WHICH IS THE BEST HEARING AID?

This is a question that has plagued patients for decades.  Most clients in Ottawa looking for hearing aids rely on their hearing professional to guide them.  The problem is that some biases may exist as manufacturers indirectly own or otherwise support clinics. This means that you may get the best hearing aid from that manufacturer – but is that the best one for you on the market? If one manufacturer could fit everyone with 100% satisfaction then there would not be the plethora of manufacturers/instruments that we see advertised.

That’s why true independence matters.  An independent clinic can fit ANY hearing aid.  Manufacturers, like sport teams, strive to be the best but will eventually have years where they are refocusing their teams.  How can you know this unless you are in the industry? Thankfully there is a helpful guide out there in the form of the Audiologist Survey (Updated for 2017). They are keen to point out that the sampling of 360 audiologists, in a variety of work settings, yielded results that revealed brand preferences and experience with brands.

This is still a great tool to understand what brands professionals have been successful with and which are the brands that have more issues.  Look at some of the results, for example Best Sound Quality – at 38%, this manufacturer more than doubles its next closest rival.

You may also look at the brand with the Most Returns at 23%.  This simply demonstrates patient trends in sound/performance preference as an average.  Only you can tell which system works best for you. You need to be able to experience the differences in sound quality for yourself.

Remember that this is a snapshot in time with current products.  In a rebuilding year, this could change dramatically.

That’s why it is so important to do your research, be informed, and find a reputable, truly independent hearing clinic. Your professional should know the market, technology, trends, and how to get the best value from your instruments if they are to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

As always, if you would like to learn more contact us and arrange your consultation appointment.  We’d be glad to help you by answering all of you questions!

The survey may be found by clicking on the link below, then simply scroll down to see their results:

https://www.hearingtracker.com/audiologist-survey

Oticon Opn is winning big!

Oticon Opn has been on a roll.  If you live in the Ottawa/Eastern Ontario area and are looking for the best hearing aids to suite your needs, then we may have the solution you’ve been looking for.

Earlier this year we talked about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) awards presented to the Oticon for this ground breaking technology.  They won in the Wearable Tech and Technology for a Better World categories.  The annual CES Innovation Awards celebrates outstanding product design and engineering in brand-new consumer technology products.

This was then followed up by winning the coveted Red Dot design award. The Red Dot Design Award is an international product design and communication design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. There are prize categories for product design, design agencies, and design concepts.

The accolades did not stop there.  Adding to their award shelf, on April 20th, they were gold winners in the Hearing Technologies category for the Edison Innovation Award.  The Edison Awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation. Award winners represent “game changing” products, services and excellence and leadership in innovation around four criteria: Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact.

We at Findlay Creek Hearing Care Clinic are honored to have the folks at Oticon in our office on Saturday May 27th for a full open house and demonstration day.  We will have prizes and refreshments throughout the day.  Clients will be able to have their hearing tested. We will program a set of Opn for you to experience the difference for yourself.  One lucky winner will enjoy our grand prize! (Stay tuned!)

Opn is the first hearing aid ever to be coupled with NFMI and 2.4Ghz built in.  This is all thanks to their new Velox chip which is 50x faster and better able to support the way the brain processes sounds.  Furthermore, it is capable to linking to the internet to do amazing things like send low battery text messages to care givers, prompt the wearer if the door bell has been rung, and so much more.

Contact the clinic today to reserve your trial!

 

 

 

Oticon Opn™ Named 2017 Edison Award Finalist

Somerset, NJ
13 February 2017
Oticon Opn, the world’s first Internet-connected hearing aid, has been named a 2017

hearing-aid-opn-diamondblackEdison Awards™ Finalist in the Health & Wellness category. The international awards competition, inspired by Thomas Edison’s persistence and inventiveness, recognizes innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy. As a finalist, Oticon Opn will receive one of three awards – Gold, Silver or Bronze – that will be announced on April 20 at the 2017 Edison Awards Gala in New York City.

“We are honored to have Opn recognized among a stellar group of innovations that represent excellence in product development, human-centered design and innovation,” said Oticon President Gary Rosenblum. “It is especially gratifying to be recognized with an award named in honor of Thomas Edison, a man who experienced hearing loss at an early age. Edison’s inventions revolutionized everyday life and showed that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to achieve, contribute and, quite possibly, change the world.”

Oticon Opn makes a real difference to the lives of people, young and old, who suffer from hearing loss. As the first hearing aid to connect to and interact with Internet, Opn makes it possible to program hearing aids to talk directly with doorbells, smoke detectors and other smart devices using the Oticon ON App. Using IFTTT-enabled services, Opn can be programmed to alert caregivers to low battery on an elderly parent’s hearing aid. Alongside this connectivity, Oticon has made giant strides with Opn’s core function as a listening device. By opening up a world of sound, Opn allows users to better manage listening to multiple speakers in difficult situations such as noisy restaurants – a problem even most advanced hearing aids of today can’t solve.

About the Edison Awards

The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. Award nominees are judged by more than 3,000 senior business executives and academics from across the nation whose votes acknowledge the Finalists’ success in meeting the award’s stringent criteria of quality. For more information about the Edison Awards, Edison Universe and a list of past winners, visit www.edisonawards.com. 

This article was sourced and can be read in it’s entirety by visiting: https://www.oticon.com/inside-oticon/news/news/2017/feb-13-2017-edison-awards/

New Discrete CIC with Open-fit Option from Signia

Silk-primax_on-table_950x500px

Image Copyright Sivantos

Sivantos has been on a roll with new product launches this month.  The latest is SILK.

This is a small completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing instrument that is fit using a generic click sleeve. The sleeve is made of a soft material and comes in a variety of sizes to fit most clients. The main advantage is the potential for reduced occlusion (plugged-up feeling) as compared to standards CICs.

The technology used is the Primax platform, launched last year.  This has proven to be highly successful in other styles.  Sivantos claims feedback is not an issue which would be a great improvement.

In the past we have had other similar products, like Phonak’s Zip, trying to break this barrier only to be discontinued soon after.

SILK may be the discrete solution clients have been looking for to replace traditional receiver-in-the-ear hearing instruments .

Sivantos Launches it’s own Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Hearing Instrument

Cellion-primax_remove-from-charger_950x600px

Image Copyright Sivantos

Sivantos, formerly Siemens, has expanded its rechargeable portfolio by adding the new Signia Cellion a lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing instrument. Sivantos claims their new battery will last all day even with the additional consumption of streaming phone, music, or TV.  This makes this product ideal for customers who don’t want the hassle of changing batteries.

Cellion primax will turn off the hearing instrument and starts charging automatically as soon as it is placed in the charger. It then turns on automatically when it’s taken out again.

In summary, some key features include:

  • Rechargeable lithium-ion power cell
  • 24 hours continuous use with unlimited streaming
  • Contactless, inductive charging
  • Unique OneShell design

Furthermore, Sivantos claims batteries may be changed at the clinic thus avoiding repair fees.  The batteries are about 1/3 to ½ the cost of a repair fee.  This is in stark contrast to the Phonak lithium-ion battery which can only be serviced by the manufacturer.

Call today to find out more information and to schedule your appointment!

UPDATE: WSIB limits your options effective January 2017

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has taken steps to limit workers options in treating their hearing loss.

In July, 2016 AHIP (the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners) issued a letter to WSIB expressing grave concerns regarding their recent decision to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding Hearing Aids, Accessories and Hearing Assistive Technologies. Their arguments against the RFP were in relation to the Ontario prescription legislation and other roles and responsibilities of hearing healthcare professionals. AHIP called on WSIB to withdraw the RFP and to consider other approaches which could include negotiating with the manufacturing industry, as has been done in the past.

Recently AHIP was advised by WSIB that they proceeded with their Request for Proposal project, have completed this process and have in fact selected Bernafon, Phonak and Sivantos as suppliers. This change is to take effect on January 7, 2017.

This make no sense to us, as  Hearing Instrument Specialists.  WSIB recipients should be enraged that they have been restricted for no justifiable reason.

Here at Findlay Creek Hearing we are not directly affected as we deal with all manufacturers.  However, we now have fewer options to help you hear to the best of your ability.

UPDATE: January 20, 2017

WSIB’s decision has been met with fierce opposition from the audiological, specialist and worker representatives.  A campaign of protest was started prior to implementation with the goal of involving Ministry representatives.

To date, WSIB has not reviewed its policy and the fight continues.

 

Oticon launches Opn2 and Opn3

Oticon, a Willam Demant Holdings company, has launched the next layer of products under the OPN platform.

Image result for brain hearing

Copyright Oticon

Launched in June the OPN1, a tier 1 product, has been a game-changer for speech understanding in noise and for its clarity in all situations.

The two new products are tier 2 and 3 products, which means they are more cost effective than the full featured OPN1, but share many processing benefits of their big brother.

The Opn line of hearing aids sports the fastest chip ever for Oticon allowing the instrument to no longer depend on directional microphones in noisier situation and allow the key sound information the brain needs to process environmental sounds more naturally. The result is that clients hear the cues necessary to better pick out the sounds they want to hear.

These instruments, similar to the OPN1, are directly compatible with iPhone 5 and newer.  This means you can stream your music or movies through your hearing aids wirelessly.

We still are awaiting the arrival of the Connect Clip to make these OPN hearing aids once again legal for hands free driving.  Expect that in the spring of 2017.

 

 

WSIB, DVA, and ODSP change their rules

We at Findlay Creek Hearing Care focus on more than just hearing aids.  We have been working with WSIB, DVA and ODSP for decades.  Every time they change their processes it can be daunting for some clients.

Rest assured we have an in-depth understanding of the new requirements and will walk you through every step.

In simplified terms, this is what it means for clients:

DVA clients finally have access to better technology.

WSIB client can expect a simpler process with less paperwork.

ODSP has standardized across the province and this means no more running around asking for multiple quotes.

Regardless of your coverage, we can walk you through step by step.

If you or someone you know is unsure about their possible coverage, then call us today to book an evaluation to get the process started.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you have worked in noise, you need to have a hearing test, preferably before you turn 60, to protect you eligibility.  Call us today to get complete details.

Phonak unveils new Lithium-Ion rechargeable hearing aid

Phonak, a Sonova company, has launched the world’s first lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid.  Based on the Belong platform, this new product called the Audeo B-R, is now available. It is promoted to last 24 hours on a single charge – providing you limit yourself to 80 minutes of streaming audio.  The battery unit is built-in and has a quick charge option.  Battery life is expected to be 4 years.

Although a great improvement on current rechargeable systems, consumers must be aware of the cost of such technology. There is a premium on the hearing aid itself when you purchase the rechargeable units, as compared to the identical non-rechargeable devices. Should the battery fail, the cost of battery replacement is equivalent to a standard repair fee, as confirmed by Phonak’s Customer Service.  The combined fees may add up to several hundred dollars, increasing the overall lifetime cost of the device. In comparison, the base cost of regular batteries remains less than $30 per year for two hearing aids.

At Findlay Creek Hearing, we are still waiting to test the devices to see how the new platform performs from an audiological perspective and will update this post once we have had time to analyze. In the end, if convenience is a key factor, the Phonak Belong Audeo B-R is a great option.

 

OTICON breaks new Sound!

Oticon, one of the worlds leading manufacturer of hearing aids, is at it again.  They have a long history of research and development that have been truly ground breaking.  With they’re latest launch of OPN they have once again set the benchmark for others to follow.

OPN is proven to provide 20% reduction in listening effort which conserves your energy to enable a 20% improvement in memory and an overall 30% improvement in speech understanding compared to its own premium, previous-generation, hearing aid.

The key to the capabilities of Oticon Opn lies in the new Velox platform. The Velox chip, developed in-house at Oticon, processes sound 50 times faster than ever before, (compared to the Inium chip, previously used) in 64 frequency channels, making it fast and precise enough to support the brain.  Using ultra-fast noise reduction, Velox ensures the soundscape can be kept open, even in complex environments, and still significantly improve speech understanding.

This means that Oticon has done away with the industry standard of directional microphones in favor of an omni-directional system.  It uses the speed of Velox to reduce noise, even between syllables, analyze voice patterns, their direction and intensity in order to support listening queues necessary for distinguishing the sounds you want to listen to.

Oticon didn’t stop there. Now with Velox, they have created the world’s first dual

communication system hearing aid.  Oticon Opn features one dedicated communication system (based of near field magnetic induction – NFMI) for outstanding binaural processing and one for connectivity (2.4 Ghz)with electronic devices.  A more than a 200% increase in capacity* makes binaural processing better than ever, while powerful 2.4 GHz direct streaming ensures easy connectivity with audio devices and fantastic stereo sound. This means NO STREAMING NECKLOOP is required!!  However, this also means this system is no long considered legal as a hands-free device.  You are still required to dial, accept/reject calls, and hold the phone within proximity for use of the microphone.  Coming in 2017 is the ConnectClip which will remedy this problem.

All of this is made possible without compromising size and battery efficiency.

We are currently testing this new device and so far, it is very impressive.  Even in a noisy environment such as a wedding reception the instrument performed incredibly.

To learn more about this new innovative product contact us today!