Hearing Health News – September ’23

In this recurring blog series, we take a look at a few of the prior month’s biggest stories in the world of hearing health care

Oticon updates Companion app, discontinues On app

On September 15th, all users of Oticon’s On app received an in-app notification regarding the upcoming discontinuation of the Oticon On app for all Apple and Android users by the end of October ‘23. 

A new update for Oticon’s Companion app has been recently released for Android™ and Apple® devices, and Oticon is encouraging everyone to update to this version to ensure optimal compatibility and performance.

The easiest way to get the Companion app is to visit the App or Play store, and type in “Oticon Companion.” 

Upon installing the new app, Oticon recommends deleting the On app.

We have received some complaints from users of the new app, with regards to some connectivity issues, inaccurate battery level reporting, and a less-than-ideal user experience.

Oticon technical support and is aware of some of these issues and are making improvements. 

Should you need assistance, Oticon’s technical support team can be reached at 855-400-9766, but beware of long hold times lately due to this update. 

Despite increased accessibility, OTC hearing aids face low consumer adoption

Nearly a year ago,the FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, which was intended to make hearing loss treatment more accessible and affordable for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

However, a recent survey conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has shown that OTC hearing aids have not gained widespread adoption. 

According to the survey, only 2% of American adults aged 40 and older with hearing difficulties have purchased OTC hearing aids, and just 4% expressed an intention to buy them within the next year. 

One of the primary reasons for this limited adoption is the cost, with OTC hearing aids often retailing between $800 and $2,000, far exceeding the $200 that survey respondents were willing to pay.

And cost is just one issue—

The survey indicates that a lack of awareness about these devices and their suitability for early-stage hearing loss may be contributing to their limited adoption. 

Additionally, there is a need for more education about the potential risks associated with untreated hearing loss, which has broader implications for overall health, including cognitive decline and increased risk of falls and depression. 

While OTC hearing aids are a step toward improving accessibility, addressing issues such as cost, stigma, and the need for insurance coverage will be essential to further expand access to hearing healthcare.

At ZipHearing, we are confident that the adoption rate of OTC hearing aids will increase significantly beyond the current 2% in the coming years, given that we are still in the initial phases of OTC hearing aid availability.

Signia announces new IX ‘Integrated Xperience’ hearing aids

Earlier this month, Signia announced the upcoming October 3rd launch its latest platform, called ‘Integrated Xperience’ or ‘IX’ for short. 

This new platform will have two new hearing aids, a receiver-in-canal model called Pure Charge&Go IX, and an instant-fit completely-in-canal model called Silk Charge&Go IX

Both of those models are upgrades (newer versions), of the existing Pure Charge&Go Ax, and Silk X hearing aids.

Shown above, the Silk Charge&Go IX is the industry's first prescription completely-in-canal style rechargeable hearing aid.

According to Signia, IX hearing aids use a new RealTime Conversation Enhancement technology designed to enhance the experience of group conversations in noisy environments, by analyzing, augmenting, and adapting to conversations. 

  • Analyze​: The Conversation Analyzer processes 192,000 data points every second – identifying each individual speaker in the conversation and analyzing their location, prominence, and the dynamics of the conversation.
  • Augment: The Conversation Booster then uses this data to dynamically lock on to and enhance each speaker’s voice.
  • Adapt​: Finally, the multi-stream architecture ­updates thousands of times a second to create one, live auditory space that smoothly adapts as the conversation ­naturally flows and evolves.

If you’d like to learn more about these models, visit our Signia page and soon we’ll have a lot more info!

New Feature at ZipHearing.com: AI-Driven Product Insights

We’re proud that at ZipHearing.com we offer more hearing aid reviews than any other website.

We offer over 100 video reviews, and several hundred written reviews on various products, from real wearers of the products.

However, gleaning any useful information from these reviews takes quite a bit of time, and we thought we should make that easer.

To that end, we're now using artificial intelligence to analyze all of our user reviews and provide succinct pros and cons of the best-selling models.

Now, you can access comprehensive pros and cons based on real user experiences, helping you make informed decisions about each product, without having to sort through hundreds of user reviews. 

We invite you to take a look at this new feature in action for some of the following best-selling hearing aids: Phonak Audéo Lumity and Oticon Real.

ReSound announces new Nexia hearing aids

On September 28th, GN ReSound announced it's new ReSound Nexia hearing aids.

ReSound Nexia will be available in 3 technology levels, Nexia 5, 7, and 9, and 3 different styles, microRIE, RIE 61 with a 312 battery, and the RIE 62 with a size 13 battery and telecoil.

We expect the smallest and rechargeable microRIE style (pictured above) to be our best-selling Nexia style at ZipHearing—by a long shot.

And it's been a long time coming, but some good news for those with single-sided deafness, all 3 of these new models are now CROS compatible, in all 3 technology levels.

There are two big takeaways from this new release.

First, ReSound Nexia is one of the first hearing aids on the market to support the future Bluetooth LE Audio standard, which in the coming years will open up a world of interesting new Bluetooth streaming opportunities for hearing aid users.

Second, ReSound says Nexia hearing aids specifically address the challenge of hearing in noisy environments, providing industry-leading access to surrounding sounds.

Nexia features advanced technology including a 4-mic binaural beamformer, which significantly improves users' ability to hear speech from all directions.

Be sure to bookmark our page for ReSound Nexia, as real user reviews are going to start coming in soon!

Jeff is a California licensed hearing aid dispenser and the President of ZipHearing- one of the largest discount hearing aid suppliers in the United States. Jeff lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and 2 young daughters. You can learn more about hearing aids and watch Jeff on ZipHearing's Youtube channel.

Recommended for you

Leave a Comment