Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon is a Danish manufacturer of hearing aids, dedicated to the mission of “People first.” Oticon’s hearing aids are equipped with their latest innovation, BrainHearing Technology. These hearing aids assist the brain in the process of hearing, with heightened personalization of features and improved speech recognition. Oticon’s hearing aids come in a variety of styles and treat mild to severe hearing loss. Their most recent premium product, the Oticon Alta, is based off of their Inium wireless chip.
Widex Hearing Aids
Based in Denmark, Widex was founded in 1956 and is committed to enabling people to hear naturally by providing hearing solutions that are easy to use and seamlessly integrated into daily life. Widex’s latest offering is the UNIQUE, which allows wearers to hear more sounds, no matter where they are. UNIQUE comes in five different wearing styles to treat a range of hearing loss. Widex also offers a hearing aid specialized for single-sided deafness and for profound hearing loss.
Siemens (Signia) Hearing Aids
Founded 130 years ago, the German manufacturer Siemens continues to lead the way with hearing aids. The Siemens binax series of hearing aids are the first hearing aids to outperform normal hearing against challenging background noise. Siemens also offers the world’s first 100% dust proof and waterproof hearing aid, the Aquaris. Siemens hearing aids are digital with wireless capabilities, and are available in a number of styles to treat mild to severe hearing loss. Most recently, they launched their Binax and Primax platforms, which offer better-than-normal hearing in noisy situations and effortless listening. The Primax is their first product under the co-branded Signia line.
Phonak Hearing Aids
Swiss manufacturer Phonak produces hearing aids to reconnect people with hearing loss to their loved ones and the things they were once passionate about. Phonak has produced the Lyric, the world’s first 24/7 hearing aid, nicknamed the “contact lens of the ear.” The Lyric is inserted deep in the ear canal by an audiologist and remains there for several months at a time, without need for battery change. It can be worn in the shower or in the pool. Phonak offers hearing aids for a range of degrees of hearing loss, as well as wearer experience.
Starkey Hearing Aids
As the sole American manufacturer, Starkey is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and produces innovative hearing aids based on years of research. Starkey offers one of the world’s first Made for iPhone hearing aids, the Halo. With connectivity to the iPhone or similar devices, the Halo opens up a world of accessibility for hearing aid wearers. The new Starkey Z Series hearing aids provide a more personalized listening experience and better wireless streaming.
Resound Hearing Aids
ReSound is a Danish manufacturer that makes some of the world’s smartest hearing aids. The LiNX2 hearing aid is a smart-phone compatible device, which allows wearers to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly to their hearing aids. It is also another made-for-iPhone device offering seamless connectivity to the world most popular phone. ReSound hearing aids are equipped with Binaural Directionality and Spatial Sense features, which support the brain’s natural ability to process sounds and enable wearers to hear with less effort.
Rexton Hearing Aids
Rexton has been around for nearly five decades, and listens to the unique needs of hearing health professionals and people with different types of hearing loss to design their technology. Rexton hearing aids are equipped with QuadCore Technology, which includes real time audio exchange between hearing aids for binaural hearing, outstanding speech intelligibility, wireless connectivity, and automatic features. Rexton offers eight models of hearing aids to treat different degrees of hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Styles
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are made of two main parts. The electronic components of the hearing aid are housed in a plastic piece that rests behind the ear, while a thin, clear plastic tube, through which sound travels, rests in the canal. BTE hearing aids are excellent for people with dexterity issues, as they are easy to control. They may prove disadvantageous for people who wear glasses, as they rest on the ear. BTE hearing aids treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss, from mild to profound and are valued for their discreet design.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids, with the microphone and amplifier behind the ear. The difference is that the receiver (the piece that receives sound information) rests in the canal, rather than behind the ear. Rather than a thin plastic tube, RIC hearing aids have thin electric wires in the tube. RIC hearing aids are easy to control, while like BTE hearing aids, they may be inconvenient for people who wear glasses, but are valued for their discreet design.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids come in many different forms. The most common ones are full shell or half shell hearing aids, which sit on the open face of the ear. These hearing aids are more visible than BTE and RIC hearing aids, and they are more difficult to control because of their size. However, ITE hearing aids are convenient for people who wear glasses, and they treat mild to profound hearing loss.
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are a form of ITE hearing aids. These are quite small and are inserted within the ear canal (partially or completely – see below). ITC hearing aids are very discreet and are usually not visible. At the same time, they are equipped with directional microphones and volume control. One downside is a tendency to produce feedback, if not fitted correctly. ITC hearing aids are recommended for people who wear glasses. They are also convenient for telephone calls.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids fit deeper in the ear canal than ITC hearing aids. They are, for all intents and purposes, invisible. Usually, their placement means there is no feedback noise. CIC and IIC hearing aids treat a range of hearing loss, usually from mild to severe hearing loss, depending on the brand. They are valued for their discreet design. On the other hand, they may be difficult to maneuver when replacing batteries, which have a shorter life than the above styles.
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