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Friday, March 16, 2018

Nadia B-R RIC.jpgPhonak has introduced two lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids geared to the needs of specific patient populations—those with severe to profound hearing loss and children. Now in its fifth generation, Phonak’s Naída B, for the first time, offers a rechargeable receiver-in-canal option. Naída B provides the industry’s best speech intelligibility index results for those with severe to profound hearing loss, according to the company. Phonak has also added a rechargeable option to its Sky B products, which are designed specifically for children. Sky B-PR gives pediatric patients a full day of uninterrupted hearing on a single charge. Sky B features AutoSense Sky OS and SoundRecover2, which gives children access to a broader range of sounds essential for speech and language development.
The company has also launched its new MultiBeam Technology (MBT), the next generation of the Roger 2.4 GHz wireless technology first introduced in 2013. MBT uses three microphones to form six directional beams within 360 degrees. When a microphone with MBT is placed on a table, it automatically selects the speaker to improve speech understanding in group conversations and noisy situations. Powered by MBT are Phonak’s Roger Select, which is equipped with three modes (automatic, manual, lapel) to enable wireless hearing in different environments, and Roger Table Mic II, which is ideal for working adults who need to actively participate in meetings. Phonak has also added the Roger Repeater, which extends the operating range of any Roger network in the Roger for Education portfolio and is ideal for school applications like auditoriums and gymnasiums.
The Phonak Naída B and Sky B are now available in the United States, with the rest of the world to follow this month. All new Roger products will be available later in spring 2018.

Friday, March 9, 2018

ph.jpgPhonak has partnered with Advanced Bionics to develop a new microphone technology, MultiBeam Technology, that will help people with hearing aids and cochlear implants hear better in noise. By utilizing multiple microphones in six directions, MultiBeam Technology captures speech from 360 degrees, which is then calculated and compared. The direction with the best signal-to-noise ratio is automatically selected. Phonak said the technological processing complexity is almost 10 times higher than its previous technology, and the power consumption was reduced more than one-third with MultiBeam Technology, which has been in development since 2009. In a study conducted at the University of Dallas involving 10 participants, speech understanding improved up to 61 percent in a group conversation in 75 dBA of noise compared with that when using hearing aids alone in the same setting. Linda Thibodeau, PhD, who led the research, said this new technology will allow people with hearing challenges who have resigned from attending social functions, family gatherings, and business meetings to experience significant improvements in speech recognition. "This could ultimately lead to improved quality of life as they confidently reconnect with others using discreet, convenient, and highly versatile technology," she said. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Signia.jpgSignia’s ( newest hearing aids Pure Charge&Go offers wireless rechargeability and natural sound quality. With a lithium-ion power cell and an inductive charger, Pure Charge& Go can be simply placed in the charger for charging at night and will remain charged all day. The lithium-ion cell technology in this hearing aid lasts significantly longer than traditional zinc-based rechargeable batteries, even after multiple years of use, eliminating the need to change batteries frequently. Wearers can enjoy streaming up to five hours per day via Bluetooth and still have 17 hours of battery cell run time, or 19 hours of run time without streaming. Built with Signia’s Own Voice Processing technology, Pure Charge&Go is equipped to identify the user’s voice and processes it separately from other sounds and create the most natural-sounding own voice for its user.
Other features include access to Signia’s myControl App, which allows users to change the settings on their smartphones, and the myHearing App, which provides support, exercises, and user guides. Users can also access TeleCare, which allows them to schedule remote consultations with their hearing care professionals.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Capture.JPGMore than 40 million adults in the United States have reported having hearing problems from minor hearing issues to deafness. Despite this prevalence, there are considerable low specialist referrals. A new study found a disproportion between self-reported cases of hearing loss and those who received medical evaluation and treatment recommendations, such as auditory rehabilitative options and amplification, including hearing aids and cochlear implants (CI).

Researchers performed a cross-sectional analysis of data collected from 239.6 million adult respondents, who provided answers to the hearing module questions in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. The study participants were 51.8 percent women and 48.2 percent men, with an average age of 47 years.

About 95.5 percent of the participants reported functional hearing or the ability to hear either normal voice or whispering, 3.4 percent can only hear shouting, and 1.1 percent could not hear shouting. Also, 16.8 percent of the respondents noted that their hearing was less than "excellent/good," ranging from "a little trouble hearing" to "being deaf." Of these, 12.9 million had never seen a clinician for hearing problems and 11.1 million had never had their hearing tested.

The study also reports that out of the 48.8 million who visited a physician for hearing-related problems in the five years prior to the study, about 60 percent were referred to specialists: 15.9 million were referred to otolaryngologists and 13.3 million to audiologists. About 2.8 million adult respondents reported they could not hear shouting (not appreciating shouting). Of these, about 148,000 were recommended getting a CI but only 22.1 percent received it.

"It is difficult to determine the exact contributing factors with the data presented in this study," said lead author Hossein Mahboubi, MD, MPH, of the University of California in Irvine, CA, when asked about the possible contributing factors for this gap. "However, it is likely a multi-factorial process with lack of access, lack of awareness, and financial aspects playing the major roles."

"The low CI utilization rate is also likely multi-factorial," he told The Hearing Journal. "The need for surgical implantation and possible comorbid conditions or patient preference/compliance may influence candidacy and financial constraints may also play a role. Future studies are required to further characterize these associations and investigate the contributing factors," said Mahboubi on the main issues deterring patients from getting a cochlear implant.

The study noted that improved awareness of the importance of referrals to otolaryngologists and audiologists as well as auditory rehabilitative options among clinicians may improve hearing loss care.

"I believe there needs to be an effort, most appropriately led by otolaryngologists and audiologists, to increase awareness of physicians and the community about hearing loss, its common prevalence, and consequences if left untreated," Mahboubi added.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Oticon.jpgOticon ( has introduced ConnectClip, which turns Oticon's internet-connected hearing aids into wireless headsets for hands-free calls and listening to music or podcasts in stereo. It works with any smartphone, music player, or computer, and it serves as a remote control for Oticon's Opn hearing aids to adjust volume and change programs. Sound from mobile phones is streamed directly to the hearing aids via 2.4GHz Bluetooth Low Energy, and ConnectClip's directional microphones pick up the wearer's voice. ConnectClip can also function as a remote or partner microphone, providing improved intelligibility of the speaker wearing it at a distance of up to 65 feet, in very noisy environments, or a combination of both. ConnectClip can be paired with or connected directly to a computer's built-in Bluetooth or used with the BTD 800 USB dongle.