Widex is one of the world's largest hearing aid manufacturers – and one of the best. Founded in 1956 and headquartered Denmark, this family-owned company is known for its singular focus on audiophile-pleasing hearing aids. While the company aims to stand in a class of its own, it does share something with a few of its competitors. Location. Widex and two more of the six biggest hearing aid manufacturers in the world have their global headquarters in the Copenhagen area, just a few miles apart from one another. Along with a such a concentration of audio engineering talent, comes fierce competition at home and abroad, in the more than 100 countries where Widex hearing aids are sold.
How does Widex stand out from the crowd? If companies could have a personality, Widex would be an avowed perfectionist, and wouldn't have it any other way. It's about quality, not quantity with this company so Widex hearing aids don't necessarily offer different features than other hearing aids - just a higher performance level than average. Widex attributes its success to an "uncompromising approach to innovation" and a mission to provide the "absolute best hearing aids". The company's unabashed assertion that "we develop digital technology at a level of quality that few can match" feels not so much like an expression of arrogance, as a philosophical credo – and maybe a slightly goading challenge to competitors.
Widex has long enjoyed a reputation for designing superb hearing aids endowed with a warm, balanced, natural sound quality. Outdoor enthusiasts tend to appreciate them for uncommonly effective wind noise reduction – arguably, the best in the industry – while musicians enjoy their dynamics and great tone. Of course, what sounds best is a matter of personal opinion, especially when it comes to music. Still, Widex hearing aids have something of a signature sound that a lot of people love.
A purist-level of commitment to producing the best hearing aids sometimes means spending a little more time perfecting technological advancements before making them available to consumers. For instance, other manufacturers were quicker to introduce made-for-iPhone hearing aids. But Widex partnered with the world's leading Low-Energy Bluetooth company to first the most battery-saving wireless streaming technology in the industry. At the same time, they also improved the fidelity of the audio, and only then launched the Widex BEYONDTM hearing aids with made-for-iPhone connectivity. We like that BEYOND hearing aids include a telecoil in addition to 2.4 GHz Bluetooth. By comparison, other made-for-iPhone hearing aids exclude the telecoil to make room for a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth radio. Though telecoils don't sound as good as the more modern 2.4 GHz technology, they work with induction loop audio accessories previous hearing aid wearers may already own, and with the hearing loop systems installed in many public venues and places of worship.
Here at ZipHearing, BEYOND made-for-iPhone hearing aids, and UNIQUE are our best-selling Widex hearing aids. BEYOND hearing aids come only in the popular RICstyle, while UNIQUE hearing aids come in just about any style, from invisible in-canal models up to high-powered behind-the-ear models (and everything in between). Making sense of all the different options can be challenging, so here is what you need to know to begin exploring the choices. First, UNIQUE hearing aids come in four performance levels: 110, 220, 330, and 440. The higher the number, the higher the performance level. Second, the name UNIQUE refers to the platform or operating system of the hearing aid, not necessarily the specific model. Most models also have a name of their own, indicating the specific style of UNIQUE hearing aid. For example, the UNIQUE PASSION and UNIQUE FUSION hearing aids are a RIC style, whereas all three variants of the UNIQUE FASHION hearing aids are a BTE style. Third, if you need help deciding, we are here to help. Contact us by phone or email!
Widex BEYOND hearing aids are based on the UNIQUE platform, and include 2.4 GHz made-for-iPhone Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it possible to stream audio from phone call and other media directly from Apple mobile devices to the hearing aids. The hearing aids function like a wireless headset. During calls, the hearing aid microphones will pick up your voice for the other caller to hear. No additional accessories are required for streaming from Apple devices. To stream from Android-based devices you will need an intermediary streaming device. Widex offers several varieties in the DEX line. The CALL-DEX, for example, is an ultra-compact device, about the size of a pack of gum, that plugs into the phone's audio jack. It's a convenient and more discreet option than using a neckloop. DEX accessories connect to the hearing aids via telecoil, not through Bluetooth.
BEYOND hearing aids can be controlled directly from compatible Apple or Android devices, using the BEYOND app. The app includes independent control of left and right volume, an equalizer for adjusting the tone of the hearing aids, a sound mixer for adjusting the balance between audio streaming and other sounds, and control of the hearing aids' directional microphones. Widex has recently added geotagging to the app, allowing the hearing aids to automatically activate your favorite listening settings based on your location. The app also has location services to help you find your hearing aids if you misplace them. Another interesting feature of the app is that it can be used to update BEYOND hearing aids with performance enhancements or improved functionality. This will allow minor adjustments without requiring a visit to your hearing care professional. It also means the hearing aids have the potential to improve long after the initial purchase.
Whether you choose the 220, 330, or 440 performance level, all BEYOND hearing aids include direct audio streaming from compatible Apple devices, a telecoil, and ear-to-ear connectivity that enhances directional noise reduction. All performance levels include automatic adjustments for effortless switching between listening programs as your listening situation changes. All include directional microphones for improved speech understanding in noise as well as noise cancellation technology. If wind noise reduction is a priority, you will need to choose the most advanced performance level (440) as this feature is only included at that level. To finish the package, BEYOND hearing aids have a smooth, comfortable design with a classy modern appearance. They are available in 15 stylish two-tone colors from "midnight black" to "shocking pink".
Sound quality is your top priority, especially for wireless streaming, music, soft speech, or windy situations.
- You want made-for-iPhone hearing aids that also include ear-to-ear streaming and a telecoil. Ideal for movie lovers, world travelers and anyone who frequently uses hearing loop systems in theaters, train stations, churches, meeting rooms, and other venues.
BEYOND Z Rechargeable
BEYOND Z hearing aids are the rechargeable version of Widex’s BEYOND made-for iPhone hearing aids. Like the standard BEYOND hearing aids, BEYOND Z are built on the UNIQUE platform. They feature 3.4 GHz Bluetooth connectivity, for streaming audio directly from Apple mobile devices, and they sound great. Unlike some other brands, Widex does not sacrifice hearing performance to give you rechargeable batteries or make you choose between functionality and convenience.
BEYOND Z hearing aids are exactly the same as BEYOND, but with long-lasting silver-zinc rechargeable batteries. The newest type of rechargeable batteries for hearing aids, these hold more power than other types of the same size, including the older NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) type. They are also safer than the Lithium-ion batteries commonly found in phones and laptop computers. BEYOND Z’s rechargeable batteries last all day on a single charge, and usually recharge in about 3-4 hours. If you forget to recharge them or want to leave the charger at home while travelling, no problem. BEYOND Z can also run on ordinary disposable Zinc-air hearing aid batteries. Thanks to Widex’s power-conserving Bluetooth technology, disposable or rechargeable batteries can power long hours of audio streaming with BEYOND Z.
You want the longest audio streaming time from a rechargeable made-for-iPhone hearing aid.
- Sound quality is your top priority, especially for wireless streaming, music, soft speech, or windy situations.
- You want made-for-iPhone hearing aids that also include ear-to-ear streaming and a telecoil. Ideal for movie lovers, world travellers and anyone who frequently uses hearing loop systems in theaters, train stations, churches, meeting rooms, and other venues.
Widex UNIQUE hearing aids are built on the same platform as BEYOND. The difference is that UNIQUE hearing aids come in a wider selection of styles and with one additional performance level (110), but do not offer direct connectivity to mobile devices. These hearing aids can still stream audio from compatible Apple or Android-based devices, with the help of the COM-DEX streamer and COM-DEX app. They are also compatible with the rest of the DEX assistive listening devices.
UNIQUE hearing aids automatically adapt to your listening situation in up to nine distinct sound classes ranging from quiet to noisy, with or without conversational speech, and music. Most UNIQUE styles include sophisticated directional processing that relies on wireless communication between two hearing aids to help cut background noise while maintaining a natural sound quality. All performance levels also include Widex's Zen Therapy for tinnitus. Zen's soothing “fractal tones” never repeat and are specifically designed to mask tinnitus and also encourage relaxation. Zen tones sound similar to a gentle wind chime.
Sound quality is your top priority, especially for music, soft speech, or windy situations.
You don't hear high pitches well, even with hearing aids, and want to try frequency-lowering technology. These hearing aids can shift high-pitch sounds in a lower range to make them easier to hear.
- You suffer from tinnitus and think you might benefit from relaxing tones designed to make tinnitus less noticeable