Widex Moment Hearing Aids
Widex introduced the Moment platform worldwide in early 2020 but re-launched it later that year. The Moment is a real first, it is the first time that the signal processing on a hearing aid will have zero delays. It will provide the most natural sound experience ever for any hearing aid user. It should also make hearing aids easier to wear for both new and existing hearing aid users. The Moment platform will come in six hearing aid types across the usual four levels of technology from Widex, the premium 440, upper mid 330, lower mid 220 and the entry-level 110. Initially, there were no Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids available, however, that will change.
As I said, the Moment is the first hearing aid that offers no delay in signal processing. That is a game-changer and without doubt, it is a paradigm shift in hearing aid sound. It means natural delivery of processed sound at the eardrum which should translate to an almost transparent sound experience. Widex say that the Moment is the most natural-sounding hearing aid ever produced, and technically it should be.
Every hearing aid suffers a delay in signal processing, in essence, it takes time to process sound and present it at the eardrum. While sound that enters the ear canal normally doesn't, leading to an out of sync signal. It is this artefact that makes hearing aids sound like hearing aids.
The brain perceives the delay and the sound is perceived as abnormal. Over time, the brain normalises the sound to a large extent, but it is never what you would call natural. Below is a graph presented by Widex detailing sound delays, the sound delay of some competitors, their own Evoke range and the new Moment range.
The Hearing Aid Models
Initially, there will be six hearing aid models, three Receiver In Canal hearing aid models and three In The Ear hearing aid models. The Receiver In Canal models are the RIC-10, which is the updated replacement for the Passion. The RIC 312D replaces both the Fusion and the Fusion 2 and the new mRIC-R D which is a lithium-ion powered Mini Receiver In Canal hearing aid.
The RIC-10 (runs on a size 10 battery) is a very discreet device and the Passion it is based on was amazingly popular. The device is very small, so it doesn't have a telecoil onboard nor is it Bluetooth enabled. Although they are wireless and can access loop systems and streaming audio from other sources via a Dex.
The RIC-312D (runs on a size 312 battery) is the same size and shape as the Fusion and Fusion 2 which it replaces. It is a hugely versatile RIC that will cover hearing losses down to severe to profound. It has a telecoil onboard and the new upgraded Bluetooth radio that is Made For iPhone compatible and ready for Made For Android.
The new mRIC R D is a very discreet lithium-ion powered rechargeable RIC. It is a very versatile RIC that will cover hearing losses down to severe to profound in nature. It offers a telecoil and the new Bluetooth radio which offers a direct connection to iPhones and other Apple products and ready for Made For Android. Widex say that it is the smallest rechargeable RIC available on the market. The device looks about the same length of the RIC 10 but wider at the bottom.
The device offers twenty hours of use with one charge and sixteen hours of use with streaming. The three In The Ear hearing aids are the IM, the XP and the CIC. None of them has a telecoil, although they can access loop systems via a Dex. None of them is Bluetooth enabled although they are wireless and can connect to the Widex Dex accessories for streaming audio.
The IM is powered by a 312 battery and has a programme button as an option. It will cover moderate to severe hearing losses. The XP is powered by a 312 battery, it will not offer a programme button option and again it will cover moderate to severe hearing losses. The CIC is powered by a size 10 battery, it will not offer a programme button and again will cover pretty much the same hearing losses.
The absence of a programme button means that you will not be able to access any extra programmes unless you have a Remote Dex or use the Tonelink app on your smartphone.
Widex have used the Evoke app as the foundation for their new Moment app. They have also updated the Touch app to work with the non-Bluetooth hearing aids on the Moment platform.
The app has been re-built to be even more intuitive and easy to use. They have tried to keep as much as possible on one screen so that you have a lot of power when you open it. The same can be said for the Tonelink app. The SoundSense Learn, which is the machine learning system has been continually updated in the background since the introduction of the Evoke hearing aids. Widex say "To date, SoundSense Learn has created almost one million personal sound solutions for users around the world – each one making our AI-engine more efficient than ever and leading to better fitting in the clinic."
Levels of technology
The Moment will be available in the usual four levels of technology, the 440 at the top and the 110 at the entry-level. Even the 110, is a splendid entry-level device that will produce pretty good results although it will not have access to the SoundSense machine learning feature.