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Sonic Innovations: Super-Charged Ions

 Its tiny. Its part of the ion+ product line from Sonic Innovations, one of the leading hearing device makers known for innovation and ahead of the curve hi-tech.

During a recent interview with Audiology Onlines Editor-in-Chief Dr. Paul Dybala, Dr. Victor Bray, Chief Audiology Officer at Sonic Innovations, explained the companys approach to behind-the-ear (BTE) devices like the ion series. As Dr. Bray stated, At Sonic, when we talk about BTEs, there are three different sizes. There is the standard-size BTE, then a smaller version that we call the miniBTE, and then the smallest size that we call a microBTE. We consider the ion family of products microBTEs. They are very, very small, powered by 10A batteries.

It was about a year and half ago when we introduced the first ion hearing aid, which was our first open-fit product. We had tremendous success with that product from the beginning.

What Makes the Sonic ion Different?

One goal of Sonics designers is to produce the most natural sound in the smallest, most rugged, water-resistant package, and the ion is a clear demonstration of that success. Compact design for hearing and wearing comfort, lots of digital power for automated convenience, lock-tight electronics in a hard shell to repel moisture and grit while taking the rapids on the Snake River and the spaciousness of open ear technology.

Are You ready For A New World of Sound

You want wearing comfort. That means small and lightweight. The ion is tiny and weighs just about nothing. Its like wearing air! And it has been enhanced with new features.

Now Comes the ion+ and the ion200

Designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, Sonic Innovations has packed a lot of power into this little package. Unlike completely-in-the-canal (CIC) devices which work for many, the openness of the ion enables your natural hearing to pick up those good vibrations and, for the frequencies in which you have hearing loss, you get a little boost, making it easier to hear the full range of sound automatically.

Oh, yeah, theres no fiddling with the ion+ or ion200. The digital circuitry takes care of routine adjustments like volume, balance and microphone directionality.

And Then Theres the ion 400+

Same quality of hearing. Same wearing comfort and plenty of the automation that makes hearing aid hassle-free. The ion400+ is designed for folks with moderate to sever hearing loss, providing more boost when needed. Less boost when not needed. You just dont have to fiddle with this ear machinery. Its computerized, digitized, stylized and even chatty.

Did I say chatty? The ion400+ provides voice alerts to notify you when its switched modes from penny arcade to quiet restaurant. The device discreetly informs you each time settings are adjusted for listening conditions. Hey, this thing even tells you when the battery is low so you never have to think about it. Swap out the battery and youre all set. And get this, you can choose a male or female voice to make these announcements.

Pick your color ion from metallic black to bright red for those special nights out. You dont want to hide that hearing aid any more. Its an attractive accessory and a great conversation starter so go bold. Bold is ageless.

What color Sonic Innovations ion suits your personality? Bet its red. Or blue. Or jet black.

Sonic Innovations ion+ Delivers. All Of It.

If this is your first foray into the new world of hearing technology, be prepared for some surprises. Most hearing loss happens gradually but when you plug into your ion, youll hear things that may surprise you. Birds still chirp. Bees still buzz. And grandkids still giggle.

So, what do you look for in your first hearing aid, or the new generation of devices if youre replacing your ear horn? Three things, according to Sonic Innovations:

Cosmetics

Not everyone wants to show off their hearing devices. They prefer a discreet profile suitable for the business world. ion is invisible. No really. It fits behind the ear with a very slim profile and the sound tube is clear plastic so the only person who knows youre wearing the ion is you.

On the other hand, if color is your thing, take your pick and show off your bling. Hearing aids dont mean youre broken anymore than eyeglasses do, so wear that bad boy with pride.

Comfort

An absolute must. Youre going to be wearing this thing all day so itd better be comfortable. No, even better. It should be unobtrusive. Thats what the ion is. Its open ear fit eliminates stuffiness and its so lightweight youll forget its there.

Clarity

The less processed the sound the better. All ion products deliver clear, natural sound automatically so you hear like you did when you were a kid. Amazing. You wont believe what youve been missing.

The Movement To Teeny

Sonic Innovations Dr. Bray summed the direction hearing devises are headed and its a clear movement.

The trend that I am seeing as I talk with customers and clinicians all around the world is that for initial fittings these open fit products [ion line] are now the recommended first fit. Previously, people came in and they wanted small and invisible hearing aids and they were getting CICs. You had to counsel your client to live with the [stuffy] effect while they lived with amplification. Now, clinics have converted to fitting these people with these microBTEs with thin tubes. Patients take to them immediately; therefore, they are being used for first fittings, which are typically the youngest people in our demographic.

Like other hearing aid manufacturers, Sonic Innovations is taking hearing aid wearers further than ever before, enabling consumers to be discreet or shout if from the streets, to experience wearing comfort all day long and to enjoy open ear, natural sound as much as theyre able in all the environments they like. With the ions state-of-art moisture protection system, active hearing aid wearers are able to wear their hearing all day long and in environments they were once instructed not to. Youre going to play tennis? Sure wear your ion. Youre going jogging? Sure wear your ion. Not only does this feature give ion wearers more freedom, it also allows them to be safer doing all the activities they love that may involve sweat or heat.

Sounds like were moving in the right direction.

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