The hearing aid industry has been preparing for the Baby Boomer generation for several years now, offering brightly colored, festive hearing aids, branded hearing aids (Steinway, for example), and hearing aids that make a statement.
But not everyone wants to let our old hippie days remind others that age is “a comin’ on.” For example, in the corporate realm – a dog-eat-dog world – persons with hearing loss often fear hearing aids might be viewed as a weakness or limitation among colleagues.
Then, there are those who don’t require low profile hearing aids but simply prefer to remain discreet. The hearing aid industry has this “ol’ gang” covered, as well as all of us who attended Woodstock ’69 – the real one!
Receiver in the Canal Hearing Aids (RICs)
In addition to styles, hearing aids come in a range of shapes and sizes, as well. The first type is custom fit hearing aids. Custom hearing aids range from a full shell in-the-ear hearing aid to the CIC – completely-in-the-canal hearing aid, and as the name suggests, this hearing aid fits into the wearer’s ear canal, all but invisible to the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, these tiny mites don’t have the space to pack a big bunch as far as gain (volume) is concerned so a CIC hearing aid may not be appropriate for someone with moderate or severe hearing loss. Just can’t squeeze out enough juice from such a tiny package.
Another downside for some users is the stuffy-headed feeling CICs can produce. After all, the unit does completely block the ear canal – something some hearing aid wearers find uncomfortable and unnatural. However, a lot of consumers prefer the invisible profile to ear stuffiness. It’s their trade-off. Yours, too, perhaps.
The most popular and most widely used hearing aids are behind-the-ear (BTE) models. These hearing aids have made a comeback in the last few years thanks to new innovative design and the concept of “open fit”.
Many of today’s open fit BTE hearing aids sit discretely behind the ear with an almost invisible sound tube delivering amped up sound into the ear canal. The microphone and receiver (speaker) sit nestled behind the ear in a compact discrete BTE case. These open-fit hearing aids have offered hearing aid wearers with mild to moderate hearing loss the option of a discrete natural fit.
The open fit nature of these products enables your natural hearing to do what it can before getting a boost from your hearing aid. Wearers enjoy the open ear feeling compared to CIC units.
The third and newest broad category of hearing aids – kind of a hybrid – is the Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids. RICs look very similar to open-fit hearing aids with the exception the receiver (speaker) actually is incorporate into the ear tip, instead of on the main body of the BTE case that sits behind the ear. The advantage of this innovative design is more gain is allowed without the risk of whistling, thus RICs are able to fit more significant hearing losses than traditional open-fit BTE hearing aids.
RICs deliver more power with both a low profile and the convenience today’s consumer wants and needs in this hectic, 14-hour-a-day world.
|Sonic Innovations Touch|
Sonic Innovations Touch™
The Touch™ from premier hearing aid manufacturer, Sonic Innovations, represents the latest innovation in RIC technology. Touch is innovative, providing hear-through sound – a more organic sound – in a device that utilizes digital technology to the max to re-create natural sound – the kind you used to hear. Remember?
Notable for its small size, Touch is one of the smallest RIC hearing aids on the market.
Touch™ is just one of many innovative hearing loss solutions offered by Sonic. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sonic is passionate about hearing health and the company’s straight-ahead approach to fitting hearing needs with the right technology is well-known throughout the hearing health industry.
"The Sonic Touch™ defines a new generation of hearing aids for Sonic Innovations and our industry as a whole. In addition to its sophisticated design, incredibly small size and ease of use features, Sonic Touch™ has the best moisture resistance of any RIC product on the market," said Sonic Innovations CEO, Sam Westover.
Westover noted that the Sonic Touch™ incorporates many of the sound processing technologies present in Sonic Innovations' Velocity™ series of hearing solutions. Touch provides natural sound quality, superior noise reduction and the finest directionality, driven by Sonic's unique DIRECTIONALfocus technology.”
Touch™ is now available in 25 countries – part of Sonic’s push to improve hearing on a global scale and Touch™ delivers the perfect balance of sound quality, wearing comfort and automated convenience or manual adjustment options to suit the needs of most hearing aid consumers.
“Sound is Touch at a Distance”
According to Westover the name for Touch came from the quote: “sound is touch at a distance” and explained, “We think that this quote really addresses the personal issue of relationships and the comfort of hearing aids in people's lives.”
A meaningful and unique name comes hand in hand with a unique design. Not only is Touch one of the smallest hearing aid designs today it also offers a color choice in a way no other hearing aid manufacturer has deon before, according to Westover.
Touch is available in five base natural colors to match to one’s skin and hair. In addition there are 15 different clips that you can put on each of the five different base colors, allowing a total of 75 color combinations. Choose form colors such as tutu (pink), surf (blue), lucky (green) daredevil (red) and many more fun colors to represent your personality or perhaps your favorite sports team.
In addition to design and discretion, Touch is tough with a water resistant, debris-repelling membrane to protect the inner workings of each Touch device.
The hearing aid programming software for Touch is called EXPRESSfit for a reason and your hearing professional can program up to four different listening programs into one little Touch so you can hear the way you want to hear whether in a large, open listening environment or a noisy party – you’ll hear the way you want to hear. And with just a touch of discretion.
Maintenance on the Touch is a breeze. Battery swaps are a cinch and the microphone’s ear wax guards just snap into place so no hassles. You can even handle routine maintenance on the run with Sonic Innovations Touch™.
Discover Touch™ Hearing Aids
Discovering Touch begins with seeing your hearing professional for a full hearing evaluation. If you are a hearing aid candidate, discuss with your hearing care professional if Touch is right for your hearing loss, listening needs and lifestyle.
Let the world touch you again – life has never sounded so sweet.