Widex has introduced the new high-end Clear 44o hearing aid family, featuring binaural wireless communication between each hearing aid to provide richer and more realistic sound for users. The new hearing system also provides an external transmitter to send TV audio signals directly into the hearing aids; a small remote controller to switch program settings, control volume and manage other functions of the hearing aids; and a Bluetooth-compatible handset that transmits your cellular phone signal directly into your hearing aids. Other hearing aid manufacturers have introduced their own wireless communication schemes between hearing aids and external devices to enable rapid adjustments to changes in environmental sound, better synching of the sound processing between the two hearing aids. Users report better sound location and comprehension because they are getting more realistic replication of the sounds in their environment, in stereo. Widex is promoting its new C-ISP platform powered by three custom chips as the industry’s best way to synchronize the sound processing in the hearing aids, enable remote control of selected features, and port high-definition audio streamed from external sources.
The three new accessories are a big step forward in assistive listening, because they eliminate the need for a neck loop that provides a direct link through the hearing-aids’ telecoils. Instead the devices transmit digital signals directly into the hearing aids, enabling better audio performance in addition to increased convenience. The TV-DEX system consists of a base and recharger unit that plugs into the TV and transmits to a handheld unit that re-transmits the signal to the user’s hearing aids; the handheld also provides volume control and also has a button to turn off the external microphones on the hearing aids so the user only hears the TV audio signal. The M-DEX device has a Bluetooth link to your mobile phone and acts as a handset that lets you listen and talk, transmitting the phone signal directly into your hearing aids. It also has a volume control plus a button to turn off the external microphone on your hearing aids to make it easier to hear the cell phone signal without the distraction of external environmental noise. Finally, the RC-DEX is a small controller that you can keep in your pocket or purse to control the program settings on your hearing aids as well as raise or lower the volume.
The Clear 440 also includes the Widex SmartSpeak feature — a human voice piped into the hearing aid informing you about what program mode you are in and alerting you when the battery is running low — as well as the innovative Widex Zen relaxation program, which plays random and harmonic tones when you feel like relaxing. IE Zen works as an effective tinnitus masking program, overriding the annoying tinnitus sounds within your ears with more tolerable background noise.