New products from Swiss-based Phonak, (US headquarters, Warrenville, Ill) at the recent AudiologyNOW! 2009 event, include the award-winning Audéo Yes design, high-performance Exélia Art models, and the premium, high-power hearing solution Naída IX.

All new premium products feature SoundRecover and ZoomControl technology and offer extended connectivity.

Key is the introduction of SoundRecover technology, for users with all degrees of hearing loss. Many experience difficulty understanding speech, enjoying music, and the sounds of nature because they do not hear well in the high-frequency ranges. SoundRecover compresses and shifts high frequencies, expanding audibility to include the full spectrum of sounds, which helps wearers to once again enjoy sounds in daily life. Some 88% of users report that SoundRecover is the most important feature of their Phonak.

With the introduction of Exélia Art, SoundRecover technology is available for the first time in a fitting range covering mild to severe hearing losses in all models, including the smallest CIC and micro with slim tubes and standard BTEs. This allows high-end customers to rediscover subtle sounds. Understanding on the phone is achieved with the new DuoPhone feature, with the phone signal heard simultaneously in both ears. Background noise is reduced and clarity significantly improved. ZoomControl, now with DirectTouch, combines real-audio streaming with directional beamforming, offering the ability to choose which direction to focus hearing on. With DirectTouch, users can activate the ZoomControl function directly on the hearing instrument or as previously, via myPilot. Offering a choice of 15 styles, including tiny CICs, the new micro Petite, and powerful BTEs, the Exélia Art

The award-winning design  of Audéo Yes IX comes in a robust housing available in 17 color combinations and featureing SoundRecover. The canal receiver technology offers multiple receivers and coupling options, allowing fitters to provide an instant or custom fitting with a wide range of audiometric configurations. Audéo Yes is available with a standard CRT receiver for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, and with a power CRT receiver for moderate to severe hearing losses.

Naída IX offers a premium high-power hearing system and comes in an esthetically appealing, water-resistant
housing. All of the features of the wireless CORE platform, such as SoundRecover, are suited to the needs of people with significant hearing loss. With high-frequency resolution in 33 channels, VoiceZoom provides excellent understanding in background noise. With SoundRelax, impulse sounds, such as the sharp noise of
clanging dishes in the kitchen, are intelligently suppressed without affecting speech understanding. ZoomControl with DirectTouch help users who are especially challenged when not able to face the source of sound. With DuoPhone, wearers with significant hearing loss can enjoy telephone conversations. The device is available in two models with a 13 and 675-size battery suitable for a variety of audiometric configurations and losses ranging from moderately-severe to profound. With Naída IX, the Naída family is now available at three price points.

The new products are now available.

With Nios micro BTE, Phonak completes the Junior portfolio. Nios micro is based on the CORE technology and offers industry benchmarks for feedback elimination, frequency compression, and FM. The device is suited for children with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss, which comprises half of all children with hearing loss. The Junior portfolio also includes Naída and Audéo YES. Naída empowers children with moderately severe to profound hearing loss, and offers high-quality audibility and clarity. The discreet design is water-resistant, and the device helps address challenges of the teenage years, when self-image may becomes a key concern.

The new micro Petite, the smallest BTE housing in the Phonak range, optional with size 10 and 312 battery, is available in 12 colors for Exélia Art, Versáta, and Certéna models. With the inconspicuous micro tube, the new micro Petite models are almost invisible.

The mobile phone link Click’nTalk combines best sound quality and ease-of-use: no programming, no charging, no fitting—the device is clicked onto a phone and is immediately operational. Click’nTalk is compatible with a wide range of Sony Ericsson mobile phone models and is available in May 2009.

The iCom TV package—iCom plus a TV Bluetooth transmitter—connects the hearing instrument wirelessly to the TV via Bluetooth and automatically adapts the TV sounds to the individual hearing loss. The package brings digital stereo sound quality to users wirelessly. The iCom TV package is available in April 2009.

With SlimTip Soft, introduces custom earpieces that are produced with digital UV soft shell material. Compared to standard hard acrylic shells, the flexible material helps minimize the pressure for sensitive ear canals and provides maximum wearing comfort, especially for long wearing periods. The digital UV technology used in the manufacturing process, developed by Phonak, delivers high precision and offers easy replication of identical parts in case of remake, damage, or loss. Digital 3-D modelling of the earpieces allows the company to offer AOV (acoustically optimized venting) technology for micro BTE and CRT instruments. AOV technology designs the right-sized vent into each earpiece, customized to the patient’s hearing profile, minimizing occlusion while providing the necessary benefit. The earpieces are available as hollow SlimTips, introduced together with the
new Exélia Art products. They can also be ordered as an option with any other Phonak micro or CRT
product family.

Versáta features SoundFlow Advanced, the exclusive base-blending technology that offers smooth, seamless transitions, between an infinite number of optimized, situation-specific listening programs. SoundFlow creates a unique listening program for every situation.

The Certéna standard product family offers WhistleBlock Technology and SoundFlow Standard. As with all of the CORE products, it opens up connectivity choices for intuitive use of phone, TV, Dynamic FM, MP3 players, and more. Versáta and Cértena are available in 15 styles, ranging from tiny custom products to a choice of Behind-the-Ear instruments from micro to powerful.

iCube applies the wireless capabilities of the CORE platform to facilitate the transfer of fitting data from
the PC, directly into the hearing instruments—for a fast and reliable CableFree fitting that creates a
more relaxed fitting environment for young children. It allows professionals to continue programming
even if the child is moving around, at a distance of up to 30 feet (10 meters). With the Junior Fitting Mode, Phonak offers a one-click pediatric configuration, developed based on input from the international pediatric community and the Phonak Pediatric Advisory Board. It considers the fact that a fitting can require—depending on the age of the child—a different work flow and hearing system configuration. The Junior Fitting Mode has been completed, iPFG 2.4 onward, to include older children’s (9 to 18 years) needs with defaults specific to this age group.

The latest FM solutions, with the option of a design-integrated or universal receiver solution, help children to hear and further enhance their speech and language development. Dynamic FM, the global standard in FM technology, delivers exceptional performance at home, in daycare or classroom situations, from kindergarten to college. DynaMic introduces a child-proof Dynamic FM passaround microphone for classrooms that use the inspiro Dynamic FM transmitter and the MultiTalker Network (MTN). DynaMic further expands the functionality of inspiro and the MultiTalker Network by allowing FM receiver wearers to hear and understand any of up to 10 speakers that pick up the microphone—so everyone in the class can be heard perfectly, by everyone. The Dynamic FM products are compatible with virtually all BTE products from other manufacturers, with cochlear implants and Baha’s.

Developed by Australia’s renowned National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) and distributed exclusively by Phonak, LiSN-S will be the first publicly available tool of its kind. The test uses sentences of speech—rather than individual words—to identify the problems children can face using the spatial information in sound. Offered as a combined hardware and software package, it enables professionals to simulate different speech environments, with target and distracter voices competing for the child’s attention. By asking a child to repeat the sentences spoken by the target voice, the audiologist is able to accurately assess the child’s ability to identify target speech in challenging situations, such as in a classroom. In 20 minutes, audiologists are provided with clear results in easy-to-print document format.

DynaMic will be commercially available in mid-June, and LiSN-S in mid-May 2009.

DuoPhone transfers the phone signal (acoustic or T-Coil) wirelessly to the opposite hearing instrument, which significantly increases speech intelligibility. DuoPhone is integrated in Phonak’s latest premium products Exélia Art and Naída IX, the new premium offering in the high power segment.

[Source: Phonak]