I have some friends and family that have hearing issues, so here is a topic where people can discuss and share resources relating to hearing aids.
Resources can be compiled into this post, which will serve as a wiki.
Lie #1. “These hearing aids normally cost $12,000, but I can sell them to you for only $6,000.” First of all, nobody pays $12,000 for hearing aids and if you do, you just got ripped off. This is a tactic that clinics use to make you think you got a great deal. However, you can bet that a clinic like this is more concerned with SELLING hearing aids than TREATING Hearing Loss.
Lie #2. “Buying hearing aids online is the same thing as buying them in a clinic.” While these devices can be similar, the performance of these hearing aids will not be the same. For hearing aids to function to their maximum capabilities, they must be programmed and verified in a clinic. This is something that can’t be done over the phone or by email. Want to save money buy buying online? Go ahead. Just don’t let them convince you that you will benefit just as much as buying them in a clinic.
Lie #3. “Real Ear Measures are not required because hearing aids are WAY more advanced today.” To be fair, there is a possibility that your hearing care provider is not up to speed with research over the past 4 decades, but most often, they are lying to you. Real Ear Measurement (REM) continues to be the Gold Standard of hearing aid programming verification. Even the manufacturers of these “more advanced” hearing aids recommend that their devices be fit with REM.
It only works on existing videos right now - The researchers were very specific that their technology does not work in Real-Time. In fact they stated, “It should be noted that our method does not work in real-time, and, in its current form, our speech enhancement is better suited for the post-processing stage of video editing.”
This is a HUGE leap forward for Audio Visual processing - Previous technology required the training of software to learn each talkers voice so it knew what voice to focus on. In this new software, it was trained with general speech information so it will work on anyone.
Really noisy situations degraded the speech - When using this software for a Noisy Bar (not shown in the video) the researchers indicated that the speech was significantly degraded when separated from the noise. This is a similar issue with hearing aid technology today.
There is no way for hearing aids to obtain visual information - The reason this software works is because they use Audio AND Visual information. Hearing aids do not have a way to capture visual info at this time. However, researchers are working on a way for hearing aids to capture electrical brain impulses that correspond with visual information so someday this technology might work in a hearing aid.
There has been no new information on their blog or youtube since July 2017.
However, seems they are somewhat active on their facebook and twitter:
It is a pity that the company never paired with say Shure, Apple, or Bose to bring the technology to mass production.
#7. Unitron Moxi All - The main feature that helped this hearing aid make the list is the Flex Upgrade. The Flex Upgrade lets you purchase a lower level of technology and upgrade it to a higher level of technology at a later date. You keep the same physical devices, you just have the technology inside of the devices upgraded. This way you can upgrade to new technology when you need it and when you can afford it, even if it is years down the road.
#6. Widex Evoke - Machine Learning is the main feature of the Evoke that helped it make the list. This device can learn your preferences by allowing you to make A/B comparisons in a real listening environment. All you do is tell the App if you prefer Sound A or Sound B. It then takes this data to improve how you hear, and learns your preferences over time.
#5. Starkey Livio Ai - This hearing aid has Artificial Intelligence right in the name. This is because it uses on-board sensors to track both body movement and social interaction. It is designed to help you become more physically and socially active which we know can improve health outcomes. It is packed with a bunch of features such as fall detection and real-time language translation. It now also has the capability of working with remote accessories such as a TV streamer and Remote Microphone which can improve your listening experience even more.
#4. Phonak Virto B-Titanium - The Virto B-Titanium is the only Invisible In Canal (IIC) hearing aid to make the list. As the name suggests, it is made out of Titanium so it can be 30% thinner and smaller than an Acrylic hearing aid. Not only is it extremely discrete, it is the best performing IIC hearing aid on the market. It does require a deem ear mold impression, and is not suited for extremely severe cases of hearing loss.
#3. Oticon OPN - The OPN has been an extremely popular hearing aid since 2016. The OPN Sound Navigator allows you to hear speech from different directions while still suppressing background noise. This is much different than the traditional way of hearing better in background noise by directing hearing aid microphones forward only. Combine this feature with decreased listening effort and good reported sound quality, and the Oticon OPN is one of the best hearing aids that money can buy.
#2. ReSound LiNX Quattro - The Quattro replaces the LiNX 3D line of devices. Along with its long lasting lithium rechargeable batteries, it will also have the capability of streaming from an Android device, not just Apple device. It also has the best Smartphone App in the industry. It allows you to make all kinds of adjustments to your program settings and even allows you to receive remote adjustments from your hearing care professional.
#1. Phonak Audeo Marvel - The Marvel is the closest thing that you will find to an All-In-One device because it basically does everything. It is the ONLY device to stream audio directly from Android & Apple devices because it uses Bluetooth Classic. The New AutoSense 3.0 allows the hearing aid to make better adjustments on its own vs. a hearing aid user making adjustments with a push button. Later in 2019 Phonak will come out with Telecoil Versions of the 312, 13, and Rechargeable Battery Models. They can also be remotely adjusted and are Roger Ready. This means that your hearing care provider can do a firmware update to make the already installed internal Roger Receiver active so you can use any of the great Phonak Roger FM accessories.