Are Your Hearing Aids Working To Their Potential? The Importance Of Real Ear Measurements

ear measurements brisbane

 

 

 

Are your hearing aids working to their potential?

The Importance of Real Ear Measurements

 

The goal of a hearing aid fitting is to provide customised sound amplification that compensates for an individual’s hearing loss.  The basis for determining this customised amplification is an individual’s audiogram (hearing test).

For most individuals with hearing loss, the degree of their hearing loss varies across the different frequencies (pitches).  Consequently, a hearing aid needs to be programmed to provide the correct amount of amplification at each individual sound frequency to precisely compensate for the hearing loss.  For example, for age-related hearing loss, hearing will often be worse in the higher frequencies compared to the lower frequencies.  In such cases, a hearing aid would need to be programmed to provide more high frequency amplification.

First Fit

When setting up a hearing aid for the first time, the audiologist will do an initial programming of the hearing aids using the hearing aid manufacturer’s software.  This initial programming is called a “first fit” and uses the individual’s hearing thresholds (audiogram) to determine a predicted target amplification response and the hearing aids a programmed to match this target.

As the name suggests the “first Fit” is just the initial set-up.  To ensure the hearing aid is providing the correct amount of amplification at the individual’s eardrum, there are additional factors other than the individual’s audiogram that also need to be considered.  These factors include the physical characteristics of how the hearing aid is coupled to the individual’s ear (e.g. ear mould), as well as the physical properties of the individual’s ear canal (e.g. shape).

 

Everybody’s ears are different and both the ear mould and ear canal shape can significantly influence amplified sound.  An accurate hearing aid fitting needs to consider all these factors so that the hearing aid provides the exact amount of amplification at the ear drum.  To do this an audiologist should conduct real ear measurements (also called probe microphone measurements or insertion gain) and fine-tuning.

 

Real ear measurement and fine-tuning

real ear measurementsFollowing the “first fit”, audiologists should measure the hearing aid’s amplification in the ear canal close to the ear drum.  This involves placing a tube called a probe-tube, deep into the ear canal, approximately 12 mm from the ear drum (tympanic membrane).  This tube is connected to a sensitive microphone and has the role of measuring sound levels near the ear drum.  With the hearing aid inserted and turned on, the audiologist can then make accurate measurements at the eardrum of how much the hearing aid is amplifying sound across the range of frequencies. Based on these real ear measurements, the audiologist can then fine-tune the hearing aid to provide the optimal amplification response to optimise speech clarity and wearing comfort.  Further fine-tuning may also be done based on the individual’s personal sound preferences.

Real ear measurements are an important procedure to ensure that hearing aids are precisely programmed and customised to account for both an individual’s hearing loss and their physical anatomy.   Unfortunately to save time, many hearing clinics do not use real ear measures and simply rely on the “first fit” in the hearing aid manufacturer’s software.   If you are in the process of getting hearing aids make sure you request your audiologist use real ear measurements.

At Sounds of Life Audiology we quite regularly see clients who have purchased hearing aids elsewhere who are unhappy with their performance.  One of the first things we will do is conduct some real ear measurements to see what the hearing aids are doing.  Often these measurements reveal that the hearing aids were not programmed properly for the client.  By simply reprogramming and fine-tuning the hearing aids based on the real ear measurement results we are often able to solve the client’s problems without them having to invest in a new set of hearing aids.

At Sounds of Life we believe in providing hearing aids that are fully customised and optimised for wearers.  We use real ear measurements as a standard procedure for every hearing aid fitting.  It is only by doing this can we be sure we are making the most of the impressive hearing aid technology that is available today.

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

     

    About Sounds of Life

    Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer transparent and affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands.

     

     

    Sounds of Life’s Platinum Aftercare Package

     

     

     

    Sounds of Life’s Platinum Aftercare Package

     

     

    At Sounds of Life we recognise the importance of good aftercare.  All our hearing aids come standard with our free-of-charge “Platinum after-care package”. The package includes:

      • 36-month product warranty
      • Free annual hearing screening and hearing aid adjustment for three years
      • Free ongoing hearing aid clean and checks
      • Free hearing aid trial prior to purchase

     

    Why hearing aid aftercare should not be an after-thought 

    If you are a hearing aid wearer, it is likely that your hearing aids are playing a significant role in your daily life helping you to communicate.  Like all things we rely on, it is not only important to look after them, but to be confident that if something does go wrong, you will be immediately supported.  Due to the often-permanent nature of hearing loss, wearers of hearing aids are likely to require them for the rest of their lives and they will become important partners in life.

    Ongoing support and maintenance of hearing aids are important to ensure:hearing aid care

    • They are adjusted and fine-tuned to compensate for changes in hearing. Often hearing deteriorates over time due to natural ageing.
    • They are adjusted and fine-tuned to adapt to changes in needs or circumstances. Often changes to the hearing aids will be required due to changes in lifestyle (e.g. you may have started listening to more music and require a music program in your hearing aid) or health (e.g. you may have an ear infection and require temporarily a different style of ear mould)
    • They are working optimally and reliably. Hearing aids are sensitive electronic devices that operate in quite a hostile environment (ear canal).  They require regular cleaning/care and sometimes repair.

    When purchasing hearing aids, it is important to understand from your audiologist what levels of aftercare service is provided and the cost of this aftercare.  Key things to consider:

    (1) Hearing aid warranty

    The first thing to find out is the manufacturer’s warranty on the hearing aid itself.  At some point of time your hearing aids will require repair and if your hearing aids are out of warranty the costs could be significant.  It goes without saying the longer the manufacturer’s warranty the better.

    (2) Ongoing support and service

    It important to find out what aftercare service is provided and the cost of the service.  Important aftercare services include hearing tests, hearing aid adjustments, clean/check of hearing aids and the provision of consumables (batteries, earmoulds and tips/domes).

     

    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

       

       

      About Sounds of Life

      Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer transparent and affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands.

       

       

      Hearing aid pricing Australia

       

       

       

      What is the price of hearing aids in Australia?

       

      In Australia, the average retail price for a single hearing aid, ranges from around $1000 for a basic model to $6000 for a premium model.  As most people require two hearing aids, the cost for two hearing aids (binaural fitting) will be twice these amounts.

      An individual’s out of pocket costs may be reduced if they have private health cover.  In addition, if they are a pensioner or veteran they may be eligible for either fully-subsidised hearing aids or partially subsidised hearing aids through the Commonwealth Hearing Services Program.   More information (including eligibility) about this program is available at www.hearingservices.gov.au/

      The main difference between premium hearing aids and lower level “basic” hearing aids, is technology rather than size.  Premium hearing aids feature more advanced sound processing technology to more effectively address challenging situations (e.g. restaurants with background noise) as well more advanced technology to improve convenience and ease of use (e.g. wireless streaming of audio from mobile phones).

      There can be high variability in pricing between clinics with some hearing aid clinics selling the same hearing aid at prices almost double other clinics.  It is therefore important to shop around.

       

      What is the price of hearing aids from Sounds of Life? Massive-Savings-on-hearing-aids

      At Sounds of Life we are focused on providing our clients with the highest quality, personalised hearing care at an affordable price.  We believe good hearing is a necessity and should not be a luxury only for the lucky few.

      At Sounds of Life we aim to provide the most affordable brand-name hearing aids in Brisbane.  It is not uncommon for our pricing to be 40% cheaper than our competitors.  Sounds of Life’s pricing can be easily located on our website: https://www.soundsoflife.com.au/hearing-aid-pricing/

       

      Being independent we provide all major brands of hearing aids, but as a guide our price range for the different levels of technology is summarised below:

      Premium $3250 – $3990* (diamond level)

      High-end $2400- $3190* (platinum level)

      Mid-range $1650- $2390* (gold level)

      Essential $from $990* (silver level)

       

      In addition to offering affordable hearing aid pricing, Sounds of life prides itself on being independent and providing transparency for our clients. 

      Independent

      As an independent hearing aid provider (not owned by a manufacturer), Sounds of Life supports all major hearing aid brands in Australia.  These include Sonova (Phonak, Unitron), Widex, William Demant (Oticon, Bernafon), Sivantos (Signia, Siemens), Starkey and Resound.  Being independent allows us to offer a wide range of product choices and styles to ensure we recommend the most appropriate hearing aids for our clients’ requirements and preferences, at an affordable price.

       

      Transparency

      Sounds of Life is owned and operated by audiologists and we believe in being transparent to our clients.  Examples of the transparency is that we openly publish all our pricing on our website.  In addition, we quote our pricing in an unbundled manner, so clients can see exactly what services they are paying for when purchasing a hearing aid.  They can also use this to easily compare our value with other hearing aid providers.  Finally, at Sounds of Life, our referral sources do not have any financial interest in our business, so they have no incentive to refer to us.  They refer to us due to the high quality and value of our product and services.

       

      Why are hearing aids so expensive?

      It is true that hearing aids are expensive, but it is also true that many people unfortunately pay more than they need to for hearing aids.

      In addressing the first point, it is important to consider that hearing aids are medical devices and are not consumer devices.  In view of this, comparing the two is not a fair comparison for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, the standards relating to product quality and manufacturing processes required to produce and sell medical products is much higher than consumer devices.  Secondly, the sales volumes are generally much lower than for consumer products.  The main costs relating to hearing aids are the following:

      • Research and Development – the hearing aid industry is competitive with most manufacturers’ products having a product life-cycle of less than two years.  The top six manufacturers globally each spend annually tens of millions of dollars on research and development.
      • Manufacturing – as medical products hearing aids are manufactured to the highest standards.  Product reliability is paramount given that hearing aids are intended to be used all day, every day in a very challenging environment – the human ear.  Hearing aids are exposed to sweat, heat, wax and moisture but are still expected to perform reliably.
      • Clinical Service – in most cases when purchasing hearing aids you are not just purchasing the hearing aids themselves but also the clinical fitting and ongoing support.  Hearing aids need to be custom fitted to your ear and custom programmed to match your individual hearing loss and hearing needs.

      In addressing the second point, most hearing aid manufacturers offer a range of performance (or technology levels) within their hearing aid range.  In Australia you can get basic hearing aid technology from around $1000-$1500 each.  Given that hearing aids are expected to last over 5 years, the daily cost of such a hearing aid is less than a dollar a day.  Of course this is for entry-level technology and there are many more expensive models available ranging from $1500 to $6000.  However, it is important when purchasing hearing aids, particularly higher performance models, to understand their benefits to ensure you are paying for features and functionality that really benefits you, rather than for extra features you don’t need or will never use.  The other important thing is to shop around.  You should not just accept the first quote for hearing aids from a clinic.  You should get multiple quotes so you can compare pricing and the service included.

       

      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

         

         

        Free hearing aid trial service

         

         

        Take advantage of Sounds of Life’s FREE hearing aid trial service.  Don’t be stuck with hearing aids that don’t meet your needs!

         

        There are no arguments about it, good hearing aids are not cheap.  Hearing aids are a significant investment.  However, this investment can be life-changing!

        How do you ensure your hearing aid investment works for you, so you are not stuck with hearing aids that don’t meet all your needs? 

        subsidised hearing aids pensioners

        At Sounds of Life we offer our clients the opportunity to trial for free, a range of recommended hearing aids.  This “trial before buy” approach gives you the opportunity to not only trial hearing aids in your real world (not just in the clinic), but also to experience the benefits of different features and functionality available across a range of hearing aid models.

        During your first appointment, Sounds of Life will comprehensively assess your hearing and work with you to understand your personal needs and preferences.  Sounds of Life will then recommend several hearing aid models that meet your requirements.  You will then have the opportunity to trial these different hearing aid models for a period for free, so you can determine which model best matches your unique needs and lifestyle.

        At Sounds of Life you only pay for the hearing aids when you are 100% satisfied that are meeting your expectations and requirements.

        Why are hearing aid trials important?

        Before making the important decision to purchase hearing aids, it is critical that wearers are confident that they can successfully wear hearing aids, and that the hearing aids are meeting all their hearing needs.

        prices of new hearing aids

        1. Trials provide wearers the opportunity to experience the true benefit of hearing aids in their real world (not in the sterile clinic which is normally very quiet). Wearers can test all the features and functionality of their hearing aids to ensure the hearing aids are successful in improving their hearing challenges.
        1. Trials provide wearers the opportunity to acclimatise to their hearing aids to ensure that the sound quality is optimal, and the hearing aids can be worn comfortably without irritation.  For most people, their hearing has declined gradually over many years, so the initial experience of hearing aids can be a little surprising, so a period of regular use is required to achieve a level of acclimatisation to sound amplification.

         

         

         

         

        Contact us today on 1300 744 432 

          Your Name (required)

          Your Phone Number (required)

          Your Message

          Fully-Subsidised Hearing Aids For Pensioners

           

           

          Do you know eligible pensioners can access fully-subsidised hearing aids

           

          pensioners hearing aids brisbaneDid you know that if you are an Australian pensioner and have a hearing loss, you may be eligible for fully-subsidised (no gap) hearing aids under the Commonwealth Hearing Services program?

          Eligible pensioners receive

          FREE hearing assessments

          FREE hearing rehabilitation

          FREE digital hearing aids, or SUBSIDISED advanced digital hearing aids

           Are you eligible?  Ring Sounds of Life on  1300 744 432

           

          Sounds of Life Special for Pensioners!

          Sounds of Life is offering the very latest Signia digital hearing aids free-of-charge (fully-subsidised) for eligible pensioners.

          Recently released, the new Signia 1 primax is loaded with the latest advanced hearing aid technology and is available free-of-charge for eligible pensioners through the Australian Government’s Office of Hearing Services Program.

          The Signia 1 primax RIC uses breakthrough technology that is able to focus in and single out the person’s voice you are trying to listen to while reducing unwanted voices and background noise. It is invisible to the eyes when worn and has a comfortable fit – you’ll forget you’re even wearing hearing aids.

          Normally only available as a partially-subsidised (top-up) hearing aid, Sounds of Life is offering the Signia Pure 1 primax FREE (fully-subsidised with no gap) for eligible pensioners

          To find out more ring Sounds of Life on  1300 744 432

           

          The Sounds of Life Difference

          subsidised hearing aids pensioners

          Sounds of Life is a leading independent hearing care provider with four locations across South-East Queensland (Toowong, Caboolture, Clayfield and Fortitude Valley).

          We are accredited to provide hearing aids under the Commonwealth Hearing Services program.  We offer our clients:

          • Access to all leading government-funded hearing aid technologies across all brands
          • The ability to trial both fully-subsidised (free) as well as partially subsidised (top-up) hearing aids
          • Highly personalised service where you will see the same audiologist for every appointment

          Being independent means Sounds of life has access to the best technology, no matter the brand.   We are therefore able to offer you the best available hearing solution for your individual preferences and circumstances.  If your priority is for your hearing aid to be discreet and unobtrusive we have virtually invisible hearing aid options.  If your priority is ensuring you achieve the best possible hearing in challenging situations (e.g. when you are out and about) we have hearing aids with latest directional microphone technology.

          Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist with clinics in Brisbane and now in Caboolture.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

          Contact us today on 1300 744 432 

            Your Name (required)

            Your Phone Number (required)

            Your Message

            Signia Pure Charge&Go Nx Hearing Aid Review

             

             

             

            Signia Pure Charge&Go Nx Hearing Aid Review

             

             

            Lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids are increasing in popularity in Australia.  In April 2018, Signia (formally Siemens) will launch its new Lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid: Signia Pure Charge&Go Nx RIC (receiver-in-canal).  The Signia Pure Charge&Go uses Signia’s latest impressive audiological platform: Signia Nx and will be available in three performance levels:

            • 7nx (Premium)
            • 5nx (High-end)
            • 3nx (Mid-range)

             

            Why Lithium-ion Rechargeability?

            There are several advantages of lithium-ion hearing aids:

            • Ease of management and convenience – the wearer never needs to change fiddly zinc-air batteries. The hearing aids are designed so that they are charged every night, so they deliver a full day’s hearing.
            • Reliability and robustness – Doing away with disposable zinc-air batteries means there is no need for a battery door that opens and closes. This means the housing is designed with less gaps improving the hearing aid’s water resistance and general reliability.

            Signia is very experienced in the rechargeable space producing rechargeable nickel-metal-hydride hearing aids for well over a decade.  However, the Signia Pure Charge&Go RIC will be Signia’s second generation lithium-ion hearing aid replacing the popular Cellion primax RIC released in 2016 (see review of this model here)

            Pure Charge&Go uses an inductive rechargeable system doing away with the need for battery contacts on the hearing aid’s housing.  By using an inductive charging system, the Pure Charge&Go is designed to be extremely easy to use as there is no need to plug it in to be charged.  When the hearing aids are placed in the charger cradle they turn off automatically and when removed, they turn on automatically (no need to fiddle with the controls).  The inductive system also means the hearing aid can be designed as one piece with less openings reducing the risk of moisture or dust/dirt entering the hearing aid.  In fact, the Pure Charge&Go has been certified as achieving an ingress-protection rating (IP) of 68.

            The Signia Pure Charge&Go battery takes 3 hours to charge and delivers 19 hours of use.  Signia advises that this time is reduced slightly if the wearer does a lot of wireless audio streaming (e.g. listening to music or taking phone calls).  Signia indicates that wearers can expect 17 hours of use if wearers audio stream for 5 hours.

            Pure Charge&Go is considerably smaller than its predecessor Cellion, In the past many wearers were disappointed in the size of lithium-ion hearing aid models as they were comparable in size to traditional 13 size battery models.  The new Pure Charge&Go is considerably smaller and comparable in size to traditional 312 battery models.

             

             

            Audiological Performance

            Pure Charge&Go uses Signia’s latest audiological chip platform: Signia Nx.  In our opinion this one of the most advanced hearing aid platforms on the market delivering superb sound quality and speech clarity even in challenging situations.  More information about the Signia Nx audiological platform can be found here.

            One of the standard out technologies is Signia’s Ultra HD e2e wireless system.  This technology is used to connect the two hearing aids when worn together ensuring the hearing aids act as a binaural “system” rather than independently.  The advantage of this “system” is that each hearing aid processes sound not only from the two microphones on its own hearing aid, but also from the two microphones on the other hearing aid.  This binaural processing technology forms the basis of some very powerful audiological features:

            • Narrow directionality – for improved hearing in background noise (Signia has shown that this can out-perform normal hearing in challenging situations with a lot of background noise*)
            • Own Voice Processing – a unique feature that improves the perception of the wearer’s own voice but independently processing the wearer’s own voice from all other sound in the environment.
            • 3D classification – the hearing aids are able to determine the type of environment the wearer is in and optimally adapt their performance.

             

            Wireless Audio-Streaming

            The Pure Charge&Go also features direct wireless audio streaming technology.  Wearers with Apple (Made for iPhone) devices can audiostream phone calls, music or any other audio input directly into their hearing aids.  Effectively their hearing aids become wireless headsets.  Signia offers a device called StreamLine mic that will enable wearers to wireless stream audio from other non-Apple Bluetooth devices.  The StreamLine mic can also be used as a remote microphone.  Wearers can give the Streamline mic to the person they want to hear (e.g. lecturer) and their voice will be wirelessly streamed into their hearing aids at a distance of up to 20 metres.

             

            Our Conclusion

            At Sounds of Life we are very excited about the Signia Charge & Go.  We believe the lithium-ion technology will improve the wearer’s experience by offering a hassle-free and convenient way of managing their hearing aids.  We have fitted many of the non-rechargeable Signia Nx hearing aids and feedback from our clients has been excellent.  Certainly for active wearers that are regularly in challenging situations with background noise, they benefit significantly from the advanced noise reduction technology in the Signia Nx platform.  Wearers also appreciate the direct audio streaming capabilities for phone use.

             

            Sounds of Life offers the Pure Charge&Go hearing aids at Brisbane’s lowest prices:

            Signia (Siemens)

            • Premium: Pure Charge&Go 7Nx RIC – $3890 (+ $299 for the charger)
            • High-end: Pure Charge&Go 5Nx – $2990 (+ $299 for the charger)
            • Mid-range: Pure Charge&Go 3Nx – RIC – $2200 (+ $299 for the charger)

            Special Launch offer – For the month of April, Sounds of Life is offering the charger free-of-charge for all binaural purchases of Pure Charge & Go.

             

            *http://www.hearingreview.com/2017/05/comparison-study-speech-recognition-using-binaural-beamforming-narrow-directionality/?ref=fr-title

             

            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 Nx hearing aid review

               

               

               

              Signia Nx hearing aid review

               

              In November 2017, Signia (formally Siemens) released its new hearing aid range called Signia Nx to the Australian market.  Signia’s marketing around the new range focusses on new innovations that “replicate nature” (the name “Nx” stands for “Natural Experience”).  The main new technologies of note are Own Voice Processing technology, “Made for iPhone” wireless audio-streaming and an improved Telecare remote support solution (coming soon).

               

              Own Voice Processing (OVP™) 

              It is common for hearing aid wearers when they first get hearing aids to find that their own voice sounds unnaturally loud.  Of course, having hearing loss means that the volume of one’s own voice is perceived as softer than it really is and when fitted with hearing aids, wearers naturally report that hear their own voice sounds louder.  However, this perception is magnified by the fact that hearing aids are worn on the ears and their microphones are very close to the wearer’s mouth.  Consequently, for many hearing aid wearers, their own voice is perceived as artificially too loud.  To address such a complaint, audiologists would turn the hearing aid volume down to make the wearer’s own voice sound more natural.  Unfortunately this has the undesirable impact of also reducing the volume for sounds the wearer wants to hear reducing the benefit of the hearing aids.

               

              Signia’s new Own Voice Processing (OVP™) technology eliminates this problem by processing of the wearer’s own voice, completely independent from all other sounds, including all other voices.  The benefit for the wearer is that their own voice sounds more natural without the audiologist having to turn the hearing aids down for all the other sounds the wearer wants to hear.  During the initial fitting (under guidance by the audiologist), the wearer conducts an “own voice” training exercise which simply involves counting   Once trained the hearing aids will then be able to identify the wearer’s own voice.  At the recent Brisbane launch event we had the opportunity to test the new OVP™ technology and found it worked very well and certainly made one’s own voice sound more natural.

               

              “Made for iPhone” for wireless audio-streaming to Apple devices

              “Made for iPhone” technology enables direct wireless connection (without additional accessories) to Apple devices during phone calls and audio-streaming.  This means the hearing aids become virtual wireless headsets, so wearers do not need to hold the phone up to their ears.  This technology is fantastic for watching movies from iPads and televisions, with high quality sound, conveniently being streamed wirelessly into wearer’s hearing aids.  Although direct wireless audio-streaming is currently only available for Apple devices with  the new Nx range, Signia advises that an Android solution will be available early next year.

               

               

               

              In addition to supporting “Made for iPhone” wireless audio-streaming technology, the new Nx hearing aids feature an upgraded full audio wireless link between the hearing aids (a technology Signia calls Ultra HD wireless e2e technology).  This wireless link enables binaural sound processing which is the basis for binaural features like narrow directionality which markedly improves hearing in background noise.   Signia promotes that they are the only manufacturer that offers both direct Bluetooth audio-streaming and full audio binaural sound processing in the one device.

               

              Telecare with full live remote fine-tuning and video chat – Coming Soon

              Signia TeleCare is a tele-audiology solution that allows audiologists to remotely fine-tune hearing aids.  The new Signia Nx hearing aids feature Telecare 3.0 which allows full fine-tuning with video chat via the hearing aid wearer’s mobile phone.  No matter where the wearer is in the world, as long as they have a mobile phone connection, the audiologist can program and fine-tune their hearing aids.  The video chat feature provides a visual tool so the audiologist can check that the hearing aids are not damaged and are being worn correctly.  This is a great feature for busy hearing aid wearers (particularly travellers) who may find it difficult to visit the clinic.  Although Telecare 3.0 was not available in Australia at the launch of Signia Nx, Signia advises that it will be rolled-out in February 2018.

               

               

               

               

              Range of hearing aids

              The Signia Nx is initially being released across three performance levels in two “Pure” receiver-in-canal (RIC)  hearing aids and one “Motion” behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid.

               

              Pure, discreet fully-featured RIC hearing aids with direct streaming.

              The Pure RIC devices are available in both 312 and 13 battery models.  They have an elegant design and are an ideal solution for wearers who want high performance, full connectivity, and complete discretion.  They feature new state-of-the-art silicone microphone technology.

              Available performance levels: 7Nx (Premium), 5Nx (High-end), 3Nx (Mid range)

               

              Motion. Versatile stylish BTE with excellent battery life

              With its high capacity 13-size battery, the Motion 13 offers wearers excellent battery life when streaming.  The Motion can be used with a normal earhook and mould or a thin-tube.  The Motion Nx features new state-of-the-art silicone microphone technology.

              Available performance levels: 7Nx (Premium), 5Nx (High-end), 3Nx (Mid range)

               

              Our Conclusion

              The Signia Nx suits active wearers who require high performance hearing aid technology to ensure they hear well in challenging situations with background noise.  One of Signia Nx’s features that we are really impressed with is the hearing aids use of the iPhone motion sensors.  Although not a focus of Signia’s marketing, the hearing aids use the smartphone’s Motion sensors to identify when the wearer is on the move so hearing aid features like directionality are activated and adapted appropriately.  This ensures audibility is optimised even in rapidly changing environments.

              The Signia Nx also suits wearers who require wireless audio-streaming.  Wearers that rely on their smartphones will enjoy the convenience and sound quality experience of direct wireless audio-streaming without an additional accessory.   Wearers can also optionally purchase a Streamline TV transmitter and wirelessly stream Dolby quality stereo sound from the television directly into their hearing aids.

              At Sounds of Life we have had the opportunity to fit a number of the new Signia Nx hearing aids since launch.  So far the feedback from clients has been very positive with reports that the hearing aids offer very good sound quality, especially when audio-streaming.  At Sounds of Life we are pleased to offer the new Signia Nx at Australia’s lowest prices.

               

              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

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                What is the loudest sound ever recorded?

                 

                 

                 

                What is the loudest sound ever recorded?

                 

                The general consensus among scientists is that the loudest sound ever recorded on Earth was the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano in 1883.

                How loud was the Krakatoa volcanic eruption?

                The sound level of the eruption was measured1 as 172 decibels approximately 150 kms from the eruption.

                To put this in perspective, operating a jackhammer exposes the user to approximately 120 decibels.  Every 10 decibels increase in sound level is perceived as roughly twice as loud. Therefore, standing next to jet engine at 140 decibels would be perceived at four times as loud as a jackhammer.  The eruption of Krakatoa was measured at 172 decibels!

                The amazing fact is that the measured 172 decibels was at a distance of 150 kilometres from the eruption.  We know it was much louder closer to the eruption as doubling the distance from the sound source, reduces sound volume by half.   Therefore, the 172 decibels measured at 150 kilometres would be equivalent to somewhere between 1/7 to 1/8 the sound level one kilometre from the explosion2.

                Fortunately such an extreme sound event like the eruption of Krakatoa is rare.  However we are constantly in danger of damaging our hearing from everyday sounds in our normal lives.  These sounds do not necessarily have to be extremely loud.  What is important is both the loudness and duration of the sound.  For example, exposure to sounds as low as 85 dB for a long duration can cause permanent hearing damage.  As the sound level increases the safe exposure time for the sound decreases.  For example, it is recommended for 100 dB sounds that a safe exposure over a 24 hour period is only 15 minutes.  The table below shows the wide range of sound levels the human ear can perceive and the recommended exposure time for the different levels.

                 

                Source of Sound/Noise

                Approximate Sound
                Pressure in Pa

                 

                 

                dB SPL

                 

                Human Judgement of Loudness relative to 60 dB

                Maximum Recommended Noise Dose (over 24 hours)

                 

                Rocket Launch 2,000 >160 1024 X as loud as 60 dB (eardrums ruptured) No Safe Exposure
                Jet Engine (at 50 metres) 200 140 256 X as loud as 60 dB (threshold of pain) No Safe Exposure without ear protection
                Jackhammer (at 1 metre) 20 120 64 X as loud as 60dB 7 seconds
                Rock concert 2 >100 16 X as loud as 60dB 15 minutes
                Traffic on busy motorway .2 80 4 X as loud as 60dB 8 hours
                Normal Conversation .02 60   Safe
                Quiet Library .002 40 1/4 X as loud as 60dB Safe
                Leaves rustling .0002 20 1/16 X as loud as 60dB Safe
                Softest sound a human can hear .00002 0   Safe

                 

                 

                Scientists could calculate the loudness of Krakatoa in decibels from the spike in atmospheric pressure which was recorded by nearby weather stations.

                Sound intensity is limited to 194 decibels in the Earth’s atmosphere.  Above this level, sound is no longer just passing through the air, it’s actually pushing the air along with it, causing a pressurised burst called a “shock wave.”

                 

                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

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Five Myths About Hearing Aids

                  hearing aid myths

                   

                  We answer 5 common myths about hearing aids

                  myths about hearing aidsFor many people with significant hearing loss, hearing aids offer tremendous benefits, significantly improving quality of Life.

                  Due to a lot of misinformation out there being communicated by unscrupulous hearing clinics pushing hearing aid sales, we at Sounds of Life Audiology Clinic would like to bust some of the myths about hearing aids.

                   

                   

                  Myth 1 – You have a hearing loss therefore you need a hearing aid.

                  Truth – Not necessarily

                  Hearing loss is common as we age.  In fact, it is estimated that 50% of people aged over 60 have hearing loss.  However, having some degree of hearing loss does not necessarily mean you are suitable or that you will benefit from hearing aids.   Unfortunately, some hearing clinics recommend hearing aids to individuals who do not need them.

                  If your hearing loss is very mild, it is unlikely that a hearing aid will be beneficial.  As the name suggests a hearing aid is an “aid” and does not fully restore your hearing.   You should consider investigating getting a hearing aid when you are having frequent difficulties hearing conversations.  During a hearing evaluation your audiologist should conduct speech testing which will provide a good indication of the need for hearing aids.

                  Some types of hearing loss are caused by medically treatable conditions.   A qualified audiologist can conduct a comprehensive hearing test to identify the cause of your hearing loss. For medically treatable conditions, a further referral to an ENT should take precedence over hearing aid options.

                   

                  Myth 2  – Hearing aids will prevent my hearing getting worse.

                  Truth – Sadly, no

                  Properly fitted hearing aids will not cause a decline in hearing, however they will also not prevent further hearing decline.  It is common as we age for our hearing to slowly get worse.  Unfortunately, some hearing clinics like to push the myth that hearing aids will prevent further hearing loss decline to scare people into purchasing hearing aids before they really need them.  Hearing aids will not prevent your hearing declining however they can be adjusted or fine-tuned to account for current hearing loss levels to ensure the continual stimulation of the auditory pathway to keep your speech discrimination ability intact.

                  It is very important for all people, whether normal hearing or hearing-impaired, to protect their hearing in noisy situations to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.   

                   

                  Myth 3 – My hearing aids do not improve my hearing; therefore, I need new hearing aids. 

                  Truth – Not necessarily

                  If your hearing aids are not helping you, the first thing that an audiologist should do is check whether your hearing aids are faulty.   If they are faulty and under five years of age, it is highly likely they can be repaired*.   If your hearing aids are over five years of age, parts and electronic components of the hearing aids may no longer be available for repairs.

                  If your hearing aids are not faulty, they may need to be reprogrammed to account for changes in your hearing or your needs.  Most hearing aids are digital with a high degree of programming flexibility.  This means that even if your hearing has deteriorated, there is a good possibility (at least for minor changes in hearing) that your hearing aid could be reprogrammed to account for the decline.

                  A professional audiologist can reprogram your hearing aids using real ear measurements (insertion gain) to ensure they are being programmed to provide the exact amount of amplification at the ear drum.

                  *most manufacturers in Australia will guarantee availability of repair parts for at least five years from purchase 

                   

                  Myth 4 – I need the top-of-the-range hearing aids to be able to hear 

                  Truth – Not necessarily

                  It is no secret that unfortunately many hearing clinics like to push more profitable high-end and premium hearing aids.  Although this technology can offer significant benefits for wearers with demanding or challenging listening needs, they will not necessarily be value for money for all individuals.

                  If you have significant hearing loss, you are likely to gain significant benefit from even entry-level digital technology.  If you live a very quiet lifestyle with basic needs (e.g. you just want a hearing aid for watching television or talking to the family) and you don’t need specific technology (e.g. Bluetooth wireless connectivity), the additional benefit from premium technology may not be worth the expenditure.

                  It is certainly worth asking the clinic whether they offer any no-gap high-technology hearing aid options.  Some clinics like Sounds of Life will offer a range of no-gap high-technology options for eligible pensioners and private health members.

                   

                  Myth 5 – Your hearing loss cannot be helped.

                  Truth – Not necessarily

                  In the past, hearing technology was not at the level to address some specific types of hearing loss including unilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in one ear) and very high frequency hearing loss.  Due to modern advances in hearing aid technology there are now solutions for the vast majority of significant hearing loss.  Even if in the past you have been told by your doctor that your hearing loss cannot be helped it is worth getting an updated opinion from a qualified audiologist.

                   

                  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