2004: 49th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians

Industry Report – Product Innovations

audifon, Kölleda
aureus, allegro, assista – heading for the future with new product families

Focusing on innovation, audifon was introducing aureus, allegro and assista, the company's new digital product families. Covering all price segments ranging from economy to business class, the spectrum includes BTE as well as ITE hearing systems. The revised audifit software is quick and easy to use offering customers intuitive and highly flexible features.

The BTE systems, which are among the world's smallest BTE devices, provide an inexpensive introduction to the world of digital hearing. allegro, the ITE system, has a convincing price-performance ratio to offer. It is available with one hearing program, two frequency channels and in various design options. Moreover, audifon, now sporting a new corporate identity, presented the results of a fascinating study on a new BTE shell.

Audio Service, Herford
Asita HiFi – a fascinating sound experience

Audio Service was introducing Asita HiFi, the acme of modern advanced technology: the world's first hi-fi hearing system. Asita HiFi is equipped with an innovative hi-fi frequency response which permits a perfect and crystal-clear sound experience, and ensures optimum hearing and comprehension. No matter if at home, at the movies or at a concert: a clear sound, brilliant high frequencies and full low frequencies make hearing with Asita HiFi a fascinating experience. The Asita HiFi technology provides unique comprehension, even in noise. In discussion groups or at the pub – every word will clearly be heard. Asita HiFi is available as a BTE and as an ITE device.

Furthermore, at the EUHA Congress, Audio Service was presenting Open World, the new integrative concept for open fittings. Among other things, it includes the innovative Aida audio system, which offers people with moderate auditory losses untroubled hearing pleasure in the really important moments of life.

Beltone, Münster
Beltone Corus™ and Truefit™ – highlights of hearing system technology

At the EUHA Congress, Beltone was presenting Beltone Corus™, the company's absolute highlight. Beltone Corus™ is characterised by the most efficient feedback manager that has ever been used in hearing aids. The AFC feedback management system not only makes it possible to eliminate feedback, it also permits to apply amplification beyond the feedback limit. Up to 12 dB additional amplification may thus be used. People with hearing deficiencies will benefit from open fittings with considerably increased comfort, little or no occlusion, and an excellent sound, which is possible because of adaptive directionality.

Apart from this advanced product, Beltone was showcasing the Truefit™ laser production technology. Beltone developed this groundbreaking technique in order to be able to provide hearing aid acousticians with an optimum method for processing, and offer hearing aid wearers the best possible in hygiene standards. Truefit™ combines the well-tried shell material used in conventional shell production with the benefits of CAD software. This results in ITEs of the highest quality regarding hygiene, construction size and fit.

Bernafon, Berlin
Neo and Symbio XT – advanced technology for a natural sound experience

Neo is the latest product development from Bernafon, the Swiss hearing aid company. Neo is equipped with features hitherto reserved to high-end hearing systems. This means that the high-end benefits are now also available for digital entry-level devices. Neo offers sophisticated technology for everyone. It will meet any customer requirements.

Another focus at the EUHA Congress was on the varied options offered by Symbio XT, the world's first digital hearing system with ChannelFree™ signal processing. This revolutionary hearing system does not break up sound into different frequency bands, putting them together again to get back as much of the complete sound characteristics as possible. With ChannelFree™, by contrast, speech and the multitude of other sounds are processed as a whole, which results in a homogenous sound without gaps, overlapping, or distortion. Symbio XT adapts instantaneously to deliver a natural sound experience, optimum understanding of speech, and a clear, naturally rich reproduction of music.

bruckhoff & partner, Hanover
la belle – the hearing-aid glasses

la belle has been a synonym for hearing-aid glasses for more than ten years now. For customers from every corner of the world, there is no appropriate alternative to this comfortable way of solving their hearing problems. Its design and high wearing comfort make la belle one of the communication devices causing the least trouble.

In line with the zeitgeist, all the la belle devices are equipped with fully digital technology. The range includes advanced technology from leading hearing aid manufacturers as well as entry-level devices. Apart from an extensive repair service, bruckhoff & partner offer special glasses manufacturing which is unique in Europe. This exceptional combination has made bruckhoff & partner experts in this market segment.

GN ReSound, Münster
ReSoundAIR Plus and Canta 2004 – new dimensions of open fitting

GN ReSound was launching ReSoundAIR Plus and Canta 2004, two innovative further developments with new options for open fittings. The two hearing systems offer advanced dimensions which permit open fittings, giving the end-user a more comfortable hearing experience.

ReSoundAIR Plus provides the solution to one of the oldest questions of hearing aid fitting: how to do an open fitting with sufficient amplification but without reaching the feedback limit? Furthermore, ReSoundAIR Plus is one of the world's most inconspicuous mini ITEs characterised by maximum wearing comfort and an attractive design. The new Canta with its options for open fittings was developed especially for customers who value wearing comfort as highly as good comprehension. A unique production technique for in-the-ear hearing systems involves sophisticated shell manufacturing, which opens up a new dimension in precision and wearing comfort: in this case, GN ReSound is relying on computer-based 3D shell modelling known by the name of Autoshell.

Hansaton Akustik, Hamburg
Leonardo – leading-edge solutions for individual customer requirements

Hansaton Akustik was introducing Leonardo, a new high-tech hearing system from the digital segment. Leonardo combines innovation with the highest wearing comfort, offers digital perfection, and is characterised by an exceptional price-performance ratio. One of its outstanding features is the innovative BTE shell concept involving a BTE shell design with a cosmetic appeal. Leonardo is the first BTE device to have specifically been developed for spectacle wearers. And it is suitable for open fittings, too. The fitting procedure of this new hearing system is very easy. Hansaton has come up with the "design & go" fitting concept in order to be able to offer groundbreaking solutions, and meet individual customer requirements in a straightforward and quick manner.

Moreover, Hansaton Akustik, the Hamburg-based company, was presenting in Frankfurt am Main new semi-modular CIC devices based on fusion technology and equipped with a cosmetic surface finish.

Interton, Bergisch Gladbach
BIONIC and WirelessCROS – a new digital dimension

With its new BIONIC product family, Interton is opening the door to a new digital dimension. BIONIC uses ADRO, the high-end technology developed in the context of cochlear implant research, which is characterised by an intelligent algorithm based on innovative fuzzy logic. It is only due to ADRO that digital hearing systems can achieve their full output. Whereas existing hearing systems process signals according to a fixed pattern, BIONIC chooses a different procedure: signal processing operates not in a static, but a dynamic and flexible mode. This results in a perfect synthesis of good hearing comfort, high intelligibility and natural sound.

Interton was furthermore presenting their new WirelessCROS technology, the first in-the-ear system to use wireless ear-to-ear transmission. This system offers excellent wearing comfort, increased freedom of movement, and, because there are no troublesome wires, the highest cosmetic discretion. Interton is also setting standards as far as design is concerned. Nano, the world's smallest behind-the-ear system with two microphones, and BigNano, the most beautiful and powerful behind-the-ear device, are being offered in a new design. The two products are now available in bright colours as well as in transparent and smoke transparent versions.

Oticon, Hamburg
Syncro – the first intelligent hearing system

Oticon was launching Syncro, the world's first intelligent hearing system. Just like the human brain, Syncro is able to focus on speech, and filter out unwanted noise. Syncro's speech noise management system provides real-time analyses of the output signal coming from the amplifier, and decides in a split second according to the type of hearing situation which processing pattern will ensure maximum speech understanding. This means that Syncro makes decisions in the true sense of the term. A new live demonstration of the Genie fitting software enables the acoustician to graphically show his or her customer during the fitting procedure how Syncro is operating. Apart from this, Oticon has developed a multimedia CD called "Syncro Customer Advisory Service" to serve as a supporting tool in the customer service.

Another focus of Oticon's presentation was on OpenEar Acoustics for flat hearing losses of up to 80 dB. Oticon now offers as many as four product families from different price segments that may be used for open fittings.

Phonak, Fellbach
A sensational first-class product line

At the EUHA Congress, Phonak was launching a new first-class product line which bears comparison with a sensation. The keyword is bionics. Using nature as a model, Phonak has transferred the results of scientific research to digital technology in order to create a hearing experience which could hardly be more authentic. The Swiss expert in hearing aid technology was also presenting hearing systems for open fittings such as Perseo Open. They offer customers a natural sound and optimum wearing comfort without occlusion.

Phonak's range of innovations includes wireless CROS and BiCROS systems, whose singular advantage is the fact that they are compatible with any hearing systems with an audio shoe available on the market. For the basic provision of hearing instruments, Phonak offers a hearing system that can efficiently be fitted, making it particularly suitable for visits at home and old people's homes.

Siemens Audiologische Technik, Erlangen
ACURIS and E-POCKET remote control – two world firsts

Two complete world firsts were at the centre of Siemens Audiologische Technik's presentation at the EUHA Congress held in Frankfurt am Main. The ACURIS hearing system with binaural synchronising is setting new standards for signal processing and operation. Thus ACURIS focuses on crucial customer needs.

E-POCKET remote control is another pioneering development from Siemens Audiologische Technik. This novel type of remote control reads out data directly from the hearing aid – up to now, a completely original procedure which delivers increased ease of use.

The new workflow-oriented Connexx 5 fitting software ensures that binaural hearing systems are efficiently fitted.

Starkey, Norderstedt
GENESIS and Davinci – precision to the power of three

Starkey was presenting no less than three top-rate precision developments at the EUHA Congress: GENESIS 4 PDI, GENESIS 4 PAI and Davinci PxP. Precision Directional Imaging (PDI), Starkey's innovative directional solution, now also provides optimum directionality for the GENESIS 4 CIC products. Limitations to noise reduction as well as microphone distortion are a thing of the past.

Starkey now also offers more precision and increased amplification for GENESIS 4 due to the new and singular Precision Audio Imaging (PAI) operating system. PAI tackles individual hearing problems a lot more efficiently thanks to its precise options for setting the higher frequencies by means of bandwidth adjustment. Davinci PxP (PRECION EXTREME POWER) is a powerful BTE device with an attractive design, offering a state-of-the-art solution to customer preferences.

Unitron Hearing, Bremen
The new Unison product family and WiFi Mic – a quantum leap

At this year's EUHA Congress held in Frankfurt am Main, Unitron was performing an impressive triple jump regarding product innovations: Unison Essential, Unison 3 and Unison 6 – these are the names of three new series of hearing systems launched by Unitron. Together with the company's existing digital product families, Breeze, Conversa and Liaison, these represent the different high-tech categories and price segments available in the Unitron range. Unison Essential, Unison 3 and Unison 6 are being offered in a choice of versions ranging from power BTE to CIC. The series gives the customer absolute freedom to choose anything between superior comfort and an excellent price-performance ratio. Another novelty is WiFi Mic, the new CROS/BiCROS system that comes close to a true quantum leap in user-friendliness for all CROS system wearers.

All Unitron's product innovations are equipped with fully digital state-of-the-art technology. New algorithms make for optimum programmability. And a new shell design makes hearing systems from Unitron a little more attractive.

Widex micro-technic, Stuttgart
Senso Diva élan and Senso Vita élan – instant pleasure for hearing aid wearers

Top performance combined with the highest wearing comfort – these are the most prominent features of Senso Diva élan and Senso Vita élan, the two new developments that Widex micro-technic, the Stuttgart-based producer of hearing aids, was launching at the EUHA Congress in Frankfurt am Main. The élan technology solves hearing problems quickly and with cosmetic appeal. Customers will instantly enjoy wearing their hearing systems – right from day one.

Combined with Senso Diva and Senso Vita hearing systems, élan is an optimum solution for open fittings. The two hearing systems can be tailored to fully meet customer needs. Good hearing will be possible without any effort. Speech will again be clearly understood. The benefits associated with the élan systems will make sure that people with hearing impairment see their hearing aid specialist sooner, and hearing instruments meet with more acceptance much earlier.