Resound LiNX Quattro Review – The first hearing aids with the promise of supporting full Android connectivity

 

 

 

Resound LiNX Quattro Review – The first hearing aids with the promise of supporting full Android connectivity

 

In September 2018, Resound launched its new hearing aid range called “LiNX Quattro”.  Resound LiNX Quattro is available in both a non-rechargeable and a rechargeable receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid style and is available in two performance levels: Quattro 9 (premium plus) and Quattro 7 (premium).  Quattro uses a brand-new chip that is 100% more powerful than Resound’s predecessor chip (Resound LiNX 3D) and the hearing aids also incorporate a redesigned wireless antenna for improved connectivity.  So, what does this mean for wearers?

Industry-leading Connectivity

Resound were the first to introduce direct Bluetooth audio-streaming from Apple (Made for iPhone) devices and have been at the forefront of this technology for the last five years.  Resound LiNX Quattro continues to offer this technology, but the real highlight is their promise of supporting direct wireless audio streaming from Android devices.

 

We all know that most of the world’s mobile phones run Android (estimated at 85 percent).  Consequently, there is certainly demand from hearing aid wearers for direct audio streaming from their Android devices.  However, Android fragmentation has made it difficult for hearing aid manufacturers to provide support to Android devices.  The standard Bluetooth protocols used in Android phones (and many other audio consumer products) are not suitable to stream audio to hearing aids.

The good news is that Resound has worked with Google to bring native hearing aid support for streaming on Android.  In August 2018, Google announced the upcoming release of a new hearing aid protocol for Android phones called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (or ASHA). The protocol aims to provide energy-efficient, high-quality audio streaming with low latency:

https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2018/08/streaming-support-spec-for-hearing-aids_16.html

ReSound LiNX Quattro will be the first hearing aid to be able to support this new protocol to deliver direct streaming from Android devices.  This capability is expected to be available following an Android software release early next year.  This new Android software will likely be first released on Google Pixel smartphones, followed shortly after by other smartphone brands.

 

Improved Sound Quality

One of the benefits of Resound LiNX Quattro’s new chip, is that compared to its predecessor, it can process sound with a significantly increased bandwidth and dynamic range.  This results in an improvement in sound quality for the wearer.  It is great to see Resound has been able to provide improvements in this area as we have always felt the sound quality of Resound devices were inferior to major competitors like Oticon, Phonak and Signia.   However, we still feel the Resound LiNX Quattro still lags behind competitors with regard to performance in noise.  Unlike Phonak and Signia, the hearing aids do not use the latest “binaural beamforming” directional microphone technology for improved hearing in challenging situations (where there is a lot of background noise).

 

Rechargeability

As an option, Resound offers a lithium-ion rechargeable LiNX Quattro model.  The rechargeable version comes with a charging case that can easily fit into the wearer’s pocket or handbag.  It can be fully charged in 3 hours which delivers 30 hours wearing time (less if using direct audio streaming).  This represents one the longest wearing times per charge in the industry.  If you cannot wait for a full charge, a 30-minute charge will deliver 8 hours wearing time and a one-hour charge will deliver 16 hours wearing time.  Wearers can even monitor the battery status of their Quattro hearing aids via the free Resound Smart 3D app (compatible with both Apple and

Android smartphones).

 

Our Conclusion

The Resound LiNX Quattro is a great option for people who utilise connectivity regularly, whether listening to music or taking phone calls.  They will be the first hearing aids in the industry to support both Apple and Android direct streaming without compromising audiological performance*.  Although Android streaming is not supported currently, we expect support to be available by early 2019.  However, its not currently clear which Android mobile phones will be supported initially.

The Resound LiNX Quattro is available from Sounds of Life and priced from $3200 each.

Premium – LiNX Quattro 9 R RIC $4200 (Rechargeable)
Premium – LiNX Quattro 9 RIC $3990
High-end – LiNX Quattro 7 R RIC $3400 (Rechargeable)
High-end – LiNX Quattro 7 RIC $3200

 

*note Phonak Audeo Direct supports Android direct streaming but only monaurally and only for phone use (no AD2P profile support for music/video streaming)

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life audiology is a member of Audiology Australia and Independent Audiologist Australia. We adhere strictly to Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.   We pride ourselves on:

  • Being fully independent – We are not owned or operated by a hearing aid manufacturer or large chain.
  • Ethical Practices – We are focused on providing the highest level of care and do not pay commissions.

We also follow the Australian Government Hearing Services’ protocol for hearing services.

 

If you feel hearing loss is impacting your life contact Sounds of Life.

Contact us today on 1300 744 432 or via our contact form below:

 

    Your Name (required)

    Your Phone Number (required)

    Your Message

     

     

    Signia Styletto Review

     

     

     

    Signia Styletto Review – making hearing aids stylish and fashionable

     

    Can hearing aids be stylish?  Hearing aid manufacturer Signia believes so. 

    Social stigma is one of the reasons a large percentage of people with hearing loss avoid getting hearing aids.  Signia is trying to change this with the release of the Signia Styletto which is a new hearing aid that Signia describes as “high tech hearwear”.  The Styletto was launched in Australia on the 1st of October 2018.

     

    Styling & Design

    Available in three colour combinations: Dark Granite & Silver, Cosmic Blue & Rose Gold and Snow White & Rose Gold (shown)

    The Signia Styletto is attempting to transform the image of hearing aids from stigmatised medical appliances that are a sign of disability, to stylish fashionable “hearwear”.   Sounds of Life Audiology in Brisbane managed to get early access to Styletto prior to its official launch in Australia on the 1st of October.  Below are our initial thoughts about these exciting new hearing aids.

    Styletto has been designed with a premium “look and feel”.  The devices look more like high-quality consumer electronic devices than hearing aids.   They have a beautiful high-quality brushed-metal finish with the Signia logo embossed into the housing.    In addition, their unique slim-RIC shape is a significant shift from traditional hearing aid styling and shaping.  Traditional hearing aid styles are influenced significantly by the hearing aid batteries they use.  These batteries come in a small range of standard shapes/sizes; 10, 312, 13 and 675.  The Signia Styletto breaks away from these designs by using a special “rod- shaped” lithium-ion battery.  This enables Styletto to be much slimmer and sleeker than traditional hearing aids.

     

     

     

    Rechargeability

    The Signia Styletto has been designed with practicality in mind and for people “on the go”.  Its lithium-ion battery gives the wearer up to 19 hours of wearing time per charge.  Signia has cleverly designed its charger into the Styletto carrying case.  To recharge, wearers simply need to insert their Stylettos into the carry case and they will be fully charged in 3 hours.  If wearers are running low and do not want to do a full charge, a quick 30-minute charge will provide wearers 5 hours wearing time.

    The Styletto charger “carry case” concept is certainly a practical system for active people.  The carry case is so small it can be put in the wearer’s pocket while it recharges their Styletto hearing devices.  In addition, the carry case’s internal lithium-ion battery provides enough capacity to offer three full charges of Styletto before itself needing recharging (via a USB connection or mains power).  This means that if wearers are going on a short camping or business trip, they can have up to four full day’s autonomous “plug-free” use (do not need to carry extra cords or a power supply).

     

    Controls

    There are no user controls on Styletto’s sleek housing.  If wearers want to be able to adjust the settings of their Stylettos, they can do so either via the free remote App; TouchControl App, or the miniPocket remote control (needs to be purchased separately).  The TouchControl App is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones and offers much more control over Styletto’s features compared to the miniPocket.  Unlike the miniPocket which offers control over volume and programs only, the TouchControl App also offers wearers full control over Styletto’s microphones.  Wearers can focus the directional beam of the microphones and their direction.  This is a very useful feature for wearers who struggle in background noise and want to focus in on the person they are listening to.

     

    Performance

    Styletto uses Signia’s latest “Nx” audio processing chip so wearers can expect excellent sound quality and speech clarity even in challenging situations.  The Signia Nx chip supports binaural sound processing using a full wireless audio link between bilateral hearing aids; left and right.  This binaural processing delivers some very useful features include:

    Own Voice Processing – the Stylettos can detect when the wearer is speaking and automatically adjust its sound processing, so the wearer perceives their own voice more naturally (less “boomy” or “echoey”).

    Narrow Directionality – in situations with a lot of background noise, the Stylettos are able to narrow their directional beam so it focusses on the person in front of the wearer and reduces unwanted noise or conversations.  This feature operates automatically, but wearers can also control the width and direction of the beam via the TouchControl smartphone App (described above).

    It should be noted however that unlike most current high-end hearing aids, Styletto does not support Bluetooth audiostreaming.  Wearers cannot wireless stream music audio or phone calls into the devices.

     

    Conclusion

    Styletto is a very interesting hearing aid that could possibility transform the image of hearing aids.  Stigma is a significant issue preventing a lot of people with hearing loss wearing hearing aids.  Styletto’s stylish and fashionable design will likely appeal to many people that may have been reluctant previously to wear hearing aids due to their look.   Styletto does not compromise on audiological performance and its practical design (with portable lithium-ion rechargeability) will appeal to active people “on the go”.  Styletto is available in one power version suitable for hearing aid wearers with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss.  They come in three performance levels: Styletto 7 (Premium), Styletto 5 (High-End) and Styletto 3 (Mid-Range).  Please note Styletto is only available in a binaural kit with charger.  Sounds of Life’s pricing for Styletto can be found here.

     

    If you are interested in a free trial of Styletto please contact Sounds of Life on:

    1300 744 432

     

    Check out Signia’s Styletto global launch video

    About Sounds of Life

    Sounds of Life audiology is a member of Audiology Australia and Independent Audiologist Australia. We adhere strictly to Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.   We pride ourselves on:

    • Being fully independent – We are not owned or operated by a hearing aid manufacturer or large chain.
    • Ethical Practices – We are focused on providing the highest level of care and do not pay commissions.

    We also follow the Australian Government Hearing Services’ protocol for hearing services.

     

    If you feel hearing loss is impacting your life contact Sounds of Life.

    Contact us today on 1300 744 432 or via our contact form below:

     

      Your Name (required)

      Your Phone Number (required)

      Your Message