Tagged: BTE

Unitron Joins the Wireless Race

May 23, 2016

With a new digital chip called Era that out-performs all of its previous generations of hearing aids, Unitron joins three other leading manufacturers that offer true wireless technology to those with hearing loss. Wireless technology allows the hearing aid on one ear to communicate with the hearing aid on the other ear, improving sound quality and noise reduction capabilities. Wireless technology also allows the hearing aids to connect to personal listening systems such as MP3 players, stereo systems, cell phones or to a television. The new Era chip is a more advanced system that allows for better manipulation of sound to improve the listening experience as well as allowing for faster processing of sound coming into Unitron’s new families of hearing aids, Quantum and Moxi.

The Quantum and Moxi families of hearing aids incorporate the new Era chip and were developed to offer better understanding of speech, especially in background noise. They also promise a more natural sound quality. Both Moxi and Quantum are offered in three different levels of technology, allowing those with limited budgets to have access to the latest advancements in sound processing, noise reduction, feedback management and wireless connectivity. Quantum is available in the behind-the-ear (BTE) style as well as custom pieces that fit in the ear. Moxi is a canal-receiver technology (CRT) which places the speaker of the hearing aid in the ear canal while the body of the hearing aid, which holds the working parts of the hearing aid and the Era sound processing chip, is housed in a discreet case that sits directly behind the ear.

Quantum and Moxi both have four signature features that set them apart from other hearing aids available:

• SmartFocus is an automatic feature which provides optimal speech intelligibility when necessary and at other times, offers a comfortable listening environment when sounds might otherwise become too loud or distorted.

Pinna Effect provides natural sound quality. Historically, behind-the-ear hearing aids have had a difficult time correcting for the wearer’s poor ability to find where sounds are coming from, called localization. When the microphones of a hearing aid sit outside of the ear, the natural localizing effect that the shape of the outer ear allows, called the pinna effect, is lost. The Pinna Effect setting in Quantum BTEs and Moxi CRTs corrects for the fact that the hearing aid sits outside of the outer ear (the pinna).

Natural Sound Balance is focused on making sure that natural sound coming into the ear canal from the environment blends with the amplified sound coming from the hearing aid. The result is a clear and balanced signal.

Wireless connectivity provides ease of use to the wearer. The broadband wireless technology in the Quantum and Moxi family of hearing aids allows for communication between hearing aids and gives the wearer more freedom with the hands-free use of personal listening devices such as an MP3 player or cell phone. With an accessory called the uTV, wearers can also connect wirelessly to television.

With Quantum and Moxi, Unitron is able to offer the features that those with hearing loss are looking for. The new hearing aid families both promise to be industry-leaders and are a significant step forward in Unitron’s technology offerings.

The New Miniature BTE

May 9, 2016

Just a few short years ago, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids were not the style of choice for those who require hearing aids for improving their hearing. In fact, less than 20% 1 of people who wore hearing aids prior to 2000 chose the behind-the-ear style. Who could blame them? The old-style BTE’s were large, bulky and not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. These issues enhanced the stigma that hearing loss is an old-person’s ailment and a handicap. Technology advancements have improved the number of BTE wearers to more than 60% 2 and with better, smaller choices, surveys indicate that more people with milder hearing losses are now benefiting from hearing aids1.

Along with having a smaller case size, today’s behind-the-ear hearing aids are more stylish and functionally versatile. The first miniature BTE wasn’t much to look at with very few case color choices. Although it was smaller than its ancestors were, it was very limited in terms of its offerings for user controls. In other words, it had very few bells and whistles. It was smaller for sure, which made it more aesthetically appealing, but the functionality limited how the wearer could manipulate sound in the environment. As the number of manufacturers who offer miniature BTE’s increases and the types of technology and sound processing available in the hearing aids expands, satisfaction with the BTE has improved. In fact, overall satisfaction ratings are significantly higher (85% vs 76%) than the traditional custom styles, even though there are no significant differences in perceived benefit or value1.

With technology advancements, behind-the-ear hearing aids are an exceptional choice for nearly anyone, no matter the degree of hearing loss or configuration. If you are experiencing hearing loss, whether you’ve worn hearing aids in the past or not, talk to your hearing healthcare provider about the new BTE to see if it is a good option for you.

1 Kochkin S: MarkeTrak VIII Mini-BTEs tap new market, usersmore satisfied. Hear J 2011:64(11):17-24
2 Kirkwood D: Resilient hearing aid industry records rising sales despite a troubled economy. Hear J 2009;62(12):11-16.