In 2015 Siemens Hearing Instruments, one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids worldwide was acquired by a private consortium who renamed the company Sivantos. Sivantos have not rested on their laurels, they quickly introduced the Binax and then Primax powered range of hearing aids which genuinely amazed the hearing aid profession. With the release of the Nx platform, Sivantos completely changed their hearing aid brand to Signia.
Sivantos offer their hearing aids in a similar way to Phonak, they name their hearing aid types differently and use a numeral to signify the technology level. For instance, the Nx platform (chipset) is split into five technology levels, the 7 at the top, through 5 to 3 and the 2 and 1 at the bottom. The hearing aids types are called Insio for custom hearing aids, Motion for BTE hearing aids and Pure for different RIC / RITE hearing aid types. Signia have recently introduced a new category they call SLIM RIC and have introduced Styletto and Styletto Connect (with Bluetooth connectivity) The slim-line design of Styletto and Styletto Connect transforms the image of hearing aids towards high-tech hearwear
Signia has launched a brand new platform that they are calling the Xperience range. The platform has several new features which many are excited about already. These are the first hearing aids to use Motion sensors to change how sound is presented. Let's take a look at both the devices and the features on offer.
The Xperience platform offers the new Pure 312 X (with optional T-Coil) and rechargeable Pure Charge&Go X hearing aids in three levels of technology. It also brings brand-new, all-in-one smartphone app offering greater convenience for users.
They say that the new platform introduces the world’s first combination of advanced acoustic sensors with a built-in motion sensor. The hearing aids will be used to provide a more complete analysis of the wearer’s dynamic soundscape. They say that the new system will allow for automatic adjustments between sounds in front of and all around the wearer for a more personalized listening experience. In essence, they are saying that they use the motion sensors along with their new analysis system to give users more access to the sounds around them without compromising on clarity.
Signia has been down this route before, but the original system used the sensors on a connected smartphone to deliver more data points to the analysis and processing system. Many hearing aid wearers have an active lifestyle that involves walking, cycling and even running. But no hearing aids take the movement of the user into account when the management system decides how to help them hear better.
It means that most hearing aids don't necessarily adapt well as the wearer moves around, especially so in complex sound environments. Signia say that the Xperience platform, built upon YourSound technology, was developed to fill this crucial gap and respond to rapid changes in the wearer’s environment and their movement.
With the new YourSound technology, Signia Xperience hearing aids have access to more variables. It is a simple equation, the more you know about the variables in a situation, the better you can plan to deal with them. The same can be said about hearing aids that provide the best sound possible. Signia say that the built-in motion sensor will allow them to take into consideration how the wearer’s movement affects their hearing in each situation.
They have also introduced new technology which means the hearing aids no longer have to decide between focusing on what is directly in front of the wearer or in the general surroundings. The new system offers the wearer a more natural experience. They can continue benefit from the proper amount of frontal focus, while still being able to hear relevant speech from other directions.
Signia say the three key features of YourSound technology are:
The new Signia Xperience chip includes 80% more transistors and seven times the memory of the previous Signia Nx chip, while also being 60% smaller. As a result, the first two hearing aids on the platform, the Pure® 312 X and the Pure® Charge&Go X, are smaller yet more powerful than their predecessors.
The new Pure 312 X offers a brand new design with a rocker switch powered by a 312 battery and an optional T-Coil. The receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid also has Bluetooth® connectivity for effortless streaming of phone calls, music, and TV audio. The optional telecoil will be delivered in the next month or so and it is an inspired design.
While Signia has a fascinating add on telecoil that lives in a battery door, they have now designed a hearing aid case that has the telecoil built into it. It will simply be a case, of changing the case (see what I did there?). Anyway, I think it is inspired. If you purchase a 312 X and then decide at a later stage that you would like to sample the delights of modern induction loops, you simply get a new case put on your existing hearing aid.
The Pure Charge&Go X is a lithium-ion powered rechargeable RIC with Bluetooth connectivity. Signia say that the devices have 20% more charging capacity and are 16% smaller than the previous Pure Charge&Go Nx. It adds up to a discrete device that offers better battery life even with streaming. Signia have introduced a new inductive charger with a lid to protect the hearing aids as they charge, something that many people had complained about. The charger also works as a dehumidifier and is designed to fit custom ear molds.
The new Signia app combines three existing Signia apps into one unified easy to use app that should meet user’s needs, including:
The introduction of integrated motion sensors to hearing aids offers a huge amount of new possibilities. Signia is the first to do it and they will learn a lot from the experience. While the onboard motion sensors are already being used to make the experience better, the information that Signia will learn from the system has even more promise for future breakthroughs and possibilities.
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