Apple’s recent collaborations with hearing aid manufacturers, such as ReSound and Oticon, have resulted in a real leap forward. Together, they’ve pioneered a range of Made For iPhone (MFi) hearing aids, which use patented Bluetooth technology to allow users to connect their hearing aids directly to Apple’s iOS devices, without the need for additional hardware. MFi hearing aids can be used with the iPhone 4s and later, as well as with most iPad and iPod Touch models.
As with all Apple products, emphasis is on personalization and ease of use. Every sound from the iPhone can be streamed to your hearing aids, from phone calls, music and movies to map directions. The direct connection provides pure, clear sound without interference or feedback.
On top of that, the iPhone doubles up as a remote microphone using the Live Listen feature – useful in noisy situations where you don’t have an assistive listening device to hand. You can also manage your hearing aids without touching them, by using a smart app on your iPhone. This allows for easy adjustment of settings, and quick and discreet control over your programs.
We’ll take a look at three of the best MFi hearing aids that have appeared on the market this year.
ReSound was one of the first hearing aid companies to create Made for iPhone hearing aids, resulting in two MFi hearing aids: LiNX2, for mild to severe hearing loss, and ENZO2, for severe to profound hearing loss.LiNX2 is a sleekly designed hearing aid, available in discreet behind-the-ear, receiver-in-ear or custom styles. It features ReSound’s new SureFit receivers for improved comfort. The hearing aids are coated in ReSound’s iSolate nanotech, making them resistant to water, dust, sweat and wax.
LiNX2 features Binaural Directionality with Spatial Sense, which helps users hear with less effort by supporting the brain’s natural ability to process sound. Paired with the iPhone, the experience delivers seamless interaction with the world around you.
ENZO2 is one of the most powerful super power hearing aids on the market. It’s available as a discreet and comfortable BTE style in a range of colours, and features two power levels – High Power and Super Power. Like LiNX2, ENZO2 is coated with iSolate, for robust protection.
ENZO2 features a range of programs, including Spatial Sense, which deliver enhanced audibility and superior sound quality. When paired with the iPhone, you will be able to stream calls and music directly to your hearing aids, without the worry of feedback or fiddling with external devices.
ReSound’s Smart App allows users to directly control their LiNX2 and ENZO2 hearing aids from their iPhones. You can adjust EQ settings, create favourite settings and adjust programs discreetly.
OPN is Oticon’s MFi hearing aid, and its most advanced device to date. It was developed on the company’s “BrainHearing” approach, which uses state-of-the-art technology to complement the way your brain naturally understands sound.
OPN is powered by Oticon’s new Velox chip, which processes sound data up to 50x faster than previous products. This means that OPN’s many new features run with unrivalled speed and precision, to give you full control over the soundscape around you. It’s also the first hearing aid in the world to connect to the If This Then That Network (IFTTT), meaning you can sync your hearing aids to internet-ready devices such as domestic appliances, cars, computers and alarm clocks to receive updates and alerts.
OPN connects directly with your iPhone, allowing you to use your hearing aids as stereo headphones and stream audio and calls directly to your ears. OPN’s supreme speed paired with the iPhone’s multi-functionality combine to give you the richest audio experience with the least user effort.
The free Oticon ON App allows users to control their hearing aid’s volume and programs directly and discreetly from their iPhones. You can also check your battery level, access hearing aid instructions and use the “Find my hearing aid” feature should you misplace them.
For those who enjoy the ease of use of the iPhone, upgrading to an MFi hearing aid may be the logical next step. If you’d like to find out about any of the hearing aids mentioned above, feel free to pop in to one of our centres. You can also make an appointment by calling 0131 220 1220 or contacting us online.