New Hearing Aid

A marvellous new hearing aid

The Audéo Marvel brings enhanced features including improved sound quality, Bluetooth streaming capabilities, rechargeable batteries and live speech-to-text translations for phone calls. Jesal Vishnuram, our Technology Manager, tells us more.

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Phonak, one of the world’s leading hearing aid providers, has announced details of the upcoming release of their new Audéo Marvel hearing aid, and it is setting a new precedent for hearing aid capabilities.
Traditionally, hearing aid manufacturers focused on improving the audibility of speech. More recently, there has been a significant shift towards better connectivity to mainstream technology, incorporated tech features and increased independent control by users.
Sound quality
The new Marvel hearing aid uses Phonak’s latest operating system, which has incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology into the way the hearing aid processes sounds. AI is used to collect as much information as it can about the hearing aid user’s environment, and learn and adapt accordingly.
Four microphones, on a pair of hearing aids, gather information, and their clever processor then sends the best quality of speech sound from all directions into both devices. Phonak refer to this process as their Binaural VoiceStream feature. It can significantly help users in a noisy situation by finding the direction that the clearest speech sound is coming from, and then amplifying that into both ears. This also reduces what is referred to as listening effort, which is the amount of concentration one needs to put in to be able to hear.
Streaming
Up until now, streaming audio directly from a smart phone or tablet into both hearing aids has only been available for Apple products. This is very restrictive given that the majority of people don’t use Apple devices. The Audéo Marvel hearing aid now allows users to stream audio from any Bluetooth device into both hearing aids, making it the most universally capable hearing aid to date – it pairs with virtually any device available using a wireless connection. This enables users to stream phone conversations, music, video and digital radio into both ears, just like they would with headphones.
Rechargeable technology
Changing small, fiddly batteries has been an ongoing problem with hearing aids for decades. More recently, the use of disposable batteries on the environment has also been an element of concern. While rechargeable hearing aids have been available for several years now, the battery life of a significant number of devices remained an issue – particularly in higher powered hearing aids and hearing aids with Bluetooth streaming, which are not capable of lasting more than 6 hours per charge.
High powered hearing aids which have Bluetooth capabilities, such as the new Audéo Marvel, are the next generation of significantly improved, functional, and easy to use devices.
Smart apps
Basic hearing aid function control in the form of an app has been available for some time. App capabilities with hearing aids are now progressing rapidly. In line with other apps, the new myPhonak app will allow users of the Audéo Marvel to connect with their hearing care professional and make changes to their hearing aid settings remotely. This means users can send real-time information about their difficulties and try different adjustments until they find the right setting for them.
Phonak is also introducing a new app called myCall-to-Text app, which will provide live transcriptions of phone calls. Users will be able to read subtitles of what the other person on the phone is saying. These transcriptions will be available in 80 different languages, and the text font can be presented in three different sizes for ease of reading. Users can also save the transcriptions to review later. All this will help make phone conversations easier, particularly in noisy situations.