Wireless Hearing Aid
How Wireless Technology Has Changed the Hearing AidOriginally named “short-link” when it was first developed in 1989 by Ericsson Mobile Communications as part of its project to create a wireless headset, this new short-range radio technology was later given the name we are all more familiar with – Bluetooth. Not only has Bluetooth technology vastly expanded the previously rather limited capabilities of the mobile phone but, in the intervening years, it has also been exploited by electronics engineers to open up a host of new possibilities for users of assisted hearing devices following the development of the wireless hearing aid.
Owners of these devices can now share in all of the activities made possible with this type of connectivity that hearing individuals have taken for granted for more than a decade. For example, one of the most common difficulties experienced by hearing-impaired individuals who depend upon a standard amplification device occurs when attempting to operate a telephone. Typically, users find it necessary to constantly adjust the position of the earpiece on a standard or mobile phone in order to maximise sound reception. Today, however, there are now models that eliminate this inconvenience by employing Bluetooth connectivity to relay a conversation between a compatible telephone and a suitable wireless hearing aid.
However, while many other products can only connect wirelessly with the assistance of an accessory intermediate device, models in the new Phonak Audéo Marvel range have this ability built into their basic design, so they will require no accessory in order to establish a Bluetooth connection with a wide variety of compatible devices. For many of those who now make use of these advanced new products, their ability to connect freely with other digital devices is proving to be a life-changing experience.
Gone are the days when streamed music and video were the exclusive domain of the hearing individual. Thanks to the power of Bluetooth, any wireless hearing aid in this remarkable new Phonak range is able to connect seamlessly with any Android or iOS phone, an iPod, tablet, or similar digital device at a distance, and even to relay the incoming sound to a second unit in the other ear through the unique Phonak facility known as Binaural VoiceStream Technology™. The QuickSync feature enables synchronous adjustments to each unit with a touch of the programme selection button.
There are occasions, however, such as when dining in a busy restaurant or attending a meeting or lecture, when a combination of background noise and multiple speakers can often tend to cause confusion. For such occasions, these units feature a technology known as RogerDirect™, which enables them to accept sound streamed directly from a Roger microphone without the need for an external receiver allowing these wireless hearing aids to provide the user with a more discreet and flexible listening experience.
Connectivity apart, the newly-launched Marvel range is also exceptional in many other areas. Perhaps the most notable of these is the clear, rich quality of their sound – invariably one of the characteristics of this product that never fails to impress the first-time user. The combination of the updated AutoSense OS™ 3.0 operating system and Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ enables these units to recognise more listening situations than any previous model and to automatically adjust their performance to match the needs of each situation precisely. Even more amazing, though, is the way in which these wireless hearing aids are designed to recognise and automatically adjust to the unique listening needs of the new user in order to ensure exceptional quality of sound from the very first fit.
Although they are lacking the exceptional capacity of a smartphone to accommodate innumerable apps, all models in the Marvel range are capable of supporting up to three Phonak apps designed to extend or enhance the performance of any of the four models in this exceptional wireless hearing aid range from an acknowledged leader in the field of assisted audition.
Those who may have experienced frustrations due to the limited battery life of some units will be delighted to learn that these units are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. More significantly and far more impressive is the fact that the industry’s pioneer of rechargeable technology has succeeded in engineering the fastest charging and longest lasting assisted hearing devices developed to date. With an extended lifespan of six years and 40% more power than conventional rechargeable batteries, a 2-hour charge will provide the user of a Phonak Audéo Marvel wireless hearing aid with a full day’s use, including streaming.