The great thing about shopping for hearing aids today, is you have lots of choices. The hard thing about shopping for hearing aids today is all those choices. We at YourHearing get it. And we’d like to make things easier for you. So today, instead of just introducing you to a bunch of new technologies or focusing on lifestyle and features, we’re going to do all three! Today we’ll introduce people with a busy working lifestyle to new hearing aids with great features that can help manage the work, travel, and conference environments.
The workplace can be a demanding and busy environment. For someone with hearing loss not only do you need to keep up with all the regular strains of an employee, you have the added burden of making sure you are communicating effectively and hearing comprehensively. With changes in meeting places, like conference room or hallway, this isn’t always easy, but below are a few hearing aids with features that could make your experience at work easier.
Widex’s Dream boast “more sounds, more words.” The ability to hear and understand more words is an important feature for any office or work place. Communication is essential, and these hearing aids allow users to engage in conversations despite background noise. That’s because they can focus on speakers who are either in front or behind. But these hearing aids don’t just work with people in the office with you, they also help you understand better on the phone. In addition to these important communication focused features, these hearing aids are incredibly discreet. They have a CIC-micro (completely-in-canal) hearing aid that is one of the smallest on the market and a discreet BTE (behind-the-ear) device that has a larger battery and allows for more features and longer use before needing to be replaced.
Starkey’s Halo 2 is small, discreet and perfect for the businessperson who runs their office from their Apple product or phone. This hearing aid was made to be paired with Apple products like iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. Not only is this helpful for the tech minded, but that’s not even the best feature. This sophisticated technology has an advanced operating system that can detect familiar environments and change setting to accommodate. This is how the manufacturer describes this feature, “Geotagged memories automatically switch modes when the GPS feature in your iPhone detects you are in a tagged location. For example, a home memory activates when you arrive at home.” So this phone sinks with a GPS that can recognize the office and adjust your hearing aid settings for maximum benefit. And if you switch environments—say lunch with a client—it can detect and switch settings as well. This hearing aid also comes with its own app called TruLink™ that allows users to control the hearing aids via the phone. Basically it turns your iPhone into a remote for your hearing aids. In addition this Halo 2 comes with, Acuity™ Directionality—this features improves speech audibility in complex listening environments.
Phonak’s Nadia Q provides a wide array of accessories that allow for more connectivity and adaptation at work. Pairing it with Rodger Pen creates a connection that serves as a microphone for conversations happening at a meeting or restaurant. In addition, this hearing aid has wireless connectivity, a huge win for the worker who makes a lot of phone calls. It allows a user to make phone calls all without having to put a cell up to their ear. In addition, the sound from the call goes through both hearing aids not just one, making it easier to hear and communicate. According to the manufacturer Nadia Q can, “Regain your focus and boost your hearing performance.” Phonak’s website directly addresses issues with hearing loss and the workplace. They make the point that often people with hearing loss have to work-around or compensate for their listening difficulties when at the office. They boast that to combat this they’ve created, “various hearing solutions to deal with just about every listening scenario that you’re likely to encounter.” Just a few scenarios Phonak includes in this list are group discussion, face-to-face discussions, and presentations.
Oticon’s Opn flips the switch on directionality. Traditionally hearing aids provide a narrow beam of sound from the user to the speaker in order to lower the volume on those not speaking. This makes it easier to pay attention. But in the past some hearing aid users experienced disconnect with the room environment and sometimes from others in the room. Opn takes on this divide by creating a hearing aid that allows users to have an “open” experience. Instead of narrowing in on a speaker Opn, “scans the environment 100 times per second to analyze and balance every sound individually.” In other words the hearing aid delivers the full spectrum of environmental sounds but uses its 64 channels to vary loudness of each. By doing this the speaker will be the most in focus, but the other sounds will also be present. The key here is that sounds not overwhelm or distract but deliver a more authentic environment. This advanced technology is very new, but the potential benefit for the workplace seems to be quite good. As the manufacturer puts it Opn, “Opens a full soundscape to embrace multiple speakers and allows you to actively participate in conversations with more participants.”
Signia’s Insio is packed with features for the working person. This tiny hearing aid is what the manufacturer calls, “ultra-discreet.” That’s because not only does this hearing aid come in a variety of colors to match skin tone, but it’s custom tailored to the shape of your inner ear, making it nearly invisible. Designed to combat cognitive exhaustion, this hearing aid works to make listening in the work environment easier. According to the manufacturer, “SpeechMaster function continuously monitors what you are listening to and singles out the dominant speaker, while excluding unwanted voices and background noise.” In situations where there is extreme and unexpectedly loud noise, this hearing aid zones in on a speaker with narrow directionality. In addition, it automatically reduces all noise that is not this speaker with noise reduction. If you have an open office floor plan or a busy office, this hearing aid features something called EchoShield that reduces reverberations.
As with any new technology, visit your hearing health provider to learn more. And if you’re unsure which of these hearing aids will perform the best in your complicated work environment, try them out for 60 days risk-free.