With its new Z Series hearing aids, Starkey Hearing Technologies has improved wireless connectivity between its hearing aids and peripheral audio streaming devices. The company said its new 900sync™ technology utilizing the 900 MHz transmission band enables more robust sound and “virtually drop free” streaming into the hearing aids from a normal range of five meters or less.
Unlike other hearing aid manufacturers, who for the most part use the 2.4 GHz band — increasingly a standard for business communications — Starkey said it chose the 900 MHz band of the radio spectrum because it is more reliable, has better range and is less susceptible to interference. Lower frequency ranges also generally require less power than higher frequency devices, an important consideration with hearing aids with their tiny batteries.
Improved wireless communication is becoming critical to many hearing aid customers, who increasingly are linking their hearing aids to their mobile phones, stereo systems TVs and remote microphones. In addition to the more robust wireless transmission technology, Starkey has responded with an improved version of its SurfLink streaming peripheral.
SurfLink Mobile 2 is a cell phone transmitter, assistive listening device, media streamer and hearing aid remote control peripheral that users can pair with the mobile phones and hearing aids. It provides twice the battery life of the original SurfLink Mobile device. And by turning Z Series hearing aids into both a microphone and receiver, it is the only wireless hearing-aid system to offer “JustTalk” hands-free cell phone conversations.
The Z Series hearing aids are available in a variety of styles and options to meet a range of hearing profiles and user preferences, and it is based on Starkey’s BluWave 4.0 operating system, which continually optimizes audibility, intelligibility and sound quality.