitable for use in relatively quiet environments, where the user is not regularly exposed to difficult hearing conditions.
- Consumes very low battery power
- 2-channel
- Noise reduction and clear speech reproduction system
- Indicates when the battery is low

8) Widex Elan:
- Open fit Widex hearing aids
- Available in the following ranges: Widex Inteo, Widex Aikia, Widex Divo, Widex Vita and Widex Bravissimo

Siemens Prisma Hearing Aids

Siemens Prisma hearing aids (also known as Prisma 2K) are especially designed for infants and children, as hearing loss affects about 3 in every 1,000 babies born. It is very small, light weight, automatic, designed to adapt to the infant’s ear and easy for parents to operate. There is a childproof battery compartment and volume control that can be programmed by the audiologist.

Once the hearing loss diagnosis is confirmed, fitting of these Siemens Prisma hearing aids can occur in the infant. The small and light weight ear mould sits securely in the auditory canal, with the infant’s natural shape of the pinna retained. If the ear mould slips out of the infant’s ear, whistling is avoided because Siemens Prisma hearing aids have two adaptive feedback mechanism filters to prevent this. This helps reduce frustration for the infant and even parents. In addition, to avoid whistling and feedback when positioning the hearing aid in the ear, when you close the battery case, the hearing aid automatically activates after about 10 seconds.

Siemens Prisma hearing aids also have a speech sensitive signal which works to amplify the speech and reduce unwanted noise.

As the child develops and their hearing needs change, the Siemens Prisma hearing aids can be re-programmed to adapt to the child’s needs.

Oticon NoWax is an earwax protection system. The reason for this is because one of the most common causes of servicing and repairing hearing aids is due to earwax clogging the Oticon hearing aid. Hence, that is why Oticon hearing aids generally come with the Oticon NoWax, to reduce the number of earwax-related servicing and repairs, and to provide the user with hassle free performance.

Oticon NoWax is easy and safe to use, and is ideal for those with limited dexterity. A used filter can never be reused and reinserted as there is only one way to use the removal tool. In addition, for those with poor eyesight, there is an indicator to inform you of the new filter.

The Oticon NoWax is environmentally friendly and the whole system (filter, shell, and tool) can be thrown away with normal household waste.

To use the Oticon NoWax, you will need to follow the directions below:

1) Remove the tool from the shell.
2) The tool has two arms – one with a new wax filter, the other with a removal tool
3) Push the removal tool into the existing wax filter in the hearing aid to remove it
4) Push the new wax filter into the hearing aid
5) Throw the use tool into normal household waste.

Hearing Aid Battery Ratings

Hearing aid battery ratings and questions are just some of the customer’s main concerns, as when you purchase hearing aid batteries this can sometimes be quite confusing! With the following hearing aid battery ratings and questions answered – we hope you have no more uncertainties.

Generally, a standard hearing aid battery will last between 5-14 days. This will depend on the hearing aid and battery type and how long the hearing aid is used daily. When you notice that the sound from the hearing aid is quieter than normal and/or distorted, it generally means that you need to change the battery. Some have a faint beeping sound when the battery tires. As this can happen all of a sudden, it is best to always carry a spare battery with you.

Hearing aid zinc batteries are powered by air. If there is not enough air travelling through the air vent holes, it may not work properly. Hence, when you remove the tab from the battery, it is advised that you wait for a minute to let the air get into the battery.

Some people who have hearing aids in both ears think that you need to change the battery in both ears when only one of them stops working because they want the voltage to be the same. You do not need to do this as the zinc battery is different to the alkaline battery. When the zinc battery goes bad, it will just stop as it has a flat discharge curve. The alkaline battery has a sloping discharge curve and goes bad slowly. The performance of the zinc battery should be similar regardless of where they are in the discharge cycle.

Some leave the battery door open when the hearing aid is off, as they think that it will improve the battery life. There is only slight improvement, meaning only minutes! So it is not vital!

To prolong your hearing aid and battery, it is generally recommended that you use a dry aid kit. This will help remove excess moisture. But results differ and it depends on a case by case basis. The dry aid for hearing aids and batteries are only beneficial if you are in a high humidity climate. If you live in a place where the summer is dry, for example, Arizona, the kit may shorten the life of the battery. Remember to wash your hands when you change your battery as grease and dirt can cause damage.

Hearing aid battery ratings are difficult, as battery life will depend upon how much energy is needed to run the hearing aid, how many hours of the day the hearing aid is used. Generally, the smaller the battery, the shorter its life – once it is installed in the hearing aid. Bigger batteries are usually used in hearing aids that require more power to operate. Also, the person’s lifestyle, who uses the hearing aid, may contribute to the battery life. If they are often in quiet surroundings, the battery life may be longer compared to a person who is often in a noisy environment. So you can not determine the best hearing aid batteries!

Hearing aid battery sizes are standardised and colour coded for easy remembering.
Size 5: RED
Size 10 (or 230): YELLOW
Size 13: ORANGE
Size 312: BROWN
Size 675: BLUE

Bluetooth Hearing Aids - Hearing Aids With Bluetooth Technology

Bluetooth capable hearing aids allow communication with other people wirelessly, helping people to hear better, hear more comfortably and conveniently. This is ever more important in today’s fast-paced society as there is a growing use of modern technology which includes mobile phones and video conferencing.

The advantages of Bluetooth hearing aid is the convenience and ease when you want to speak to someone on your mobile phone, without compromising clarity.
With this in mind, many companies now develop hearing aids with bluetooth. Below are some examples.

1) Phonak Smartlink

With the use of hearing aids with Bluetooth technology in the Phonak Smartlink all incoming calls are automatically directed to the hearing aid, providing your mobile phone is switched on – this will continue to function even if the Phonak Smartlink is switched on or off. However, the mobile phone must be within 2-3 metres range of the Phonak Smartlink and you need to use your mobile phone if you are dialling out.

With the Phonak FM systems, you can listen to music without worrying because there is priority to incoming calls. The automatic decrease of the audio signal allows the person to hear their mobile phone ring clearly.

2) Oticon Epoq

The device Oticon Epoq Streamer is worn on the body and allows signals from your mobile phone to be streamed wirelessly into the Oticon hearing aids. If you have two hearing aids, the sound will be directed to both the ears without having to coordinate their actions. The device can also be used as a remote control to adjust the volume of the hearing aid.

The Epoq Oticon Streamer uses Bluetooth technology and is compatible with most Bluetooth enabled sound sources on the market – these include mobile phones, mp3, and computers.

3) Acuris Siemens Hearing Aids
The Acuris Siemens hearing aid uses the e2e wireless technology, which allows total automatic wireless synchronization, especially when two siemens hearing aids are worn. Also, the one-touch control allows changes in the listening programme or volume to occur at the same time for both of the hearing aids.

4) Bernafon Xtreme

The Bernafon Xtreme is compatible with the ELI ear-level Bluetooth receiver and a universal direct-audio-input adaptor to allow you to use your Bluetooth capable mobile phone hands-free.

Rexton Revo Hearing Aid

The Rexton Revo hearing aid is the latest product from Rexton. The receiver-in-the-canal Rexton Revo hearing aid is extremely small, cosmetically appealing and is located comfortably and discreetly behind the ear.

This Rexton Revo hearing aid is rechargeable and can be used after only charging for 5 hours. The optional Revo charger, which uses galvanic charging, is automatic, easy to use and has a function to dry and remove excess water moisture from the Rexton hearing aids. In addition, you can still use the regular size 13 batteries.

With features which automatically manage speech and noise, the Rexton Revo is able to reduce background noise levels and enhance speech – as it can separately analyse both noise and speech. With the Rexton Revo Plus, there is the option of connecting via a wireless network and use of a remote control, offering improved balance and a more accurate localisation of sound.

Another feature of the Rexton Revo hearing aid is that it contains multiple layers offering high protection against water, dirt and oil. Therefore, less moisture and perspiration enters the hearing aid and the reliability and life of the hearing aid is improved.

Other atuomatic features include the use of an automatic and an adaptive directional microphone; a reduction in wind noise; automatic feedback cancellation which reduces and eliminates feedbacks and avoid artifacts.