What’s new at AAA in 2012? Plenty. Listed alphabetically is a sampling of some of the new products and services that hearing care professionals will see on the showroom floor in Boston. However, many companies have chosen to withhold information until the actual product launch–so watch for more information in the May HRP.
AuDBling’s latest products include a necklace, charm, and wrist band using the company’s signature heart and theme “Hear with Your Ears~Listen with Your Heart.” AuDBling products are beautiful and a natural “conversation starter” that may lead to an open discussion about hearing loss and the benefits of treatment, a discussion that is important not only to audiologists and their current patients, but also to those who are living with untreated hearing loss. The company’s goal is for “cochlea jewelry” to become a symbol of the importance of receiving treatment for hearing loss.
Beltone myPAL™ is the latest addition to Beltone’s True™ Direct Line accessory line-up. myPAL (Personal Audio Link) is a wireless portable microphone designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in environments such as restaurants and lecture halls. When it’s placed in front of the sound source and within 20 feet of the hearing aid wearer, sounds stream from the myPAL microphone to the hearing aids. Hearing aid users can move about and still hear the sounds they want to hear. The myPAL also has a line-in option to stream audio signals from auxiliary audio devices directly to Beltone True instruments.
Swiss manufacturer Bernafon presents the Chronos Nano RITE at AAA 2012. The receiver-in-the-ear model completes the Chronos product family, which now includes five BTE and six ITE instruments. Small and compact, the Chronos Nano RITE combines performance with style. The new M and P speakers are available in four lengths, while the large number of acoustic options widens the fitting range enormously. Features also include Audio Efficiency™ technology, comprising ChannelFree™ signal processing; high performance Adaptive Feedback Canceller Plus; and Bluetooth® connectivity with Bernafon’s SoundGate device.
CLEARSOUNDS COMMUNICATIONS INC
ClearSounds Communications Inc launches their newly redesigned Infrared TV Listening System. The ClearTV features a comfortable over-the-ear headset with sound that is controlled with an easy-to-use volume wheel. The transmitter’s built-in digital to analog converter is designed for easy TV connectivity. The system also features a stylish look for design-conscious consumers.
Utilizing the pinna for natural spatial orientation, ExSilent is offering Ytango, designed not only for the convenience and comfort of a BTE hearing aid, but also with the advantage of using the pinna to collect sound. This is established by placing both microphone and receiver inside the ear canal. ExSilent named this type of hearing aid a “MaRiC” (Microphone and Receiver in Canal), designed for more natural sounding sound.
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At the upcoming AAA 2012 meeting, Frye Electronics will show the FONIX 8000 Hearing Aid Test System with its latest software, featuring the ISTS (International Speech Test Signal). In the ISTS noise test, a standardized speech-like signal is presented and a third octave analysis is performed. Results are displayed as the LTASS and the 30th, 65th, and 99th percentile. Other updates to the FONIX 8000 software include improvements to the directional polar and directional difference tests. These measurements have been split into two different screens and the 2D-DI directivity index measurements have been added.
CE-Chirp® is a new broadband stimulus available on the GSI Audera from Grason-Stadler Inc (GSI). CE-Chirp optimizes the stimulus, so energy from the stimulus reaches all regions of the cochlea at approximately the same time. This change in the stimulus presentation offsets the mechanics of the cochlea’s traveling wave and results in an Auditory Evoked Potential (AEP) waveform that is significantly increased in amplitude. According to the company, the AEP response to the CE-Chirp is 1.5 to 2 times greater than a traditional click stimulus, decreasing test time, improving waveform detection, and increasing clinical confidence.
HARC MERCANTILE LTD
HARC Mercantile Ltd has introduced Hearit Media, a Bluetooth communication amplifier from Phonic Ear for both TV and mobile phones. Hearit Media has a transmitter that connects to a TV or audio source to transmit sound via Bluetooth to the receiver. The amplified receiver, which also can be paired to receive Bluetooth transmissions from a mobile phone, has a neckloop for people with hearing aid telecoils to wirelessly receive the TV audio, and also a headphone connection for those without telecoils. Phone calls can be answered directly through Hearit Media, even while watching TV.
HEALTH ENTERPRISES INC
Health Enterprises Inc introduces the Dri-Eze™ Hearing Aid Dehumidifer designed to remove damaging daily moisture that can cause a hearing aid to malfunction. Dri-Eze uses a technology that is engineered to prolong hearing aid life, improve sound quality, and help prevent costly repairs. Users also need not worry about recharging or reactivating the dehumidifier. The Dri-Eze Dehumidifier is designed to be replaced with a new unit after 6 months of use.
HEARING NEWS NETWORK INC
Hearing News Network Inc (HNN) introduces a new series called “Hearing Loss in the News” by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). The Hearing News Network brings customized digital content directly to hearing professionals’ waiting rooms. Our new feature will take informative BHI articles and bring them to life as visually engaging news pieces combining text, images, and video. This approach can captivate viewers’ attention and educate them about hearing loss and your practice. Bring education, new product launches, and staff biographies directly to life for your patients.
MedRx is highlighting their New Live Speech Mapping, Real Ear Measurement System, the AVANT™ REMsp. The system features DSL and NAL-NL2 Targets for Live Speech Mapping and is designed for open fit testing. Input levels can be viewed in either LTASS or peak hold mode, and include built-in sound files (MP3). The AVANT REMsp also features a hearing loss simulator for third-party demonstrations. The REMsp is USB powered and is approximately 1 x 3 inches in size, and therefore lightweight and portable. Standard accessories include a powered speaker, USB extender cable, and custom carrying case. AVANT REMsp is also NOAH™, SycleNet, and TIMS® compatible.
OTOMETRICS NORTH AMERICA
At AAA 2012, Otometrics is featuring the new AURICAL, a complete, FDA-approved, modular fitting solution. AURICAL includes a true fitting audiometer and a wireless and binaural Probe Microphone Measurement (PMM) unit. Features also include counseling tools and an HIT box that works independently, as well as with other components. Otometrics’ OTOsuite software integrates everything in one unit. More information is available at www.futurefitting.com.
Otovation expands its product line with the OTOSphere® clinical audiometer. OTOSphere is a portable, two-channel audiometer that is designed to offer the flexibility of multiple headset configurations, high-quality free-field speakers, built-in amplifier, USB PC connectivity, and seamless integration with NOAH 4.0. OTOSphere is controlled by the company’s Symphony NOAH Module, allowing users to work with patient information and results from a variety of equipment platforms through NOAH. More information about the OTOSphere clinical audiometer is available on Otovation’s Web site.
Panasonic will be highlighting the JZ Power digital hearing instrument, which is designed for mild to severe hearing loss and utilizes proprietary technology to expand hearing range. An LCD screen and stereo binaural headset, designed to comfortably fit into the ear canal, provide ease-of-use in a user-friendly design. Additional functions, including noise reduction, wind noise management, feedback management, L/R balance, and Automatic Gain Control, aid in hearing capability. A slide power switch and volume control are also designed to be easily accessible for individuals with dual sensory loss. JZ Power may be ideal for patients in nursing homes, or those who cannot handle traditional hearing instruments may also benefit.
Phonak recently introduced Spice+ processing, designed for enhanced sound quality, improved first-fit acceptance, less fine-tuning effort, and long-term customer satisfaction. The entire Phonak Spice Generation portfolio is now enriched with Spice+ advantages. In addition, Phonak is announcing a new performance technology level in the Phonak Spice+ portfolio. There is now a Spice+ solution for a broad range of individual needs, regardless of age, lifestyle, personal preference, budget, or degree of hearing loss.
Rayovac is providing another solution for hearing health practices, adding free 24-hour shipping, guaranteed. The added benefit is offered exclusively to its ProLine Business Builder Program. Available on qualifying orders, this new service saves ProLine customers both time and money, providing Rayovac ProLine batteries shipped direct when practices need them. Along with this service, ProLine Business Builder provides tools developed specifically to grow hearing care practices.
At AAA, ReSound will launch a new iPad app, ClearPath. ClearPath is a patient-counseling tool designed to help dispensers validate the purchase of hearing aids. The tool can also help dispensers show patients how an investment in higher levels of technology can deliver a listening experience that is most important to them. ClearPath features a simple assessment, customizable audiograms, audio files for patient and companion education, and a reference library of patient-facing materials. The output upon completion of counseling is a customized consultation report that summarizes the discussion and shows the hearing technology recommended by the dispenser.
SIEMENS HEARING INSTRUMENTS INC
Siemens is highlighting AquarisTM, a truly waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant hearing aid. This instrument is designed for active patients who are troubled by dust, humidity, and moisture. Activities like swimming, golfing, or taking a brisk walk may now be enjoyable again because patients can keep their Aquaris on and not worry about feedback or moisture affecting the instrument. Aquaris is an ideal hearing aid in high-humidity environments or for those who work in construction, farming, or other dusty environments. In addition, Aquaris is designed to be small, compact, and comfortable to wear.
SONIC INNOVATIONS INC
Sonic is showcasing the new miniRIC. Despite its compact size, Flip includes popular features desired by patients, such as a long-lasting, easy-to-handle size 13 battery, fumble-free operation, and wireless device connectivity. Flip also features Sonic’s sound quality, a new adaptive feedback canceling system, and noise management features. Flip was also designed to make it easy for hearing care professionals to fit and patients to use.
Serenade® is a new sound therapy system for the relief of tinnitus. Simple to use and customized to each patient, Serenade’s digital signal processing system is based on the relationship between specific tonal algorithms and their effects. Serenade combines multiple sound therapy approaches in one device, offering three types of soft treatment sounds. It includes S-Tones®, novel, temporally patterned sounds customized to each patient; SleepAssist, for relief while sleeping; independent left/right volume controls; and data logging records of patient usage.
STARKEY HEARING TECHNOLOGIES
Starkey is featuring Wi Series™ custom products at AAA 2012, including the Secret Ear completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), and in-the-ear (ITE). Starkey’s proprietary Comfort Fit process allows for smaller, more comfortable custom wireless products. All styles offer full wireless functionality, including wireless media streaming and programming, binaural spatial mapping, ear-to-ear communication, and synchronized user controls. Additionally, Wi Series custom products include Spectral iQ, Voice iQ2, PureWave Feedback Eliminator, Hear Clear™ with HydraShield®2, and Self Learning, along with volume control, program switch, directional microphone when available, automatic telephone response, and telecoil.
Sycle.net is introducing its new electronic document management system, Sycle.net eDocs, a service that allows Sycle.net users to manage, store, retrieve, and distribute all of their patient documents electronically. eDocs will allow clinics to electronically capture patient documents via upload or scanning and attach them to a patient summary in Sycle.net. Users are able to create unlimited folders to organize their patient records however they see fit, and access documents from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
Vivosonic has announced the newest release of Integrity™ for advanced hearing diagnostic testing. Highlights include: new and improved Amplitrode®, choice of OAE probes for pediatric use, better battery performance, ABR recording enhancements, easier wireless connectivity, and more. Integrity uses Kalman Weighted Averaging and patented technologies that enable better handling of myogenic artifact, better immunity to electromagnetic interference, and convenient wireless capabilities. Integrity offers nonsedated ABR, OAEs, noninvasive ECochG, and fully automated ASSR.
Westone is introducing DefendEar® at AAA 2012, the latest edition to its hearing protection product line. DefendEar Digital 1 and DefendEar Hunter electronic hearing protection feature CENS digital technology. Both models are designed to protect hearing from gunfire, while allowing low level speech to be understood. A modular design allows DefendEar to incorporate the CENS electronic design with Westone’s maximum attenuating Style #40 hearing protector.
WIDEX USA INC
In addition to their recently expanded premier product lines of CLEAR 440/330/220 and FUSION 440/330/220 models, Widex will present their new SUPER line of hearing instruments, which introduces RITE technology to the super power segment. SUPER offers a small compact housing, a convenient 675 battery for long battery life, and a choice of power and super power receivers, designed flexible solutions, and improved sound quality. SUPER supports front-back sound orientation with features such as a unique IE compression system and digital pinna. SUPER will also include Widex’s Audibility Extender feature and be available at two levels of technology, 440 and 220.