Widex ZEN2GO Review
Note: The Widex Zen2Go has been discontinued, and its tinnitus therapy is now incorporated into almost all new Widex hearing aids via a customizable program. For this reason, we’re not going to remove this post, as the everything in it is still applicable. It is estimated that there are around 250 million people worldwide that suffer from tinnitus. This problem is so pervasive that it can often extend into and inhibit one’s social life, mental health, and psychological well-being. For a long time, there weren’t very many solutions for tinnitus sufferers. In recent years though, several hearing aid companies have began tackling this incredibly common problem. Since it’s estimated that close to 20% of those suffering with hearing loss also suffer from tinnitus, it makes sense that hearing aid manufacturers would begin to offer up a few solutions.
In 2008, renowned hearing aid manufacturer Widex introduced what was called the “ZEN” program to their “Mind” line-up of hearing aids. The ZEN program was a program or “memory” of the hearing aid that would play peaceful music with the intent to calm and relax the mind of tinnitus sufferers, and hopefully essentially distract the brain from the sounds of tinnitus. This was and is still a popular program among Widex hearing aid wearers. At the end of 2012 Widex released the ZEN2GO, which was inspired by the success of the ZEN program.
The ZEN2GO is a open-fit behind the ear device which can be worn immediately out of the box- it doesn’t require adjustments from a hearing provider. When you buy a pair of ZEN2GO devices, they come with the RC-DEX remote control, which is very small and allows you to adjust the volume of the stimuli. Like the ZEN program, the ZEN2GO devices use random, soothing harmonic tones to help tinnitus sufferers relax, reduce stress and manage the effects of their tinnitus. The ZEN2GO comes with 4 standard programs. The first program or “program 1” does not play any sounds at all- this makes sense since you may not always need to them to be playing any tones. From there, you can quickly access programs 2-4 via the RC-DEX remote control. Those programs offer different variations of noises and tones, and most people shuffle back and forth between each program depending on their unique situation. So let’s be clear- the ZEN2GO does not eliminate the tinnitus, what it does is rehabituate your brain to hearing other, more peaceful and soothing tones, so you don’t notice the regular fluctuations of your tinnitus. The process of habituation is slow, so don’t expect immediate results, but most people will see significant results within 6 months.
So how does it sound? Listen for yourself here. I have personally listened to the ZEN program on other Widex aids and I think it is really, really, really nice. I don’t even suffer from tinnitus at all, but I would not mind wearing a device like the ZEN2GO all day long. In fact, I’ve had it on in the background the entire time I wrote this post, and completely forget it was even on! It really is incredibly calming, and the sound quality that comes through the aids even sounds better than it does on the sample I linked to above. It is such a warm, rich, well-balanced and peaceful chime-like tone that plays. If you’re wondering, you can adjust the volume of the tone so it does not interfere with your ability to hear conversational speech at all.
The ZEN2GO is not a hearing aid, so it’s best for tinnitus sufferers who don’t have a hearing loss. The typical retail price of the Widex ZEN2GO is around $5,000 for a pair.If you do have a hearing loss and also suffer from tinnitus, you might be interested in reading about the best hearing aids for people with tinnitus.
If you’re interested in trying out the Widex ZEN2GO risk-free, you can find a provider near you here.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.