Hearing aid technology is progressing at an ever-increasing rate. More and more innovations are springing up that offer technological or digital hearing loss solutions. From improving the quality of phone conversations to adjusting your hearing device via a smartphone, hearing aids and accessories are now, more than ever, being designed with the user in mind.
Around 360 million people worldwide have some form of hearing loss. Now, factor in that over 3 billion of us have access to the Internet and over 2 billion own a smartphone. Of course, the next logical step is for hearing devices and smart devices to connect via hearing aid technology.
Listed below are just a few of the technical advances in hearing aid technology that have impressed me in recent years. These examples best explain the amazing things that technology can now do to improve the quality of life for someone with hearing loss:
ReSound Hearing Aid Technology, Made for iPhone
The latest ReSound LiNX 3D is part of ReSound’s flagship Made for iPhone hearing aid technology. ReSound have even coined the term ‘Smart Hearing’ to describe how their hearing devices work together with technology.
The ReSound Smart 3D app allows the user to personalise their hearing aids, adjusting settings such as volume control, as well as enhancing sound, reducing noise and wind noise, and managing tinnitus. Therefore, the hearing aid adapts to you and your environment, rather than you adapting to the hearing aid.
Find out more about ReSound hearing aids here.
Lyric and Titanium, Hearing Aid Technology from Phonak
Lyric is being dubbed ‘the contact lens for your ear’ because of how discreet and effective it is. The device is placed deep within the ear canal, rendering the hearing aid ‘100% invisible’. Lyric is also the world’s first hearing aid that can be worn for extended periods of time, including showering and sleeping. This leap in hearing aid technology has lead people who wear Lyric to say that they no longer feel like a hearing aid user.
Another impressive development by Phonak in hearing aid technology is the Virto B-Titanium, the smallest Phonak hearing aid ever made. The titanium shell means that this hearing device is extremely durable as well as super discreet. The AutoSense OS technology adapts to every sound environment automatically, so there’s no need to manually adjust the hearing aids.
Find out more about Phonak hearing aids here.
Roger Technology for Hearing Loss
It’s not just hearing aid technology that has been optimised, but hearing aid accessories too. Phonak’s latest Roger Technology accessories include a number of wireless devices. These improve hearing in the most challenging of environments for those with hearing loss:
- The Phonak DECT CP1 Cordless Phone transmits landline phone signals directly into the user’s hearing aids, improving the quality of phone conversations.
- The Roger Pen is a remote microphone and smartphone Bluetooth transmitter that streams audio directly into hearing aids.
- Similarly, the Roger Clip-On Mic is a microphone that can be placed on a surface or clipped onto clothing to stream a voice directly into hearing aids.
- The TV audio streamer plugs into a television or stereo system and transmits audio directly into hearing aids. This device also doubles as a battery-charging docking station for the Roger Pen and Clip-On Mic.
Find out more about Roger Technology accessories here.
Hearing Aid Technology of the Future
The advances in hearing aid technology have already surpassed expectations, so I’m really interested to see what innovations the future holds for audiology and tech. Perhaps we’ll eventually see this kind of technology implemented in public places, schools, cinemas… the list goes on.
What is most important is how these technological solutions have improved sound quality for those with hearing loss. In terms of aesthetics as well, hearing aids are now smaller, more compact and more discreet than ever before. There is a lot more choice than there used to be.
Hearing aid users now have options for hearing devices and accessories that not only look modern and sleek, but also use hearing aid technology. And, as an audiologist, I’m seeing firsthand how this is improving the quality of life for those with hearing loss more than ever before.