2005: 50th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians

Industry Report – Product Innovations Innovations Presented by the Leading Manufacturers

audifon, Kölleda
audifon avacio – one of the smallest BTE hearing aids a with 2-microphone system

With the new avacio, audifon is continuing its tradition of manufacturing one of the smallest BTE hearing systems in the world – because along with functionality, many customers attach importance to an attractive design. Apart from a pleasant design, audiofon avacio is equipped with a 2-microphone system for optimising directional hearing. Using the audifit fitting software, the system can be programmed to switch between either an omnidirectional or a directional microphone, or between an omnidirectional microphone and telecoil. audifon avacio's signal processing is based on an up-to-date, high-resolution digital sound processor (DSP) using four channels and adaptive 128-band noise reduction. The audifon avacio satisfies the highest auditory requirements. The combined DSP and directional microphone system optimises speech intelligibility in noise or offers precise sound impressions from the environment in its entirety. Thanks to its adaptive feedback suppression, the audifon avacio supports a wide fitting range, which makes for high flexibility in hearing aid fitting – even for open fittings.

Audio Service, Herford
Luxor 1 and Monza – top quality in every price segment

The new Luxor 1 hearing system is top-class in Audio Service's product range. Four feature groups offer rapid and optimum fitting, further improved speech intelligibility, natural loudness perception and perfect user-friendliness. Luxor 1 guarantees optimum hearing comfort.

Audio Service also presented TRC (Twin Ratio Compression), an innovative concept for natural loudness perception. Using two variably adjustable compression ratios for dynamic compensation, TRC allows close approximation to normal loudness perception. This means more natural hearing and improved speech intelligibility for the customer.

Offering a particularly attractive price-performance ratio, the Monza 1 and Monza 2 hearing systems are now available in the mid-range segment.

The new amplifiers are combined with two new BTE housing variants.

Beltone, Münster
Focus on cosmetic appeal

At this year's EUHA Congress, Beltone's focus was on cosmetic appeal and comfort.

For its miniature BTEs, Beltone has introduced thin tube adapters. Due to enhanced signal processing and an optimised thin tube system, considerably more customers can now be targeted for BTEs with cosmetic appeal.

Beltone therefore offers small and discreet miniature BTEs for optimum hearing instrument cosmetics in all three price categories above the segment covered by public health funds.

Bernafon, Berlin
Perfect hearing with Swiss technology

Bernafon's innovations offer Swiss perfection at its best. Symbio XT is the first family of hearing systems using ChannelFree™. By analogy to the human ear, this processing technology captures the whole sound signal. The benefits of a system such as this are quite obvious: natural sound and optimum speech intelligibility thanks to phonemic amplification. Using OpenFit™, Symbio XT is highly suitable for open fittings.

SwissEar™ is Bernafon's first hearing system equipped with a sound tube. It combines the best solution for open fittings with tried and tested hearing aid technology. ChannelFree™ signal processing and Adaptive Signal Unification™ guarantee perfect sound quality. Moreover, SwissEar™ offers excellent directionality, phonemic compression and Soft Noise Management for optimum speech intelligibility, even in noise.

At their booth, Bernafon were also offering a world-first as a new solution for the premium segment.

bruckhoff & partner, Hanover
External receiver – for excellent transmission

This year, bruckhoff & partner were focusing on the invisibility of hearing aids. Having developed the external receiver system, bruckhoff is aiming at avoiding the negative acoustic properties associated with a sound tube. The external receiver combines an extremely thin connecting tube with exceptional acoustics. freestyle CL and the la belle CL BTE hearing-aid glasses have been equipped with this innovative system.

Fono-Fix is a new product line. This acoustic socket for the transmission of radio and television sound offers an improved sound result for users of hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Of course, bruckhoff & partner's product range includes an open CROS system for BTE hearing aids.

GN ReSound, Münster
ReSound Metrix – a first-rate hearing instrument

At the EUHA Congress, GN ReSound was presenting ReSound Metrix, the company's new top-quality product. Thanks to its 17-channel warp signal processing, ReSound Metrix is setting new standards for sound processing. It has been designed to deliver unparalleled speech intelligibility. Its excellent sound quality is based on dynamic directionality and the Dual Stabilizer feedback cancellation system. This innovative hearing instrument ensures optimum wearing comfort and avoids occlusion.

OnboardAnalyzer, an electronic database built into the ReSound Metrix, records different types of listening situations, thus guaranteeing precise and individual fitting.

With the ReSound Metrix, GN ReSound underpin their claim to leadership in the technological development of hearing instruments.

Hansaton, Hamburg
FREE SOUNDMANAGER and the new LEONARDO family – cosmetic appeal and hi-tech combined

The innovative design of the FREE SOUNDMANAGER is a complete departure from any traditional hearing aid design. The FREE SOUNDMANAGER is convincing because it is comfortable to wear and completely inconspicuous. Apart from a mini tube system and pre-shaped children's tubes, an innovative external receiver concept know as FREE Natural SOUNDMANAGER, is available for the FREE system.

LEONARDO stands for a combination of absolute high-end technology with maximum wearing comfort and optimum sound quality. The LEONARDO product family has now been supplemented by three innovative BTE products that captivate customers with their cosmetic appeal, attractiveness and flexibility. They provide an optimum solution for a wide range of acoustic requirements: LEONARDO II using an earmould, LEONARDO II Open with a mini tube, and LEONARDO II Natural with an innovative external receiver concept. The three systems are equipped with Push-Scroll, an entirely new kind of patented control that combines the functionality of a digital volume control with the options of a program pushbutton.

Interton, Bergisch Gladbach
BIONIC technology – better quality of life thanks to better speech intelligibility

With BIONIC technology, Interton was presenting an absolute innovation concerning speech intelligibility. Due to cutting-edge linear signal processing, the hearing aid user can hear speech much better, even in background noise. The technology used results, for instance, in a highly optimised signal-to-noise ratio.

The BIONIC NanoTwin open hearing system, available now with a thin and unobtrusive sound tube, also benefits from BIONIC technology. The highest wearing comfort and an option for open fittings are guaranteed.

BIONIC ShapeTwin, the new design hearing system, is equipped with an external receiver, which makes for an exceptional hearing solution. An innovative approach permits combining the receiver with an individually shaped earmould. Apart from that, it is possible to clip the external receiver into the otoplastic, which is highly convenient and user-friendly.

Interton has an innovation in fitting software to offer: CompuFit 4, which can be used for all Interton hearing aids, facilitates fitting and fine-tuning.

Oticon, Hamburg
SAM – patented innovation in hearing aid fitting

At this year's EUHA Congress, Oticon was presenting a world-first in hearing aid fitting. The patented Sound Activity Meter (SAM) developed by the Danish company succeeds in taking into account for hearing aid fitting data that are usually not available. SAM enables the hearing aid acoustician to consider the client's individual auditory lifestyle. The measuring device is only two centimetres long and can be worn on the lapel. Within I few days' time, SAM analyses the wearer's personal auditory environment, thus permitting precise and individual fitting. With SAM, Oticon is paving the way for an entirely new dimension in hearing aid fitting. Combined with Oricon's intelligent Syncro hearing systems, this is the basis for an excellent fitting.

Phonak, Fellbach
microSavia – the digital revolution

The Savia product family from Phonak sets the standard for digital hearing aid technology. Using Digital Bionics, microSavia permits excellent hearing and natural sound, even in difficult listening situations. microSavia captivates users with its miniature housing and elegant design. Phonak's revolutionary hearing instrument is particularly suitable for people with mild or high-frequency hearing losses. This powerful first-class mini hearing aid offers relaxed hearing, and is suitable for open fittings.

Phonak also presented a new mid-range hearing aid equipped with Digital Bionics. eXtra is characterised by exceptional sound and an attractive design coupled with user-friendly and innovative features.

Siemens Audiologische Technik, Erlangen
Artis e2e – the hi-tech wireless system for the upper mid range

Siemens was introducing their new Artis and Cielo product families. These mid-range hearing instruments are characterised by a multi-channel adaptive directional microphone system, noise reduction, wind noise suppression and feedback cancellation. Moreover, flexible programming options guarantee customer satisfaction. This is particularly true to for the Artis e2e, operating on the smallest wireless system in the world. In binaural fittings, this technology ensures that the devices on the right and left ears are synchronised in order to optimise speech intelligibility and localisation. The Siemens ePocket remote control is available for a discreet operation of the Artis e2e hearing systems. Apart from this, Artis hearing systems are worldwide the first to feature moisture and dirt-repellent nano-coating, which makes them highly reliable.

Siemens has developed an innovation for manufacturing in-the-ear devices: iScan. This ear impression scanner enables hearing aid acousticians to scan impressions, and order ITE hearing instruments online. Thanks to the precision of digital data transmission, fitting accuracy is multiplied – as is customer satisfaction.

Starkey Laboratories, Norderstedt
ELI, Aspect Xtra and DaVinci – performance and design for a new era

Better hearing, better quality of life: this has always been Starkey's philosophy. In this world of multi-media, even hearing aid wearers need not forego Bluetooth components. Starkey Laboratories were introducing ELI (Ear Level Instrument), a tiny Bluetoooth adapter that offers wireless communication between a hearing aid and a number of Bluetooth-compatible signal sources, thus ensuring improved quality of life.

Aspect Xtra, the smallest OTE device available, is characterised by optimised earmoulds and new tubes. Feedback cancellation, improved speech recognition as well as 4-channel technology make Aspect Xtra unrivalled as far as features, price and design are concerned. DaVinci PsP is Starkey's first hybrid hearing system which may be used for open as well as power fittings and anything in between.

Unitron Hearing, Fellbach
Conversa.NT – open fittings on the advance

Unitron Hearing has equipped its entry-level and mid-range products with new high-quality functions. Six open products, two models, three price levels. A multitude of innovations has been added to Unitron’s product range that will be welcomed by the hearing impaired and will provide significant audiological assistance. The functionality of Conversa.NT and all three products in the Unison series was enhanced. The company is continuing its strategy of offering real, recognisable added value in each of its product and price categories. Unitron Hearing has responded to the trend of open fittings and enhanced it with their customers in mind. The company developed these products further so as to enable acousticians to offer open fittings to every spending group. Conversa.NT, Unison 6 and Unison 3 are available in open versions such as Moda 10A BTE as well as size 13 BTE with no volume control. With this expanded range, Unitron Hearing provides the widest selection of hearing aids for open fittings from the entry level to the mid-range price level. If the hearing loss progresses further, the end customer can switch from an open solution to the traditional closed solution. The latest Unison 6 and 3 (Moda 10A BTE and 13 BTE with no volume control) and Conversa.NT (13 BTE with no volume control) will be available from November 2005.

Widex micro-technic GmbH, Stuttgart
Inteo™ – the dynamic world-firsts

Widex micro-technic was launching Inteo™, a world-first in the premium class. Inteo's core, the Dynamic Integrator, is a unique new development. It stores all of the user's individual preferences and requirements, and, thanks to its innovative signal processing technology, uses these data for each and every decision.

In the mid range, Bravissimo élan BV-8é offers an open fitting strategy, natural sound quality and optimised speech intelligibility. Bravissimo élan BV-8é provides digital wearing comfort at an extremely attractive price-performance ratio.

Apart from these first-class products, Widex micro-technic was presenting its élan earmoulds, which are manufactured using the CAMISHA high-precision laser technology. This innovative manufacturing technique makes offering élan earmoulds for open fittings possible for the first time.