GRAB THOSE SPEEDOS AND BIKINIS THIS SUMMER – WATERPROOF, RECHARGEABLE HEARING AIDS ARE HERE!
FANCY A SWIM BUT FEAR GETTING YOUR HEARING AIDS WET?
They’re here - the hearing aids we’ve all been waiting for (or at least some of us) ……. drum roll……. the world’s first Waterproof Rechargeable Hearing Aid*. Finally, for those who enjoy bathing in the sea, paddling, kayaking, playing in a swimming pool, water aerobics, or simply observing others near or around water; the anxiety of getting your hearing aids soaked has been lifted!
Phonak, one of the industry leading manufacturers of hearing instruments, has developed and improved on their already outstanding Paradise range of hearing aids with a world exclusive - Phonak Audéo Life.
BUT ARE THEY ANY GOOD?
Paradise hearing aids have proven to be Phonak’s most successful technology range that they have ever produced. With simplistic recharging capabilities, Bluetooth technology as standard and sleek ergonomic design for comfort and discretion, it’s no wonder they’ve been so successful. Whilst packing in a whole raft of speech enhancing capabilities and features, these hearing aids are really made for the world we live in today.
Take for instance the Motion Sensor feature that allows subtle and real time changes to the microphone settings - the microphone can change direction dependent upon if the wearer is moving or not. This allows the microphone to pick up speech when sitting and talking to someone opposite but then when you both get up and walk around, the microphone automatically switches to pick up speech from the side.
Another feature is MFA or ‘Made For All’. This is Bluetooth connectivity which permits the hearing aids to be simultaneously connected to two different Bluetooth devices (Android or Apple) and up to eight different devices in total. This allows the wearer to experience a truly hands-free experience when taking phone calls through their hearing aids. The microphone cleverly switches to pick up the wearers voice during phone calls and enable the caller’s speech to come through both ears simultaneously. This can even be set up so that a simple tap to the side of the hearing aid answers a call and a double tap ends the call. WOW beam me up Scotty!
A common problem for hearing aid wearers is hearing speech in background noise. Phonak Paradise hearing aids feature some of the best technology available to help with speech clarity such as ‘Dynamic Noise Cancellation and Speech Enhancer Technology’. This helps process and enhance the speech of intent. Let's use a restaurant setting as an example. When speaking with someone sitting opposite - the speakers voice travels into the ear of the hearing aid wearer, moves up through the hearing system and into the brain for processing. Simultaneously, the background noise in the restaurant travels into the ear, moves up through the hearing system and into the brain for processing. Both the speech of interest and the background noise arrive in the brain at the same time. The speech of interest now needs to be separated from the background noise - a process known as ‘Speech Discrimination Ability’. This ability varies from person to person (a quick speech in noise test (Q/sin) can be carried out to gauge how well a person can pick out speech amongst noise.) In general, the better the quality of hearing aid, the better help is provided by that hearing aid to ‘clean up’ the signal before it reaches the ear. This in turn helps discriminate the intended speech much more clearly and is where Phonak Paradise technology works its magic!
AND NOW WE HAVE A WATERPROOF RANGE TO BOOT!
Phonak Audéo Life Waterproof Rechargeable hearing aids are the new member of the Paradise family. They have been developed to withstand water ingress, sweat, sea water as well as dust and dirt infiltration. A specially developed coating called Parylene acts as a sealant which protects the electronics within the hearing aid. So not only do they include all the latest technological listening features, but they also provide confidence to wear in and around water.
And if that wasn’t enough - Phonak Audéo Life Waterproof Rechargeable hearing aids also come with a newly developed induction charger – Phonak Charger Case Go™. This is ideal for customers who need to charge their hearing aids on the move. The charger features an internal battery which can charge the hearing aids up to three times from a single charge.
So to answer to our lead question (are they any good?) - we think they are pretty smart stuff! As an Audiologist there has never been a more exciting time to work with hearing aid technology. And as a consumer, there has never been a better time to experience the benefits of this technology.
So, no excuses for not donning your swimwear this summer and enjoying your hols to the full – get splashing around!
*Tested beyond the normal IP68 rating to withstand submersion in not just fresh water, but also salt water and pool water at depths of up to 50 cm or 1.64 feet.