With its new Independence Family of hearing aids, America Hears, Inc., has upgraded its entire family of digital hearing aids to 32-channel digital signal processors. And, in line with its stated goal of remaining the price/performance leader among hearing-aid manufacturers, it has set prices ranging from $799 to $1,299 per hearing aid, less than half the price charged by other name-brand manufacturers of comparable-performance hearing aids. Disclosure: I wear a pair of America Hears custom hearing aids and am incredibly happy with them. I also intend to get a pair of the new Independence hearing-aid models to hear for myself the improvements the company has made in its sound-processing system.
The new, high-performance, low-cost hearing aids feature a Voyageur II digital signal processor from Sound Design Technologies, Ltd., that processes 32 independent streams of sound to provide tuned amplification at the broadest range of frequencies available in the industry. And the Advanced Dynamic Range Optimization (ADRO) sound processing software from Dynamic Hearing Pty Ltd. features a new, improved enhance speech in noise (ESIN) algorithm that amplifies the high-frequency sounds that comprise 60% of speech, attacking the problem of hearing speech in noisy environments such as crowded restaurants.
The America Hears direct-from-factory-to-consumer Internet sales model enables the company to keep costs to the end user low. At the same time, its user-adjustable programming software enables you to take charge of tuning your own hearing aids after they are programmed to your audiogram at the factory.
The America Hears Independence hearing aids come in a range of styles, from receiver-in-the-canal, to open fit, to behind the ear, to custom models. There are up to four user-selectable four program settings for different listening environments. And it features data logging–the ability to record and track the output of your hearing aids over time to understand how they are being used in different listening environments.