Two New Hearing Aid Platforms Launched For 2021

By Colin Forrest on 20th January 2021

Both Oticon & Bernafon Launch New Hearing Aids

Bernafon Alpha

Hopefully A Better Year For Us All

I think many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020, and I certainly hope and feel that 2021 will be a much better year. Last year didn't see a huge amount of activity from the big hearing aid manufacturers. In fairness to them, they did rush out a lot of good remote care tools, but there weren't many new products introduced. So it is refreshing to see not one, but two launches of new technology this early in 2021. Let's talk about what's new.

Bernafon Alpha Hearing Aids

Bernafon is a brand that I came across a couple of years ago and I have had some real success with. The new Alpha technology is based upon the new Demant hardware which also underpins the More from Oticon which I will talk about in a moment. Bernafon says it is the first hybrid technology hearing aid. Each element of their strategy will use a hybrid approach, a blending of two reliable technologies to deliver more than they can individually. They say "Bernafon’s Hybrid Technology™ propels four hybrid processing blocks to provide improved speech understanding and listening comfort."

Bernafon Alpha Rechargeable hearing aids

The new platform will initially be available with just the rechargeable miniRITE-T (mini Receiver In The Ear-Telecoil) device in three levels of technology. The headlines I have at the moment are as follows:

  • Rechargeable miniRITE-T
  • Telecoil onboard
  • Three different technology levels
  • Made For Android
  • Made For iPhone

Made For iPhone and Made For Android

The Alpha is both a Made For iPhone and a true Made For Android hearing aid, offering direct connectivity including streaming from both iPhones and Android phones. The Alpha uses the Google ASHA standard so it will connect to many Android phones with Android 10 and above.

Meet the new Oticon More Hearing Aids Platform

Oticon is also introducing their new platform with the new Demant hardware which they are calling More. They say these will be even better than anything that has gone before.

Full balanced sound from Oticon More

Oticon focuses on what they call Brain Hearing technology, they believe that the best way to activate the brain's natural ability is to give it all all of the sound information it needs. They feel that doing so will enable the brain to process it effectively and deliver a better experience for the user.

More is the name of the new platform, and it is powered by a new chipset that Oticon call PolarisTM. Oticon says that in comparison to the previous platform, More has the following advances:

  • 16 times more capacity to execute advanced algorithms
  • Intelligent use of industry-leading 64-channel processing
  • Twice as much computation capacity and speed
  • Deep Neural Network processing
  • Double the precision in 1.5-5kHz frequency bands

500 Times Per Second

The hearing aid scans and analyses the sound scene 500 times per second to understand the complexity of the environment that you are in. The hearing aid then organises the sounds around you to create a clear contrast and balance between them. They say that they have trained this system with over 12 million real-life sound scenes so that it works better to balance the sound scene around you than anything before.

The New Hearing Aids

Initially, they are introducing a rechargeable miniRITE (Receiver In The Ear). It is a very discreet Receiver In Canal hearing aid. The miniRITE sits well on the ear and for all intent and purpose is invisible to anything but the closest inspection.

Oticon More

Made For iPhone and Made For Android

The new device is both a Made For iPhone and a true Made For Android hearing aid. It will offer direct connectivity including audio streaming from both iPhones and many Android phones using Android 10 and above. The device uses Oticon's lithium-ion rechargeable cell, which unlike many others, can be changed in the clinic if needed.

It will offer a full day of hearing, including streaming, with a single 3 hours charge. It has a convenient double push-button making it easy to control volume and adjust programmes. The aids are also IP68-certified which means they can withstand humidity and dust.

If you are interested in either Bernafon Alpha hearing aids or Oticon More hearing aids, or if you would just like your hearing tested, call me on 01506 420519 to book your appointment.

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