Widex are a private hearing aid company based in Denmark who are ranked in the top 6 of the world’s hearing device manufacturers. Their UK head office is based in Chester, Cheshire. Like many hearing aid manufacturers today, Widex have affiliations with some UK retailers. They have a majority share in the company Regional Hearing Services and also in Arnold Hearing which is part of Bloom Hearing. This means that these retailers will favour Widex when recommending hearing aids.
Widex have always been at the forefront of hearing aid technology. Not only are they renowned for being the first to offer digital technology but they also produced the first fully digital in the ear aid back in 1995. They also won the European Inventor award in 2012 for their CAMISHA technology (Computer Aided Manufacturing of Individual Shells for Hearing Aids). This involves using 3D laser modelling to create an accurate model of a person’s ear to ensure perfect fitting.
With their latest technology, Widex has shown why they continue to be one of the leading hearing aid manufacturers. They have also launched MY.WIDEX.COM which allows hearing aid users to get more personally involved. They are manufacturers of some of the hearing instruments we provide. You can take a look at hearing aid costs here.
Widex introduced the Moment platform worldwide in 2020 and it is the first time ever that the signal processing on a hearing aid will have zero delay. It should translate to the most natural sound experience ever for any hearing aid user. It should also make hearing aids easier to wear for both new and existing hearing aid users. The Moment platform will come in six hearing aid types across the usual four levels of technology from Widex, the premium 440, upper mid 330, lower mid 220 and the entry-level 110. Initially, there will be no Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids available, however, that will change later this year.
The Moment is the first hearing aid that offers no delay in signal processing. Something that is quite astonishing, to be honest. That really is a game-changer and without doubt, it is a paradigm shift in hearing aid sound. The Moment offers zero delay, which basically means natural delivery of processed sound at the eardrum which should translate to very natural sound experience. Widex say that the Moment is the most natural-sounding hearing aid ever produced, and technically it should be.
Every hearing aid suffers a delay in signal processing, in essence, it takes time to process sound and present it at the eardrum. While sound that enters the ear canal normally doesn't, leading to an out of sync signal. If the signal delay is 11 milliseconds or over, it produces an intolerable echo. Under 11 milliseconds the echo is still there but is tolerable and eventually, the brain will blend it out.
That signal delay ensures that hearing aids sound like hearing aids. The brain perceives the delay and the sound is perceived as abnormal. Over time, the brain normalises the sound to a large extent, but it is never what you would call natural. Below is a graph presented by Widex detailing sound delays, the sound delay of some competitors, their own Evoke range and the new Moment range.
The Moment offers zero delays, which basically means natural delivery of processed sound at the eardrum which should translate to very natural sound experience. Widex say that the Moment is the most natural-sounding hearing aid ever produced, and technically it should be.
As I said, six hearing aid models, three Receiver In Canal hearing aid models and three In The Ear hearing aid models. The Receiver In Canal models are the RIC-10, which is the updated replacement for the Passion. The RIC 312D which replaces both the Fusion and the Fusion 2 and the new mRIC-R D which is a lithium-ion powered Mini Receiver In Canal hearing aid.
The RIC-10 (runs on a size 10 battery) is a very discreet device and the Passion it is based on was amazingly popular. The device is very small, so it doesn't have a telecoil onboard nor is it Bluetooth enabled. Although they are wireless and can access loop systems and streaming audio from other sources via a Dex.
The RIC-312D (runs on a size 312 battery) is the same size and shape as the Fusion and Fusion 2 which it replaces. It is a hugely versatile RIC that will cover hearing losses down to severe to profound. It has a telecoil onboard and the new upgraded Bluetooth radio that is Made For iPhone compatible and ready for Made For Android.
The new mRIC R D is a very discreet lithium-ion powered rechargeable RIC. It is a very versatile RIC which will cover hearing losses down to severe to profound in nature. It offers a telecoil and the new Bluetooth radio which offers a direct connection to iPhones and other Apple products and ready for Made For Android. Widex say that it is the smallest rechargeable RIC available on the market. The device looks about the same length of the RIC 10 but wider at the bottom.
The device offers twenty hours of use with one charge and sixteen hours of use with streaming. I really like the rechargeable devices, but I think I will reserve judgement on the charger. I can't say for sure, but it looks more like a desk type charger like the system Oticon uses rather than a multi-functional on the go charger like the one ReSound uses for the Quattro. That is a pity to be honest with you, apart from Signia with the charger for the Styletto Connect, no one else is really innovating on the charger unit for their rechargeable devices.
The three In The Ear hearing aids are the IM, the XP and the CIC. None of them have a telecoil, although they can access loop systems via a Dex. None of them are Bluetooth enabled although they are wireless and can connect to the Widex Dex accessories for streaming audio.
The IM is powered by a 312 battery and has a programme button as an option. It will cover moderate to severe hearing losses. The XP is powered by a 312 battery, it will not offer a programme button option and again it will cover moderate to severe hearing losses. The CIC is powered by a size 10 battery, it will not offer a programme button and again will cover pretty much the same hearing losses.
The absence of a programme button means that you will not be able to access any extra programmes unless you have a Remote Dex or use the Tonelink app on your smartphone.
I really liked the Widex Evoke app and I have to say I was blown away by the machine learning element and the difference it made for people. Widex have used it as the foundation for their new Moment app. They have also updated the Touch app to work with the non-Bluetooth hearing aids on the Moment platform.
The app has been re-built to be even more intuitive and easy to use. They have tried to keep as much as possible on one screen so that you have a lot of power when you open it. The same can be said for the Tonelink app. The SoundSense Learn, which is the machine learning system has been continually updated in the background since the introduction of the Evoke hearing aids. Widex say "To date, SoundSense Learn has created almost one million personal sound solutions for users around the world – each one making our AI-engine more efficient than ever and leading to better fitting in the clinic."
The Moment will be available in the usual four levels of technology, the 440 at the top and the 110 at the entry-level. It is my best advice that you buy the highest level of technology that you can afford. Even the 110, is a splendid entry-level device that will produce pretty good results although it will not have access to the SoundSense machine learning feature.
Call now on 01506 420519 to book your appointment or book online now