Premium features & their benefits explained
- Binaural processing:
Premium hearing aids share the greatest amount of information wirelessly in real time (simultaneously) using blue tooth with one another. The incoming signal is compared between the two instruments and the optimal amounts of amplification (gain) and compression are applied to both hearing aids. Precise inter-aural spectral differences are preserved in the important higher frequencies.
Benefits:Improved speech separation from other sounds and unmatched ability to tell where the sounds are coming from (localise) including the desired speakers voice when several people are conversing. The effect is that you feel more confident and in control which can lead to a greater sense of independence. You can participate in conversations on equal terms with other people in almost any situation.
- Greater number of digital processing channels and bands
Premium hearing aids divide the frequency range up into the greatest number of channels or bands for processing. For example one channel could range from 250Hz to 400Hz and the next in series from 400Hz to 550Hz. Each equally spaced band being 150Hz wide. In each band or channel the digital signal processing aims to differentiate between the desired speech sound (characteristic patterns) and filter it from background noise sound which usually has more of an erratic pattern. Within each channel the hearing aid gives more amplification to speech sound and less to the noise sound. The more digital processing channels in series the more opportunity there is for the hearing aids to improve the signal to noise ratio (S:N) That is the desired signal of speech relative to competing noise.
Increasing the number of channels also improves feedback suppression and multichannel directionality, which operate ona channel-by-channel basis.
A greater number of channels also enables more accurate shaping of amplification during programming to hearing levels across the full frequency range.
As the number of channels increases, the processing complexity increases which requires a more powerful digital processing microchip. Delays in processing speed can be perceived as an ‘echo’ or degraded sound quality. Premium hearing aids reduce processing between the incident sound and output sound to under 3 milli seconds to maintain sound quality.
The latest Premium Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids have 64 channels compared to their Advanced OPN 2 and Midrange OPN 3 which both have 48 Channels. Oticon’s latest digital processing chip platform is called the Velox. They engineer their own chip platform specifically for their hearing aids to handle the vast processing requirements. Their new Velox chip platform is very fast and able to perform 1,200 million operations per second (MOPS). It has50 times the processing power of their former Inium-Sense chip which supported a maximum of 24 digital processing channels in their former generation hearing aids.
Benefits: Improved sound quality ‘naturalness of sound’. Improved signal to noise ratio improving comfort in background noise. Improved speech understanding and reduced listening effort.
- Wider Band Width
The wider the bandwidth the more high frequency speech cues (harmonics) will be available which improves separation from background sound and localisation of sounds.
Benefits: Contributes to better speech understanding and reduced listening effort especially in complex listening environments.
- More Automation
Premium hearing aids usually have a greater number of automatic modes similar to programs which they automatically cycle through seamlessly to optimise hearing aids performance in a particular acoustic environment. For example Phonak’s premium Audeo B90’s have seven “Autosense” modes; Calm, Speech in Noise, Speech in Loud Noise, Speech in Car, Comfort in noise. Comfort in Echo and Music. The digital processing analyses the acoustic environment selecting the most suitable mode which modifies gain, adaptive directionality and other characteristics to optimise the listening experience for that environment.
Phonak claim a seamless transition in which the changing of modes is blended from one to the next rather then abrupt switching. With premium automation there’s really no need to remember multiple programs and manually switch from one to another as you change environments.
Premium hearing aids enable the user to simply “set and forget.” They don’t have to remember to manual switch the hearing aid to another program in the aim of optimising it for a particular environment. The user can simply go about their daily business knowing their hearing aids are automatically optimised for every listening environment. Premium users often forget they have hearing loss and are even wearing hearing aids.
- Direct Smart Phone Connectivity
Latest Premium hearing aids feature direct smartphone connectivity which does away with having to wear an intermediary neck loop worn device.
1.You can conveniently and discretely use your smart phone to make adjustments to the hearing aids. (volume, programs, trebble).
- A clinician can remotely adjust your hearing aids based on your feedback at your convenience without having to visit a clinic.
- You hearing aids double as a wireless headset in which your phone calls can wirelessly stream through your hearing aids for optimal clarity and convenience during phone calls. In fact any audio including music can streamed through the hearing aids with excellent sound quality.
There’s now no longer a need to be encumbered with a 3rdbody worn device for audio-streaming.
An Audiologist’s Experience
“I have worked as an Audiologist in Australia for over 10 years. Initially I worked for an overseas manufacturer owned National clinic and then went on to run my own independent practice which I have been doing for just over 6 years. In this time I have helped hundreds of clients with all levels of hearing loss and have fitted most leading hearing aid brands, styles and technology levels. This has ranged from the very basic “Free to Client” devices for eligible pensioners to the very top end premium hearing aids for both pensioners and the self funded.
We routinely follow up and review our client’s hearing and communication goals and management ability. In most listening environments significantly better outcomes are observed for the use of premium hearing aids than for the lower levels of technology.
There was generally far less frustration and return visits for adjustments required by those that chose to invest in the best.”
Audiologist (Andrew Mackendrick)
Research Proven Premium Advantages:
In 2014 and 2015, the Hearing Aid Research Laboratory (HARL), University of Memphis, Tennessee, published the results of their investigation into the question “Do premium-feature hearing aids yield better outcomes than basic- feature hearing aids for older adults with mild to moderate sensori-neural hearing loss?” They utilised EARtrak surveys with a large sample population of 484 real world users aged 60 -79.
The research yielded the following:
- People fitted with Premium technology reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction with one-to-one conversations (92.1%), compared with basic technology (82%).
- Significantly more people with Premium technology devices wore their hearing aids for more than eight hours per day (50%), compared with 28% of those wearing Basic technology devices.
- Significantly better speech understanding in soft background noise.
- Significantly better sound acceptability of wearers own voice.
- Significantly better outcomes for speech in the car.
- Significantly better comfort with loud sounds.
- Slightly better outcomes for speech in large groups.
A renowned forum for hearing aids hearingtracker.com provided a recent summary of results for a hearing aid survey of the “Big Seven” manufacturers entitled; Best Hearing Aid Brands – Top Manufacturers in 2018 at the following link:
The article provides survey results for the following key questions:
- Which hearing aid brands are the best?
- How are all the hearing aid brands related?
- Which hearing aid companies own which retail outlets?
- Who really manufactures X brand of hearing aids?
Let’s do the Math
That’s a pair of the very best and latest hearing aids money can buy for under $6000 and you won’t need to reinvest for an average of 6 years as the technology evolves. That’s a $1000 per year investment.
Analogy: You wouldn’t buy a pair of spectacle lenses that had lower optical clarity to save a few dollars would you? We believe your other primary sense ofhearingis just as important as vision to overall health and well-being.
100% Independent, Australian Family Owned and Operated
We are an independent family owned hearing service provider and hearing aid retailer. We are not owned by a hearing aid manufacturer.
We are a completely independent privately owned hearing aid retailer. This gives us the freedom to tailor the best hearing aid solution to your unique lifestyle needs and hearing levels from all the leading hearing aid brands, rather than been limited to one or two.
All our hearing aids are genuine and acquired upon demand through the authorised Australian dealers. They have been manufactured by reputable global leaders. We don’t bulk buy or stock hearing aids so you can be assured you get the latest models with full warranty from the manufacturer.
Comprehensive After Care Support & Sales Conditions Included
By dealing with an Australian provider you can be assured the following important after sales conditions are upheld:
- Minimum Three Year National Warranty, Four Years on Selected Hearing Aid models. (Overseas purchases only come with only 1 year international warranty with no assurance of quality control.)
- One Year of Comprehensive Insurancefor loss or damage Beyond repair from invoice date. So even if your hearing aids go missing in the first year we will replace them with brand new ones. An excess of only $350 per unit applies. (Not inherent with overseas purchases!)
- One year unlimited service appointments: Using remote adjustments & Face to Face consultations with highly experienced Audiologist (Via Video Consultation).
- One Year Supply of premium Power One hearing aid batteries included.
- Quick, Effective Repairs.
100% SATISFACTION 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
We provide up to 60 day trials to give you time to acclimatise. This also affords time to try them in various environments of your everyday life. If you aren’t satisfied we will refund 100% of your money. There are no hidden charges such as “fitting fees” which most of our competitors charge and rarely disclose up front. Some keep up to $500 if you decide not to keep their hearing aids.
We want you to be so happy with our great deals and excellent service that you tell your family and friends. Word of mouth is our best form of marketing!
Tele-Audiology & Remote Adjustments:
We have the capability remotely program and adjust your hearings aids. This can be performed in conjunction with Video chat to guide fine tuning and coach you through the use and management of your hearing aids.
Audeo/Video quality will depend on your internet service. For us to hear or see you through our software, your computer (Mac or PC) would need to have a webcam and microphone. A camera and microphone are not necessary for you to see or hear us.
Our proprietary tools work for over 90% of our customers; for others, we will if necessary send a PC with the appropriate software.