Hearing Aid Technology
What Are the Best Hearing Aids of 2020?
Hearing aids have come a long way since the first behind-the-ear models were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, you might remember what some of these devices looked like: big, bulky, beige, and very noticeable. They would sit uncomfortably behind the ear and amplify all the sounds around you. Now, fast forward to 2020 – hearing aids look more like something out of a James Bond movie than the big medical devices your grandparents used to wear.
Every year, manufacturers like Signia, Starkey and Phonak introduce new products and technology upgrades that are on par with the latest smartphones. That being said, here are just a few groundbreaking hearing aid innovations to look out for in 2020.
Wireless Bluetooth Streaming
In a world of smartphones and portable electronic devices, it’s no surprise that many of today’s digital hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth technology. Tech-savvy individuals love the convenience of being able to use their Bluetooth-enabled devices with their hearing aids. At the moment, there are several manufacturers that carry both in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) models with Bluetooth connectivity. For instance, the Opn from Oticon is made for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®, allowing you to stream audio directly into your hearing aids. In most cases, this Bluetooth connection is wireless. However, small in the ear devices require the use of a streamer that is worn around the neck or placed in a pocket for hand-free use.
Whether you’re at a local coffee shop, home goods store, or at a park, you can be sure to find people staring down at the glowing screen that is in their hands. Moreover, with new Apple iPhones and Android devices coming out year after year, there is no doubt that smartphones will eventually replace landline phones for good. Although you don’t need a smartphone to operate a hearing aid, it can definitely make it easier to adjust settings and change programs. In 2020, hearing aid manufacturers are focusing on developing products that are compatible with smartphones. This comes with many benefits for the user, as it gives them more control over the way they hear in any environment. One major benefit of hearing aids with smartphone connectivity is the ability to adjust the volume, bass, and treble through an app. Older hearing aid models required either a visit to the specialist’s office for adjustments or fiddling around with the device itself. With the smartphone app, you can discreetly change settings and make adjustments on your own – without anyone noticing. Basically, the app serves as a remote control for your hearing aids.
myCall-to-text app from Phonak
One amazing innovation in 2020 that is harnessing the power of smartphone connectivity is Phonak’s myCall-to-text app. If you have ever had trouble following conversations on the phone, you know how frustrating it can be for both you and the person on the other line. Phonak came up with an extraordinary solution that allows you to read, in real time, what your conversation part says. During a call, the app writes out what the other person is saying, so that you can read what you hear on your smartphone. You can even save the transcription and read it at a later time. The myCall-to-text app is just one example of the type of innovations that are in store for this year and the years to come. Please note: they have to be connected to Wi-Fi for this feature to work.
Styletto Nx from Signia
Recently, Signia released a high-tech, slim, and stylish hearing aid called Styletto. Available in three different color combinations – Dark Granite and Silver, Cosmic Blue and Rose Gold, or Snow White and Rose Gold – Styletto breaks the mold of traditional BTE hearing aids. Styletto’s contemporary design makes it feel more like a fashion accessory rather than a medical device. It has a thin housing and speaker tube, making it incredibly discreet when worn. In addition to its cosmetics, Styletto delivers outstanding sound quality thanks to the new Signia Nx platform. And you never have to worry about replacing batteries, because Syletto offers portable rechargeability. Just one 3-hour charge gives you 19 hours of full-day use.
Phonak’s New Marvel Platform
2020 is not just about fashionable hearing aids. Phonak recently introduced one of the most advanced hearing aid technologies that offers excellent performance, speech understanding and sound quality. Marvel is a new hearing aid platform that is available for the Phonak Audéo™ M model. So, what makes Marvel so marvelous?
- AutoSense OS™ 3.0: AutoSense delivers exceptional sound quality, better speech understanding in noise, reduced listening effort, and a rich sound experience when streaming.
- Bluetooth wireless streaming: Stream audio from any Bluetooth device directly into your hearing aids.
- Built-in microphones: Have hands-free phone conversations from your iPhone or Android device.
- Rechargeable: Ditch the batteries and enjoy a full day of hearing on a single charge.
- Smartphone apps: Fine-tune your settings, adjust the volume, and even transcribe phone conversations in real-time.
The Livio AI Hearing Aid from Starkey
The Livio AI is the first-ever BTE hearing aid to use artificial intelligence to provide superior sound quality and the ability to track your mental and physical health. This device is compatible with wireless devices, giving you direct access to your smartphone, remote microphone or TV streamer. Livio AI has even better noise management than its predecessors, as the devices can communicate with each other, which improves performance in background noise. Next, its smartphone app allows you to customize sound settings to low, mid, high, and ultra-high. A few more notable features you to need know about include:
- On-Board Sensors: Livio’s on-board sensors allow you to track brain and body activity. That way, you can monitor your overall health and reduce the risk of a variety of diseases.
- Translation: The smartphone app can actually translate speech from different languages. It will then send the translation to your hearing aids, which you can hear in whatever language you prefer.
- Fall detection: Because people with hearing loss tend to fall more, the Livio’s onboard sensors can track how many times you fall. This could potentially help you in the long run to be more conscious of any balance issues you may be experiencing due to hearing loss.
Stay Tuned for Even More Innovations!
From smaller designs to more advanced technology and features, there is no doubt that this is just the beginning for the hearing aid industry. If you would like to learn more about trying any of these hearing aids for 45 days, make sure to click on the button below. One of our hearing experts will get in touch with you for a free consultation. You will learn more about the benefits of wearing hearing aids and how we can help you find the right device for you. There are no obligations and no risks to speak with us. Sign up today!