I currently wear a Widex Senso on my left ear. It’s a power aid that hasn’t had any advancement in eight years. Yes, eight years. Neither has any other power aid on the market (at least that I’m aware of). So basically from the dawn of the digital hearing aids (after they switched from analog), power aids have NOT changed one bit. I gradually accepted it because when it came time to upgrade five years ago, I got yet another Widex Senso: The exact same brand, model, everything, just an little newer!
I blame cochlear implants. When every doctor or audiologist is pushing people to switch to cochlear implants, there isn’t much of a market for power aids. This is frustrating for me. I’m sure it’s even more so for those who can’t get a cochlear implant or choose not to for whatever reason.
So you can imagine my excitement when my audiologist tells me there’s a new power aid on the market with NEW technology! (I’ll get back to this) Not only that but it’s BLUETOOTH. It is a Phonak Naida.
I have been thinking about getting a Smartlink with my cochlear implant, which is approximately a cool 2k. It’s both bluetooth and FM compatible. For a little extra, I can get a boot for my hearing aid and be all hooked up bilaterally. However if I get the Naida, I don’t have to pay extra (and I’m overdue for a new aid anyway)
As far as the technological aspect goes, the Naida allows you to hear “S” and “SH”. With power aids, that has to be turned off. Often with severe-to-profound hearing the high frequency receptors in the ear are so severely damaged that they often cause distortion when stimulated. The distortion is enough to screw up what you can hear. With the Naida, sound is actually condensed onto the lower frequencies which means you can hear those sounds now, they would just stimulate different receptors.