A New Solution For Severe To Profound Hearing Loss
The Phonak Naida V90
We spoke about the launch of the new Naida range last week, we were at the event and we were exceptionally impressed with the devices and the new strategies. One of the things that struck us though was that for severe to profound hearing loss, you need an integrated solution. Hearing aids are certainly not enough to deliver to all of the needs of people with severe to profound loss. We want to look at this idea further later on, because we realised that with the advent of wireless hearing aids, we are offering integrated and combined solutions to more and more of the people that come to see us. Again, we will look at this idea in a different article and explain it more, first we want to talk about the new top of the range Naida V90 and what it has to offer.
Phonak hearing aids are renowned for quality and reliability and the company is seen as one of the premium hearing aid manufacturers. They are well known for their super power products for people with severe to profound hearing loss and have been for many years. In fact Phonak first came into being as a company that catered for this type of hearing loss.
The Naida V90 is the latest flagship or top of the range hearing aid range for severe to profound hearing losses. It includes two traditional BTE devices and a RIC device. The Naida V90 replaces the Naida Q90 hearing aid family. Phonak have introduced newly designed casings. So, let's take a deeper look at what the Naida V90 hearing aid range has to offer you:
Hearing Aid Types & Technology
The Phonak Naida V90 range contains the highest level of technology in the new Naida Venture range. The technology on board and the features would be similar to any of the other V90 ranges, ie Virto, Bolero and Audeo. It has 20 sound processing channels and a wide range of programmes and features to help you to hear in challenging environments. Where they differ is in sound output, they can be a lot louder, and a new SoundRecover startegy for people with profound hearing loss.
The hearing aids are water and dust repellent to IP68 rating, You can get them wet, you can drop them in the toilet and you can go for a swim with them once it is only down to one metre. So these aids are pretty robust, no rain shower is going to interfere with your listening needs. Phonak's Binaural VoiceStream TechnologyTM allows one hearing aid to recognise speech sounds and transmit the speech to both hearing aids in real time. This technology works alongside various other features to give you the best hearing clarity in different challenging listening situations.
The hearing aids
The Naida V90 is available in three different styles, the RIC, the SP and the UP, giving real versatility for people with severe and profound hearing losses. The aidsthemselves have new designs and are more powerful than their predecessors. Let's take a look at them individually.
Naida V90 RIC
The Naida V RIC (Receiver in Canal) offers fantastic power in a small package, it will deliver outstanding benefits for people with mild to severe hearing losses. The device comes with three possible receiver options, the XS, the XP and the new X UP (for Ultra Power).
With the introduction of a new style X UP receiver, the hearing aid will cover a hearing loss down to a flat 100 dB. This means that even people with a severe hearing loss can avail of a very discreet solution without compromise in power or functionality.
Naida V90 SP
The new Naida V SP is 25% thinner than its predecessor, it is also a much smaller hearing aid by volume. It runs on a size thirteen battery and can be fit with a power slim tube and tip which offers real discretion. It can also be fitted with a standard thick tube and mould configuration. The power slim tube has been re-designed and it now sits lower on the top of the ear and hugs the face in a better way.
The power output on the new SP has been increased and it now matches the power output of the older Naida Quest UP. Which simply means that more people with severe to profound hearing loss can now avail of a more discreet option. Something that many people with these hearing losses have been waiting for.
Naida V UP
The new Naida V UP is again thinner and smaller than its predecessor with a new form factor. The power output on the hearing aid has been increased giving it even more performance for even the most profound hearing loss. It is powered by a 675 battery and can also be fitted with a power slim tube and custom tip. This is definitely the smallest 675 traditional type hearing aid solution for profound hearing loss I have ever seen. It will give people with profound hearing loss a more discreet solution.
Feature run down
So what is AutoSense OS? AutoSense is in effect the operating system or management system in the hearing aids. It analyses the sound environment you are in and makes changes to how other features and technology within the hearing aid is working. It is the overall feature that ensures you are having a good listening experience. It is a completely automatic feature that seamlessly alters your hearing aids to your changing listening environment. The blurb says - AutoSense OS accurately captures the precise listening environment you are in, changing when it needs to, to provide you with a comfortable listening experience throughout your day, which is pretty accurate.
Speech in Loud Noise
This is as it sounds, this feature is designed to help you focus in on the single voice you want to hear from a noisy crowd. In essence, this is a setting on the hearing aids microphone management system. When noise reaches a level that makes understanding one person in a crowd difficult, StereoZoom, Phonak's excellent microphone management system is automatically activated, allowing you to focus on the voice you want to hear and ignore the noise you don't. Stereozoom (fancy isn't it?) is basically the microphones of the hearing aids focusing in a very narrow beam. This helps to reduce the effects of noise and allow you to hear the speaker a little better.
Speech in 360
First the blurb - Understand speech from any direction. The Speech in 360 feature automatically selects the direction of speech and sends this speech signal from one hearing aid to the other, improving clarity and speech intelligibility without the need for you to face the speaker. What this feature does is focus on the speaker no matter where they are, then the hearing aid with the best signal (hearing the voice the best) transfers the sound wirelessly to the other hearing aid. In this way, you get to hear the voice well and clearly in both ears, even if the speaker is sitting to the left or right of you.
Speech in Wind
The blurb - Enjoy conversations even on a windy day. When wearing hearing aids wind noise can interfere with your speech understanding and listening comfort. The Speech in Wind feature enhances your ability to understand speech well, even when the wind is blowing. A lot of people find wind noise irritating at best and maddening at worst. If you spend any amount of time out and about you really need to think about wind noise reduction as a feature. Phonak's, while not the best available, is pretty damn good.
Speech in Car
Listening effort is reduced so you can enjoy the journey and the conversation instead of listening to the noise.
Comfort in Echo
Reduces distracting echo, making listening in echoey environments such as large public buildings more comfortable.
Speech in Noise
Noise is reduced from the back allowing you to focus on the conversation in front of you.
Creates a comfortable listening environment to simply relax or enjoy a one to one conversation.
As we said earlier, this range has multiple listening programmes both automatic and manual. The programmes include;
- Comfort in Echo, which reduces the noise of echo making it easier to hear speech.
- Speech in Car, which makes it easier to follow conversations when you can't take your eyes off the road. (Steve says this is amazing)
- Speech in Loud Noise, reduces the effect of loud noise making it easier to understand speech.
- Music, giving you better clarity when listening to your favourite music.
- Comfort in Noise, reduces loud noise to make your hearing more comfortable.
- Speech in Noise, focuses your hearing to the front, reducing noise behind you.
- Calm Situation, adjusts your hearing aids for comfort and better hearing in quiet environments and one to one conversations.
Speech in Wind
Again, if you spend any time outside at all, this is a great programme to have, setting it up as a manual programme allows the professional to customise it further to your taste. When you are outside, the sound of the wind can drown out all conversation.
How does it work?
This programme works out which hearing aid is getting the better speech signal and using the Binaural VoiceStream Technology sends the speech to both hearing aids. This improves speech clarity and also reduces the effect of wind noise.
This programme is designed to make it easier to talk on the telephone and will give you an excellent chance to understand even voices that are strange to you.
How does it work?
The hearing aid on the telephone side transmits the speech to both hearing aids simultaneously, which improves speech clarity whilst reducing the sound of distractions in the room.
This feature is designed to focus the hearing aids automatically on the clearest speech sound they can pick up. Ideal for noisy environments where there is background conversation.
How does it work?
This is part of the microphone management system in the hearing aids, Phonak's microphone management has always been top notch. In essence it focuses the microphones in a narrow beam, allowing you the best opportunity to hear the voice.
Rather than just focusing on sounds in front of you, this features can focus on speech sounds to the side or behind you. This is ideal for situations where you cannot easily turn to face the speaker, such as when you are driving and trying to listen to directions from your passengers.
How does it work
Yep, you guessed it, microphone management. It simply changes the focus of the microphones to where the speech is coming from.
Directional microphones allow you to pick up the sound from all around you giving you a wide range to hear sound. The ultrazoom feature narrows this range to focus on a small area where someone is speaking. This gives you better speech understanding and reduces the effect of background noise. I don't think I need to explain this one, it is just another strategy that the microphone management uses.
This feature is designed to make it easier to talk on the telephone. The hearing aid on the telephone side transmits the speech to both hearing aids simultaneously, which improves speech clarity whilst reducing the sound of distractions in the room. This is the feature that the acoustic phone programme uses to help you hear a call.
Flexcontrol and FlexVolume
The Flexcontrol and FlexVolume feature give the wearer more control over their hearing. It enables the wearer to fine tune their hearing aids for better hearing in different environments. This is part of a wider movement from hearing aid manufacturers, they are giving more control to users to makes changes in how their hearing aids actually work. It can't be a bad thing.
Listening in assembly halls or places of worship is often a problem for hearing aid wearers due to the sound echoing around the room.
How does it work?
This feature recognises the sound echo by comparing time intervals, it then simply removes it, without distorting the other sounds around you.
This feedback elimination feature recognises the feedback sound and removes it before you know it is there. As with the Echoblock feature, it can do this without sound distortion.
This feature recognises continuous background sounds, such as traffic noise through a window, the dishwasher or office photocopier. It can reduce the volume of this sound so that speech is clearer and easier to understand.
Removes the sound of the wind when you are outside, this works in the absence of speech, in essence it turns down the wind quite aggressively.
Sudden loud sounds can be unpleasant or painful for those with hearing loss, particularly when it is amplified by your hearing aid. The SoundRelax feature can soften the impact of sudden loud sounds without distorting the other sounds around you.
Real Ear Sound
This feature allows the hearing aids to mimic the way the ear naturally listens. This, as well as the receiver in canal design, means that it is easier for you to determine the direction the sound is coming from and you get a more natural experience.
This feature is an updated feature specifically for the Naida range, it takes the high frequency sounds which are outside your hearing range, such as children's voices and high pitched sounds, and makes them easier to hear.
Changing the volume or setting on one hearing aid will automatically change the other hearing aid as well. This synchronisation makes sure the hearing aids are always working together.
Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator
This feature helps to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus by generating a pleasant sound.
If you have any questions about the Phonak Naida V90range or you would like to experience the difference, call us on 1800 848 888 or book your appointment online now.