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Hearing Tech Roundup: 4 Gadgets We’re Giddy About

Hearing Tech Roundup: 4 Gadgets We’re Giddy About

We’re always on the lookout for ways to meet your needs even better than we already do. These days, the world of technology seems to most often fit the bill. And we’re excited about these boundary-pushing devices that provide effortless, clear connection.


ReSound ONE

“Breakthrough” and “groundbreaking” are tossed around a lot these days. Especially when talking technology. The ReSound ONE, though, earns its accolades and then some.

Today’s hearing aids help a lot. In fact, they’re amazing mini-supercomputers. But the microphones sit just outside or behind your ear — not in your ear canal — so your hearing isn’t as natural.

Until now. This one-of-a-kind hearing aid uses an extra microphone inside your ear canal. With your ear’s unique shape, it collects and funnels sound organically – as only your ear can. You hear the way you’re used to hearing.

With this technological breakthrough, only available in the ReSound ONE, you can:

  • Hear effortlessly anywhere, even in grocery stores and on windy walks
  • Stay connected no matter what on video calls with family and providers
  • Enjoy a sound ecosystem using wireless streaming accessories
  • Experience all-day power with one charge of these recharge-and-go hearing aids

Contact us to learn more about this groundbreaking organic hearing solution.


ReSound Key

ReSound Key features technology that allows your hearing aids to work together more efficiently, so you can focus on the sounds you want without losing touch with the sounds around you. And, with a full family of hearing aid models, there is a solution for virtually every lifestyle, preference, and budget.

With ReSound Key, you can also look forward to:

  • Hearing sounds clearly with less effort
  • Access to rechargeable hearing aid technology – no more tiny batteries
  • Direct streaming from compatible mobile devices
  • One easy-to-use app to individualize your sound experience
  • Optional wireless accessories to extend your hearing in any environment
  • Access to remote hearing care from the comfort and safety of your home

Whichever model you choose, ReSound always gives you a natural, individualized, and premium hearing experience, intuitively adapting to you and the environments in which you spend your time.


Oticon More

Oticon just introduced a brand-new hearing device that gives the brain more of what it needs to make better sense of sound, so you can get more out of life.

Oticon More hearing devices were developed to work more like how your brain works — they learn through experience. This is because Oticon More has the world’s first Deep Neural Network embedded in the chip.
As a result, Oticon More:

  • Delivers more sound to the brain
  • Increases speech understanding
  • Reduces listening effort so that you remember more of what is being said

With these devices, you can easily connect to your TV and catch a sporting event, show, or movie with your friends and family again. Plus, it’s powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts all day so you can talk on the phone or listen to music with confidence that your hearing device will keep up with you, even on the busiest days.


OrCam Hear

Recently OrCam, a company that develops assistive devices, showed off the OrCam Hear at CES 2021 in Las Vegas. So far they’ve focused on products for vision and dyslexia that use artificial intelligence and machine learning. Now they’ve entered the hearing space.

OrCam is a small wireless device that drapes around your neck on a string, and you pair it to your Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. It lip-reads and analyzes body gestures to determine which person you’re trying to hear, isolates their voice, and streams their speech to your hearing aids. It intuitively switches when it determines there’s a new speaker.

It comes out later this year, and a price isn’t determined yet. You can sign up to receive updates about the product launch.

Illustration of people adding app blocks to a larger than life smartphone

6 Smartphone Apps to Help Boost Your Communication

Want to feel even more connected to the world around you through the power of sound? There’s an app for that!

Actually, we’ve compiled a list of six apps that can help support your communication wellness.

  • 1. Live Transcribe

    This Google app for Android-powered smartphones doesn’t translate but does transcribe in-person conversations in real time. The program — developed with Gallaudet University, the renowned U.S. school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students — can turn speech from more than 70 languages and dialects into text on your phone’s screen in a matter of seconds, facilitating communication with quick, helpful captions. It even supports bilingual chats, letting you toggle between languages, and allows you to type your responses rather than speak them if so desired. Bonus: The app can also notify you of important sounds — the beep of a smoke alarm, for example — in your home.

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  • 2. NIOSH Sound Level Meter

    Though it can’t replace professional instruments or expert opinion, this app uses your compatible mobile device’s built-in microphone to measure the sound level in your environment. On a global scale, some researchers estimate that 16 to 24 percent of hearing loss is associated with occupational noise. Excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, making it important to know the sound levels where you potentially spend a lot of time — at work — so you can curb your risk. The app can also help approximate noise at stores, restaurants, or anywhere else you may need to protect your hearing.

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  • 3. SoundWatch

    How does artificial intelligence right at your wrist sound? This exciting smartwatch-based application can alert you to the sounds around you, making daily life even easier. The application, developed especially for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, uses machine learning to alert the user to certain types of sounds they can preselect — a car honk, a cat’s meow, a baby cry, or running water, for example. It’s not for emergencies or other high-risk situations but could help enhance general awareness of your environment.

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  • 4. Marlee Signs

    This app for children and adults teaches basic American Sign Language (ASL) with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf. ASL, common in the U.S. and Canada, offers a way to connect with others regardless of their hearing ability but can be especially useful for those who are or have friends or loved ones who are deaf or have a severe to profound hearing loss. Other ASL-instruction apps are also available, so consider using a few different ones to explore finger-spelling, conversational signing, building vocabulary, helping babies communicate, and more.

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  • 5. SoundPrint

    This app takes noise measurement to a whole other level with its decibel meter coupled with the ability to upload results to the user community via a searchable database. Users can look for restaurants, gyms, subways, and other spots by categories such as “quiet,” “moderate,” “loud,” or “very loud” sound-level ratings. Like the NIOSH Sound Level Meter, SoundPrint doesn’t replace a professional device, but it may help approximate noise levels in a given space.

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  • 6. AGX® Online Hearing Quiz

    OK, this one isn’t an app, but it’s just as convenient. The AGX Online Hearing Quiz — developed with audiology experts — takes only two minutes and provides a quick snapshot of your general hearing ability based on three broad aspects: the listening environment, the different tones you can hear, and your ability to hear speech amid noise. It doesn’t replace a true diagnostic hearing exam, but it will indicate if you can benefit from further testing.

As with any app, availability, functionality, and cost can change. The mobile apps listed above are free as of this writing, but compatibility with iOS- or Android- powered phones, tablets, or watches can vary per program, so be sure to read about them in the relevant online app store for more details.
 
Have questions about using apps with your hearing device? We’re here to help. Contact our caring team today!


Find Your Favorites

A whole world of apps awaits, so don’t hesitate to build your own list of healthy-hearing faves. Get started with these simple tips:

  • Search by keyword, developer name, app title, or product category to turn up results you may want to check out.
  • Carefully read the app description and system requirements. Some apps might also offer a demo you can preview before buying or downloading.
  • Learn what others think of the app by reading users’ comments and professional reviews that may be available online.
Lineup of new ReSound ONE and AGXrH Technology

New Technology – AGXr H: Empowered Hearing That Fits Your Life

We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

There’s nothing like the sounds that make your life unique. A favorite playlist. Your sweetheart’s laugh. The newscast you love listening to while whipping up your signature smoothie. In today’s world, however, hearing the sounds of your life can feel more challenging than ever.

It’s why we’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

  • Get closer than ever to a natural hearing experience with the microphone and receiver-in-ear option, which positions a third microphone in your ear to collect sound the way nature intended.
  • Enjoy up to 30 hours of superior hearing on a single charge or up to 25 hours of battery life with unlimited streaming.
  • Stream phone calls, music, and other audio right to your ears — wirelessly. Even enjoy your TV favorites without having to change the volume for everyone else.
  • Experience tailor-made hearing with the AGX® Attune app, including one-tap sound adjustments, geotagged settings for optimal listening, and more.
  • Gain the convenience of face-to-face online hearing care and anytime remote fine-tuning — no office visit needed!
  • Communicate confidently with technology that gives you everything you need to process sound with greater depth and direction, including:

In today’s evolving world, hearing your best matters more than ever. So don’t wait. Contact us to schedule your hearing consultation and personalized AGXR H demo today. We’ve made a limited number of appointments available and can’t wait to see you!


AGXR H

The personalized hearing experience you’ve been waiting for:

  • More natural sound and improved sense of space
  • Easier-to-follow conversations in dynamic environments
  • Best 1:1 speech understanding

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title: New Technology – AGXr H: Empowered Hearing That Fits Your Life

meta: We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

alt: Lineup of new Resound One and AGXrH Technology

slug: new-tech-agxrh

cat: News – Technology

tag: battery life, converstaion technology, geotagging, hearing aid advancements, remote interface, technology,

Lineup of new ReSound ONE and AGXrH Technology

New Technology – ReSound ONE: Hear Like No Other

We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing ReSound ONE.

There’s nothing like the sounds that make your life unique. A favorite playlist. Your sweetheart’s laugh. The newscast you love listening to while whipping up your signature smoothie. In today’s world, however, hearing the sounds of your life can feel more challenging than ever.

It’s why we’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing ReSound ONE.

  • Get closer than ever to a natural hearing experience with the microphone and receiver-in-ear option, which positions a third microphone in your ear to collect sound the way nature intended.
  • Enjoy up to 30 hours of superior hearing on a single charge or up to 25 hours of battery life with unlimited streaming.
  • Stream phone calls, music, and other audio right to your ears — wirelessly. Even enjoy your TV favorites without having to change the volume for everyone else.
  • Experience tailor-made hearing with the ReSound Smart app, including one-tap sound adjustments, geotagged settings for optimal listening, and more.
  • Gain the convenience of face-to-face online hearing care and anytime remote fine-tuning — no office visit needed!
  • Communicate confidently with technology that gives you everything you need to process sound with greater depth and direction, including:

In today’s evolving world, hearing your best matters more than ever. So don’t wait. Contact us to schedule your hearing consultation and personalized ReSound ONE demo today. We’ve made a limited number of appointments available and can’t wait to see you!


ReSound ONE

The personalized hearing experience you’ve been waiting for:

  • More natural sound and improved sense of space
  • Easier-to-follow conversations in dynamic environments
  • Best 1:1 speech understanding

Hearing Aids: 5 Fun Facts on What These Powerful Devices Can Do

Some individuals might not realize how far technology has come to make communication easier than ever. We’ll provide you with some facts about hearing aids.

Did you know? Fewer than one out of three adults 70 and older who could benefit from hearing aids actually uses them, per the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the rate plunges to just 16 percent among those 20 to 69.

The reasons for these stark statistics may vary, but what’s clear is that disabling hearing loss — a serious public health issue affecting approximately 466 million people worldwide — is undertreated on a global scale.

Some individuals who need hearing help might not realize how far technology has advanced to make communication easier and more empowering than ever, even in some of the most challenging listening situations.

Check out these five fun facts you may not have known about hearing devices:

  1. Like Elephants, They “Remember”

    Want the same great listening experience at your favorite — but noisy — food spot every time you get together with family and friends? Options vary across different product lines, but some AGX® Hearing devices offer a “restaurant” setting that cuts background noise, or you can create your own geotagged “memory” with sound settings tailored to specific locations for a consistent experience.

  2. Built-In Mics Put You in Control

    When a room or other venue contains competing sounds, you need a way to focus on the audio you actually want to hear. You can use your AGX hearing aid’s directionality function to focus the device’s microphones on the conversation in front of you, for example, versus the noise or other sounds behind you.

  3. They Play Well With Other Devices

    Hearing impairment can make it difficult to track who’s saying what in group discussions — for instance, a brainstorming session at work. A wireless Bluetooth® microphone, set in a central spot during the conversation, can send speech directly to your hearing aid! During more personal gatherings, your conversation companions can take turns placing the mic on their lapel while speaking.

  4. You Can Stream Like a Champ

    Speaking of playing well with other devices: Many hearing aids today let you transmit audio from your television, stereo, or smartphone to your hearing tech — whether streaming directly or with the help of a wireless accessory called a “streamer” that clips to your collar. Laugh along with your favorite TV comedy series, enjoy the latest tunes, or video chat on your smartphone with clarity and confidence.

  5. They Make Good Fitness Buddies

    Some cutting-edge hearing aids not only offer great sound, speech clarity in noise, and audio streaming from your smartphone but also track brain and body health using artificial intelligence. With the AGXs liv, for example, you control your programs, settings, and streaming while the Thrive™ Hearing app records your health data and provides three wellness scores, helping you track your fitness goals.

 


Want a closer look at what today’s modern technology can do for your hearing health and enjoyment? Contact us to schedule your FREE demonstration today! Our caring team can’t wait to show you how far hearing aids have come.
 

ZPOWER

New Rechargable Hearing Aid Batteries

ZPower is a manufacturer of new silver-zinc miniature hearing aid batteries that has partnered with several of our hearing aid Manufacturer’s to offer a new rechargeable option. The batteries should last approximately a year. The batteries should run a 12-14 hour day on a full charge. However, if the hearing aid user is utilizing Bluetooth streaming, then the hours per day would shorten if much streaming is involved. Ask about the rechargeable option when you come in for your next hearing aid check up.

New Technologies

New hearing aid technology is allowing many patients to upgrade to better devices and hear significantly better than with their old devices. Microphone directionality has improved and so has the quality of the overall microphones. Music listening has changed dramatically and the hearing devices have a much more higher fidelity than they have had in previous years. Noise filters has improved to help patients hear more speech through noise than in past years.

Introducing DefendEar!

We are excited to now be offering the full line of DefendEar from Westone custom-fit hearing protection earplugs. Whether you are a hunter, Motorsport enthusiast, or simply someone who is often in the presence of loud, damaging levels of noise, the custom-molded DefendEar is the most comfortable, high-performance hearing protection available.

DefendEar Digital even offers amplification so that you can hear what you want while protecting yourself from loud noise that can harm your hearing. It’s an option that we’ve found is particularly popular with hunters! Give us a call today for a FREE hearing protection consultation to learn more.

Why Can’t I Understand the Pastor’s Sermon?

1150137_87405924As part of the Four-Step Process that we conduct with our patients at their initial consultation, we ask our patients to tell us where they most want help hearing. One of the most common situations mentioned is church, specifically when it comes to hearing a pastor’s sermon.  While hearing aids can make improvements in this situation, patients should still have realistic expectations of the capabilities of their technology in these types of settings.

Notoriously Poor Acoustics

One reason why church auditoriums and sanctuaries can cause problems with hearing aids is that the acoustics in these rooms tend to be extremely poor.  These environments typically have high, peaked ceilings, a large volume of space, and highly reflective surfaces and walls.  The result is a prolonged reverberation time that “smears” speech by eliminating the stops and gaps that allow recognition of the end and beginning of individual words.  Additionally, any vaults or peaks in the ceiling can cause dead spots or hot spots in the room, depending on the geometry of the space.  To complicate matters, ambient noises like a cough or rustling paper reverberate through these rooms as well, making it even harder to distinguish speech sounds.

In these kinds of environments, a person’s hearing loss is compounded by the poor acoustics.  Even people with normal hearing are likely to struggle to some degree in such a situation, though their auditory processing systems are better at interpreting the sounds they hear than someone with hearing loss.   A pair of hearing aids, even those that are appropriately fit to a patient, might not be enough to help because the quality of the sound they receive is poor due to the physics of the environment.

What Can Help?

The most effective method of improving sound quality in one of these kinds of rooms is the use of an induction loop system, also called a hearing loop.  The hearing loop encircles the congregation’s seating area with a magnetic field.  In order to make use of this field, a hearing aid must be equipped with a telecoil enabled for use with a separate program from the hearing aid’s every day settings.  This method allows the audio signal of the pastor’s voice to be sent directly to the hearing aid, effectively bypassing any reverberation in the auditorium. Many churches that use a hearing loop system also have small box-shaped receivers that allow the system to be used by congregants who either don’t have hearing aids or who don’t have telecoils in their hearing technology.

Another method of managing sound in large auditoriums for a person wearing hearing aids is to use directional microphones.  Any digital hearing aid that has directional microphones can programmed to use those microphones to focus solely in front of the hearing aid wearer.  The end result is that ambient noise is greatly reduced and reverberation may be reduced slightly.  The effectiveness of this method can be increased if hearing aid wearers position themselves directly in front of the loud speakers to receive the sound before the reverberations occur.  This is not nearly as effective as a hearing loop system, but can increase the benefit of hearing aids in this situation, especially when the hearing aid does not have a telecoil.

Realistic Expectations

Even with the most sophisticated technology, relying on hearing aids alone might not be enough in a church auditorium or sanctuary.  As discussed above, it is the physics of the room that is the primary source the difficulty rather than the hearing impairment itself.  In such cases, it is very important to have realistic expectations of what a hearing system and hearing technology can do and what it cannot do.  It is also very important to inform your hearing care professional of the difficulties you encounter in these situations so that they can work with you and your technology to effectively adjust and program your technology to better meet your needs.

When Hearing Aids Are Not Enough

Original content found on the Hearing Care Blog

For the most part, recent advancements in hearing aid technology have made it easier for more people who struggle with hearing loss to communicate.  Hearing aids themselves have become smaller and more adaptable to most types of hearing loss, but sometimes hearing aids are still not enough. As people continue to live longer, more vibrant lives, they may find that they have to be able to effectively listen and communicate in more diverse situations. Poor environmental acoustics, heavy background noise, listening at a distance, classrooms, boardrooms, and other difficult listening environments can sometimes overwhelm the capabilities of even the most sophisticated hearing aids and dramatically affect their efficiency.  Hearing Assistive Technologies (HATs) are a great solution in these difficult environments where hearing aids need a little help of their own.

What are HATs?

Hearing Assistive Technologies (HATs) are devices that can be used with or without hearing aids to help with daily communication. These devices make hearing and listening easier for people that may struggle with hearing and understanding speech, particularly in diverse listening environments. The various HATs can be used to help improve many situations, such as face-to-face communication and reception of electronic media, such as telephone, radio and television.

Wireless Connectivity

The most recent additions to the broad range of HATs are devices that add wireless connectivity options to hearing aid systems. Nearly every hearing aid manufacturer has developed some sort of connectivity package, and most use one of three methods: Bluetooth, near field magnetic induction, or radio signals in either the very low or very high frequencies. These systems allow hearing aid users to connect their hearing aids directly to phones, TVs, music players, and microphones to improve the performance of the hearing aids. Most of these systems require an adaptor device for the hearing aids, such as a remote or streamer, and a microphone or transmitter adaptor to attach to an audio source.  The advantages of such systems are that the wearer can set his or her own volume for television and radio, listen to phone conversations in both ears, and eliminate most background noise in one-on-one communication. Connectivity packages can sometimes be intimidating for patients who are not technologically savvy, as they can include quite a few extra gadgets.

Induction loop systems are growing in popularity and have been installed in many high-traffic areas.  This symbol indicates that an induction loop is available for the hearing impaired.
Induction loop systems are growing in popularity and have been installed in many high-traffic areas. This symbol indicates that an induction loop is available for the hearing impaired.

Induction Loop Systems

Induction loop systems are most widely used in large-scale settings, such as airports and auditoriums. They have the ability to magnetically transmit a signal directly to a personal headset or a telecoil in a hearing aid. Venues that employ induction loops typically display a notification symbol to inform patrons of the loop’s availability. Induction systems and telecoils can also be used in the home on a smaller scale to improve hearing while using a telephone or watching television. For in-home applications, the induction loop can sometimes be a more cost-effective and user-friendly connectivity option than other systems.  In order to use an induction loop system, a hearing aid must be equipped with a telecoil and programmed for its use.

Personal Frequency Modulated Systems

Personal Frequency Modulated (FM) systems can be utilized in a variety of situations in which communication is critical, including boardrooms, classrooms, and one-on-one communication. FM systems are similar to induction loop systems but are typically used on a smaller scale. These devices reduce the effects that reverberation and background noise can have on the transmission of a speech signal. The FM system consists of a microphone and transmitter worn by the speaker and a receiver device used by a listener. This receiver can either be a personal headset or a boot on the bottom of an FM-compatible BTE or RIC hearing aid. FM systems are very reliable and often have better sound quality than other systems, but they also tend to be more cost-prohibitive.

An appropriately chosen and programmed HAT system can be a very helpful component of any hearing treatment solution, particularly when a person’s lifestyle needs include situations that can easily overwhelm the capabilities of hearing aids to reduce noise and enhance speech.  Just like hearing aids, HAT systems should be customized by a qualified hearing professional to meet a patient’s lifestyle needs.  To learn more about HAT systems, call our office and schedule an appointment.