Hearing Aids For Severe To Profound Hearing Loss From Phonak
Naida Venture Hearing Aids
Phonak have just launched the latest addition to their Naida range. We attended the Irish launch in Dublin and were exceptionally impressed at what seems to be an outstanding solution for people with severe or profound hearing loss.
Venture Platform Based
The new Naida Range is based on the Venture chipset and finally brings all of the benefits of that platform to people with severe and profound hearing loss. The Venture platform and its features has been exceptionally well received. Even long term Phonak users are amazed by the improvements that it has brought with it. The new Naida V range is available in four levels of technology which include the V90, V70, V50 and V30. A little bit of history here, the original Naida was first launched in 2007 and it quickly became the go to hearing aid for treating people with severe to profound hearing loss. I remember when it was first launched and the response to it when I first fitted it.
It really was a breakthrough device although we would expect taht from a company who has a long history with hearing solutions for people with severe to profound hearing loss. The new range brings new styles with much smaller and more powerful devices than available in the older Naida Quest range. It also introduces some great updated features with a new SoundRecover strategy to deliver as much speech information as possible without causing distortion.
Sound Recover 2
With a new version of Phonak's SoundRecover strategy the Naida offers more high frequency cues than ever before. This allows access to the nuances of sound that you may not be able to hear. It delivers more speech information without causing distortion.
The range is rated to IP68, which means it will survive immersion in one meter of water for sixty minutes without damage. Phonak are circumspect about calling it water resistant, but another manufacturer calls this level waterproof. One way or the other this range will quite happily get in the shower and the pool with you without having to worry about it failing.
The casing is made with a new glass fiber reinforced material, the Naída V is now 60% more robust than its predecessor which together with its resistance to water should really give you confidence it won't fail you. Phonak know that this is important for people with profound hearing loss because without there hearing aids they are in a bind.
As part of the Venture platform the new Naida range benefits from Autosense and all of its features. This allows it to deliver the best possible experience in a range of sound environments.
The launch event was attended by Matt Gilbert who is an English rugby union footballer currently playing for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership. Matt is the only deaf professional sportsman in England. Matt wears Phonak Naida hearing aids and he was at the launch to discuss his experiences as a young man with profound hearing loss. He discussed his experiences with Naida devices and his deafness, he also explained how the ancillary wireless devices had changed his life.
Matt said that in order to get the very best experience for him, he needs to use both the Naida hearing aids and wireless accessories as combined solution. Matt uses a com pilot which allows him to connect to his mobile phone and other Bluetooth devices, he also uses the DECT Phone and the TV Link. He said that this set up provides him with a fully integrated solution. Without it, he would not be able to use his mobile phone and watch television with his wife without subtitles. He felt that the combined solution gave him real freedom.
The hearing aids
Naida V RIC
The Naida V RIC (Receiver in Canal) offers amazing power in a small package, it will deliver outstanding benefits for people with mild to severe hearing losses delivering power with discretion. The device which is a new form factor with a size 13 battery comes with three possible receiver options, the XS, the XP and the new X UP (for Ultra Power). The X UP option is a newly designed receiver which offers more output than the previous one. In essence the option will cover a more severe hearing loss.
With the introduction of a newly designed X UP receiver, the hearing aid will cover a hearing loss down to a flat 100 dB. This means that even people with a severe to profound hearing loss can avail of a very discreet solution without compromise in power or functionality. If this might be an attractive option for you, you need to be aware that there is some extra clean and care steps with a RIC device. As a RIC device, you will need to ensure that you take care of the receiver and follow a daily drying routine to ensure taht it does not fail from wax ingression or moisture build up.
Naida V SP
The new Naida V SP is 25% thinner than its predecessor, it is also a much smaller hearing aid. It runs on a size thirteen battery and can be fit with a power slim tube and tip which offers real discretion. The power slim tube can be fit with either acrylic or silicon custom tips. The device can also be fitted with a standard thick tube and mould configuration. The power slim tube has been re-designed by Phonak and it now sits lower on the top of the ear and hugs the face in a better way. This means that it is slightly more discreet than the last generation tubes.
The power output on the new SP has been increased and it now matches the power output of the older Naida Quest UP. This means that more people with severe to profound hearing loss can now avail of a more discreet option. The SP runs on a size thirteen battery which accounts for that smaller size, but the power management system that Phonak uses ensures that the battery drain is controlled. The device is a little bigger than the RIC but it is still a very small hearing aid. All in all it is a very discreet option which delivers a lot of power, something that many people with profound hearing loss really want.
Naida V UP
The new Naida V UP is again thinner and smaller than its predecessor with a new form factor. The power output on the hearing aid has been increased giving it even more performance for even the most profound hearing loss. It is powered by a 675 battery and can also be fitted with a power slim tube and custom tip. This is definitely one of the smallest 675 traditional type hearing aid solution for profound hearing loss. It will give people with profound hearing loss a more discreet solution.
What We Learned
Difficult hearing losses like severe to profound losses need to be approached with an in depth strategy. We always knew this, but as professionals we quickly consider the hearing aids, not necessarily the wider solution. We already considered wireless accessories to be an important part of a solution to better hearing. After listening to Matt we realised that we were right and that those wireless accessories could be of real use to many people with hearing loss.