The goal of truly smart hearing aids is more than just to make everything louder — it’s making what the listener wants to hear louder and easier to understand, without strain. This is especially true in environments that require greater listening exertion, such as crowded, noisy locations. However, hearing challenges aren’t limited to nightclubs or restaurants. For example, hearing aid wearers often struggle with phone conversations. In the past, just putting a receiver next to a hearing aid resulted in nasty high-pitched squealing. And even though that happens far less often with modern digital hearing aids, many wearers still find it difficult to hear the speaker on the other end of the line clearly.
Signia’s new primax™ technology effectively addresses this issue by enabling hearing aid wearers to enjoy appropriately amplified phone conversations without having to strain to understand what’s being said. Plus, this technology works beyond the phone. Wearers enjoy improved hearing with less listening effort at the office, in their car, at busy restaurants or parties, and even when listening to music at home or during concerts. Here are six of the ways this innovative technology improves hearing:
1. Hands-Free Phone Calls In Stereo
Rather than holding a smartphone or landline receiver to your ear, Signia has enabled you to stream conversations directly into your hearing aids via a hands-free, Bluetooth®-compatible accessory called easyTek™ for a while now. This device, worn with a neck loop that also serves as the antenna, can be paired with any Bluetooth-enabled device to effectively transform hearing aids into a wireless headset that transmits voice into both hearing aids. That’s great — but what if your phone isn’t Bluetooth-compatible or you don’t have an easyTek? Signia’s new primax tech solves the problem with its TwinPhone program. As soon as you put the phone receiver to your ear, a magnetic signal activates TwinPhone in the hearing aid you’re wearing, which transmits the voice of the person to whom you’re listening directly into that hearing aid and into the hearing aid on the opposite ear. Now, you can hear the speaker’s voice binaurally (with both ears) — meaning their speech will be far clearer and easier to understand than if you were listening with only one ear.
2. Hear Well Out Of One Ear
Of course, a binaural solution only work if you have hearing loss that can be reasonably improved by wearing hearing aids in both ears. That’s not always the case, as some people have uncorrectable hearing loss (or are totally deaf) in one ear. But even if you have unaidable hearing loss on one side, primax technology can help through use of a CROS/BiCROS wireless solution. For those who have normal hearing in one ear but cannot hear well (or at all) out of the other, a CROS Pure® device is worn on the unaidable ear and its microphones receive sounds coming from that side. It then processes these sounds for directionality and transmits them wirelessly to the hearing aid worn in the normal-hearing ear to be heard and understood, without adding amplification. Meanwhile, those who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear and hearing loss that responds to a hearing aid in the other, the BiCROS solution similarly transmits sounds from the unaidable side into the functioning hearing aid, which mixes them with sounds coming from its side, producing a suitably amplified and clarified signal that is then heard in the aidable ear.
3. Greater Understanding With Less Effort
Primax hearing aids reduce listening effort thanks to the technology’s virtual “conductor”, SpeechMaster. SpeechMaster is a collection of algorithms that work in concert to require less listening effort by orchestrating noise reduction, directional, and amplification features according to changes in your listening environment. By highlighting a dominant speaker’s voice in every situation, SpeechMaster works to reduce listening effort throughout the day — a claim Signia has had clinically proven during a study conducted at the University of Northern Colorado, 2015, examined the effectiveness of the new features of primax by collecting and analyzing ongoing EEG data while subjects performed speech testing. For both primax features SpeechMaster and EchoShield, the objective brain behavior measures revealed a significant reduction in listening effort when the feature was activated
4. Reduced Reverberation For Increased Understanding
When it comes to speech, being in surroundings that support reverberation (echo) degrades its clarity and intelligibility. The primax EchoShield program softens reflected sounds in highly reverberant places like atriums, lecture halls, and places of worship. The result is better sound quality, reduced listening effort, and improved speech understanding.
5. Improved Music Processing
Primax has a breakthrough HD Music program with three settings to meet your needs at home, when attending a concert, or even if you’re the performer. Its 12 kHz extended bandwidth ensures full enjoyment at the higher frequencies, while providing a richer, fuller sound quality whether it’s coming from a vinyl record, through a sound system, or being played on a stage.
6. Effective Wind Noise Reduction
The SpeechMaster automatically engages the eWindScreen™ binaural function when it senses you’re driving a car or outdoors, and it detects the presence of traffic, wind, and similar noises. By suppressing wind interference and other background interference while amplifying the speech you want to hear, primax makes it easier to hold conversations even with your car windows are open or you’re sitting at an outdoor café.
Contact a hearing care professional to try primax for yourself.
The best way to experience the difference primax hearing aids can make is to test them for yourself. Many hearing care professionals, including audiologists and hearing aid providers, offer the opportunity to try-to-buy hearing aids by lending out a demo pair. You can use Signia’s handy Find a Hearing Care Professional tool on their website to find one nearby who sells their products. Make an appointment to test a pair of primax hearing aids and hearing the difference for yourself.