ReSound LiNX2 9 vs. LiNX2 7 vs. LiNX2 5
Last week we announced that we are now offering ReSound hearing aids. We’ve seen a good amount of interest in ReSound hearing aids among our website visitors, so we thought we’d provide a brief outline of some of the main differences between ReSound’s most popular hearing aids- the LiNX2 9, LiNX2 7 and LiNX2 5.
The entire feature-set and functionality of ReSound hearing aids can be broken down into 3 categories: functional features, audiological features, and fitting features.
Functional features relate to aspects of the hearing aid that the wearer actually interacts with, such as physical build, volume control, programs and accessibility buttons, and app and accessory compatibility.
Audiological features relate to the actual audiological performance of the hearing aids- such as number of channels, and noise reduction capabilities.
Fitting features relate to the tools made available to your hearing provider within the fitting software when fitting the hearing aids.
Let’s first take a look at the different functional features between each product.
All images in this post are taken directly from ReSound’s professional brochure (download).
As you can see from the image above, the only functional difference between the 3 aids is Ear-to-Ear communication.
What is Ear-to-Ear communication? Ear-to-Ear allows LiNX2 hearing aids to exchange data and work as one system. For example, if you push a volume or program button on one hearing aid, the change can automatically be made to the other aid as well. Aside from this synchronization of user controls, Ear-to-Ear communication allows the hearing aids to compare audio data from the microphones, analyze the sound environment, and make automatic changes. This feature is particularly helpful in noisy environments. As you move from basic, to advanced, to ultimate Ear-to-Ear, the hearing aids’ abilities to work together and dynamically suppress unwanted noises is improved.
Now, Let’s take a look at the different audiological features between each product.
The audiological features are the most important features of a hearing aid. As you’ll see from the image above, that’s where most of the differences between these hearing aids exist. I am not going to provide an overview of all the features above, but I’ll touch on the ones that are most important to most people.
Number of channels: The more channels a hearing aid has, the more natural the sound quality. Having a high number of channels ensures that speech is amplified as naturally as possible, and that loud sounds are not too loud, and quiet sounds are loud enough to be audible.
Spatial sense: Many hearing aid wearers complain of not being able to tell the direction of a sound source when wearing hearing aids. Spatial Sense is ReSound’s attempt to reduce that sensation, and help hearing aid wearers make sense of the acoustic space they’re in. Spatial Sense attempts to give wearers more natural three-dimensional listening and easily locate sound sources. Having Spatial Sense will make a big difference in your ability to understand speech in noise.
Directionality & adaptive directionality: If you have trouble hearing in background noise, directionality is your best friend. Directionality in hearing aids refers to the hearing aid microphones automatically focusing on the speech you want to hear in a noisy situation and reducing unwanted background noise. As you move from basic, to advanced, to ultimate directionality, the hearing aid’s abilities to pinpoint the speech source in a noisy environment is improved.
Environmental optimizer: This feature classifies listening environments based on their acoustic characteristics, and allows for fine-tuned gain and noise reduction changes to be made in different environments. This feature works automatically and helps reduce the amount of manual adjustments needed, ensuring a more comfortable and hands-free listening experience in all environments.
Noisetracker II: Noisetracker is a feature which works to reduce non-speech, noiselike sounds like engines, fans, and other steady noise. The higher the technology level, the more aggressively this feature works is able to work at suppressing those noises.
Windguard: A common complaint of hearing aid wearers is wind noise. When the wind blows over hearing aid microphones, it can sometimes make a “shhh” sound which can be loud and uncomfortable. Windguard is ReSound’s solution to this problem. As you move from basic, to advanced, to ultimate Windguard, the hearing aids’ ability to reduce unwanted wind noise is improved.
Finally, let’s take a look at the different fitting features between each product.
As a prospective hearing aid wearer, fitting features are not something that you need to educate yourself on. These features are mostly insignificant to an end-user, and have more to do with the logistics of how your hearing provider can adjust your hearing aids, rather than what your hearing aids are capable of. Still, a simple understanding of the differences that exist between these 3 aids may be beneficial.
As you can see from the image above, the only difference in this category is the number of gain handles.
What are gain handles?
When your hearing provider programs your hearing aids they will adjust all kinds of different parameters. One of the most important things they can adjust is the amount of gain (volume) that the hearing aids present at certain frequencies (whether those frequencies are low, medium, or high frequencies).
The more gain handles a hearing aid has, the more granular, or precise, the hearing aids can be adjusted at each frequency. In a real world hearing aid fitting, this means that when you have complaints about sound quality, the more gain handles you have, the greater flexibility your hearing provider has to adjust your hearing aids and resolve your complaints.
Getting hearing aids with more gain handles is an excellent reason to upgrade to a higher technology level.
Understanding the differences between hearing aid technology levels is not an easy task to the uninitiated, but here’s a simple rule of thumb.
- If you lead an active lifestyle, you’re likely to do best with the premium technology of the LiNX2 9.
- If you lead a casual lifestyle, the advanced technology of the LiNX2 7 is likely to meet your needs.
- If you lead a quiet lifestyle, and mostly want hearing aids to hear better in quiet, one-on-one conversations, the mid-range technology of the LiNX2 5 is probably good enough.
Finally, it’s important to note that while an understanding of the differences between each technology level can be beneficial, it is largely the job of your hearing provider to determine which technology level is appropriate for your lifestyle and hearing loss.
Have you worn one or more of the above-mentioned hearing aids and have something to contribute? Please feel free to post your comments below!
If you’d like to speak with a hearing provider about trying any of the above hearing aids for 45 days 100% risk-free, please give us a call at 800-731-6794.