GN ReSound’s new flagship family of Alera hearing aids will provide wireless connectivity directly with mobile phones and television sets equipped with ReSound’s new Unite assistive listening device (ALD) accessories.
Like other new wireless ALD accessories from Widex and other hearing-aid manufacturers, the ReSound Unite accessories eliminate the need for transmission through the hearing aid’s telecoil from a neckloop attached to the transmitter. And because the new ReSound Alera hearing aids communicate with the Unite accessories at 2.4 gigahertz, they eliminate the interference and delays sometimes experienced with slower wireless transmission speeds used by other manufacturers.
The ReSound Alera hearing aids use wireless technology effectively to make the user’s life easier in a variety of ways. ReSound Unite TV is a small transmitter box that attaches to the television and transmits audio from the TV directly into the hearing aids. The ReSound Unite Phone Clip is a small device with a microphone that syncs with your mobile phone and transmits the caller’s voice directly into your hearing aids. And the ReSound Unite Remote Control hand-held unit gives users push-button control of their hearing aids to manage volume controls and program settings.
The ReSound Alera hearing aids also integrate other advanced features, including:
- ReSound SurroundSound, a sound-shaping system that optimizes amplification for understanding speech, reduces amplification of unwanted noise with personalization options in seven different environments, and suppresses feedback.
- iSolate™ nanotech coating, which covers all elements of the hearing aids with a thin protective layer that bonds at a molecular level with the internal and external components, so that liquids or moisture coming into contact with any element of the hearing aids will simply roll off without being absorbed.
- And for audiologists, the ReSound Airlink wireless fitting technology, a simple plug-in to a personal computer’s USB port that communicates wirelessly with the client’s hearing aids, enables adjustments to the hearing aid programs without being tethered wires.
The new ReSound Alera hearing aids were announced at the American Academy of Audiology Conference in April, and ReSound said first shipments would start in June. The company’s web site, however, still says the new hearing aids are “coming soon,”so they may not be widely available just yet. But when the Aleras do arrive they will signal GN ReSound’s continuing commitment to innovation as a standalone company, following the saga of its brush with acquisition by Sonova in 2007, a transaction stymied by a German antitrust court. The restriction on the sale was reversed on appeal in April, but by then both Sonova and ReSound parent GN Store Nord announced they would not pursue the transaction, with GN restating its commitment to the ReSound brand and affirmingit had “no concrete plans” to sell the unit.