If you have a hearing loss, choosing a hearing aid can be an overwhelming decision. There are many aspects to consider when investing in hearing aids: price, technology, special features, size, and the placement in the ear. The right hearing aids will be an investment in your quality of life, so it is important to take the time to learn about available options to determine the best choice for your lifestyle.
Companies are introducing increasingly advanced hearing aids. Technological advances have been seen from many manufacturers, giving consumers more powerful hearing aids than ever before. Phonak recently launched a new processing platform, Venture™, which doubles the processing power of their previous platform. It also uses 30% less power, meaning a substantially longer battery life.
New advances have also improved the ability to fine tune your hearing aid to your unique needs. GN Resound offers the ReSound Smart app for Apple and Android, which is designed to pair with ReSound LiNX² hearing aids. LiNX² offers Binaural Directionality II with Spatial Sense. This gives a natural sense of where sounds are coming from, making sure you can understand every word of a conversation in noisy environments.
Great strides have been made in designing hearing aids to pair seamlessly with all of the various devices you might use daily. Have you ever wished that your hearing aid worked directly with your iPhone, television, bluetooth speakers, or car audio system? Now that possibility is a reality with Starkey’s Halo Hearing aid. Halo, the Silver Award winner of the 2015 Edison Award, is a Made for iPhone device. Halo works with the easy-to-use TruLink Hearing Control app to stream pristine sound from phone calls, music, and more directly to your hearing aids. Halo is available in receiver-in-canal or behind-the-ear styles, to meet the hearing needs across a wide range of losses.
Oticon’s recent release, Opn, is the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid. The connection to the cloud allows the possibility of your hearing aid notifying you when someone is at your door or when an email is delivered to your inbox. Opn can be connected to your smartphone, kitchen appliances, and security system. It also easily syncs to a television or radio, and even to your car.
Many consumers are looking for the smallest hearing aids possible. Hearing aid manufacturers are meeting this demand by producing increasingly smaller designs. However, smaller hearing aids might not have the power that your particular loss demands. Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are the smallest and least visible option. Newer behind-the-ear hearing aids boast reduced size and can be worn by all ages, including children. Open fit hearing aides are another variation of the behind-the-ear style. This less visible style doesn’t plug the ear like smaller styles, allowing your own voice to sound more natural to you. Additional styles are available, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on the style of your new hearing aid. Consider your individual hearing loss, ability to maneuver the smallest of controls, available technology, and desired look. As you review the different styles available, remember that you are not alone in this decision. Your hearing healthcare provider will partner with you to determine the very best style for your loss and needs.