Signia Styletto AX Review – Hearing aids have never looked so good
In October 2021, Signia will be launching in Australia its 4th generation Styletto hearing aid; Styletto AX. In addition to an upgraded design, improved connectivity, longer lasting rechargeable battery, Styletto AX uses Signia’s latest audiological processing engine Augmented Xperience (AX for short). The Styletto AX hearing aids are available in three performance levels: Premium – 7AX, High-end – 5AX and Mid-range – 3AX.
In 2018, Signia redefined what hearing aids could look like with the release of the original Styletto and its new distinctive slim-receiver-in-canal (slim-RIC) design. Designed with style in mind, and to appeal to a younger audience, Styletto was an attempt to change the image of hearing aids and reposition them as high tech earwear. Styletto AX has come a long way since the original Styletto so let’s take a deep dive into the new Styletto AX.
Styletto AX uses Signia’s latest sound processing engine; Augmented Xperience featuring new technology called Augmented Focus. Discussed in detail in the review of Signia Charge&Go AX, this technology users two sound processing chips, each capable of processing a separate track or stream of sound to ensure speech is clear and the background soundscape natural.
Just like in the movies, where the sound engineer mixes different sound tracks to create contrast, so that both the dialogue and background soundscape are audible, so viewers experience the intended ambiance of the scene, Augmented Focus does a similar mixing and optimisation process. The technology processes independently the audio stream from in front of the wearer; Focus Stream, from the audio stream for around the wearer; SoundScape Stream. In real time, the hearing aid analyses both the Focus Stream and the SoundScape Stream, then recombines them in a way that optimises speech clarity, while maintaining a natural ambiance.
The rechargeable performance of Styletto AX has been improved over its predecessor. Its lithium-ion battery can deliver up to 17 hours of use per charge. There are now two charger options available with Styletto AX; Portable and Dry&Clean.
The very popular Portable charger is small and designed to fit in the pocket or handbag. Inside the Portable charger is a powerbank with the capacity to provide full three chargers of the hearing aids, before the charger itself needs to be recharged. This can be done via connection to USB-C or via Qi wireless charging.
The Dry&Clean charger features a dehumidifying and UV sanitising functionality. Very useful if the hearing aids are being used in challenging humid environments.
The Styletto AX hearing aids offer improved connectivity options, increasingly more important in today’s connected world. In addition to supporting direct audio streaming from Apple (Made for iPhone) devices, it now allows direct streaming from Android devices that support the ASHA protocol (Audiostreaming for hearing aid). Of course, wearers can still purchase the popular StreamLine TV and Streamline Mic solutions to further enhance the functionality of the hearing aids. In addition, the hearing aids are compatible with the free Signia app. The app offers not just remote control but a Signia Assistant which uses its AI deep neural network to offer immediate support whenever users need to adjust their settings.
Sounds of Life has always been a fan of Styletto’s design – it does look cool. However, in many ways the original Styletto put style ahead of substance, with many compromises in terms performance including no Bluetooth support. This really impacted the popularity of the device particularly with the younger hearing impaired. In our opinion, these performance compromises have been addressed over three iterations of Styletto and the latest Styletto AX is as fully-featured as any hearing aid on the market. We believe Styletto AX is a fantastic option for anyone who is proud of their hearing aids and want to show off their high tech earware!
The Pure Charge&Go AX range is currently available for trial at Sounds of Life.
Premium – Styletto BT RIC 7AX – $3600
High-End – Styletto BT RIC 5AX – $3150
Mid-Range – Styletto BT RIC 3AX – $2390
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.