Understand the prices behind hearing aids!
What goes into building a hearing aid?
In the competitive global hearing aid market, companies constantly seek to innovate to get ahead of the rest. Every month, it seems like new technologies are announced, which offer exciting new features for hearing loss sufferers. But this comes with its own problems. For newcomers to the sector, the mixture of brand names and models can make it hard to understand exactly what these new technologies can do. So, we've come up with a quick guide to the most recent hearing aid innovations to help buyers understand what advanced devices can do.
One of the biggest trends in hearing aid design over the past few years has been miniaturization. Designers have always sought to reduce the size of their products, knowing that customers appreciate inconspicuous, lightweight models. But new technology means that size reduction is proceeding at an incredible speed.
Finding the right fit has always been problematic for hearing aid users, resulting in time consuming fitting sessions and expensive custom-made molds. However, models like the Signia Silk have found a workaround for the customization issue. By offering a range of silicone "click sleeves", the Silk can fit into almost anyone's ear canal as comfortably as a custom fitted device - making wearing it much more convenient.
It's taken a while, but almost all of the world's leading hearing aid manufacturers have now fully embraced wireless technology, with exciting implications for hearing aid users. Hearing aids like the Sun 16 G5 from Audio Service offer Bluetooth streaming from a huge range of devices, and are optimized for iPhones. And services like the Smart Direct app allow users to link up TVs, phones, mp3 players, stereos, home cinema systems - almost any digital device - to their hearing aid's speaker. The result is clearer audio, with huge benefits for music and movie fans.
Directional technology isn't new, but brands like Oticon are using it in completely new ways. Their Opn devices took the sector by a storm in 2017, with their ability to take complex sonic environments and turn them into an extremely 'natural-sounding' audio stream for hearing aid users. The key development here is processing power. As on-board chips become more powerful, designers are making units that can interpret much more data. Hence, they can add more microphones, and achieve a finer resolution than old-style directional systems.
Hearing aid companies have also made big strides in the customer care field, something that is often overlooked by buyers. For instance, Signia launched a service called TeleCare in 2017. This links together hearing aid users and audiologists, allowing hearing experts to fine tune devices remotely. Because every user is different, and everyone has their own auditory needs, TeleCare makes it much easier to create the perfect settings, allowing users to get more out of their premium devices. And it helps audiologists to be more productive too - a win-win situation. At the same time, Signia also piloted their myHearing app, which makes it easy for users to ask questions to the Hearing Experts. It all adds up to a customer care revolution.
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