Industry Research: Clinical Comparison of Premier Hearing Aids

Premier hearing aid products from three leading manufacturers were placed in head-to-head competition to assess key benefits for the wearer. For the speech recognition measures, the Signia product was significantly superior, and this was true for three different background noise conditions. Subjective judgements for different attributes of the listening experience were equal for the three products, suggesting that superior speech understanding can be achieved without causing negative effects regarding the acoustic environment.

VOL. 6 • ISSUE 4 • 2019

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Closing the Open Fitting: An Effective Method to Optimize Speech Understanding

The findings of this research clearly show that the coupling system chosen by the HCP can have a substantial effect on subsequent speech understanding in background noise for the patient. The mean additional signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) benefit for a closed fitting was 3 dB, which corresponds to an impressive improvement in speech understanding of approximately 50%. This constitutes a significant advantage for the patient’s daily life in terms of social interaction. This benefit should not easily be foregone, especially in light of the clinically proven high acceptance of closed fittings based on the patient’s improved perception of his or her own voice as a result of Signia Own Voice Processing.

The Hearing Review, March 21, 2019

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Comparison of streamed audio signal quality: what matters in the real world

Few manufacturers offer technology that incorporates both bilateral full-audio sharing of signals as well as direct streaming from a mobile device. In a comparative research project, the effectiveness of the streaming for such hearing aids was evaluated. The findings reveal a crucial difference between streaming indoors and outdoors, which is important to consider when counseling patients. Results show a substantial streaming advantage for the Signia product, and indicate that a Bluetooth based wireless approach as applied by the competitor brand does not deliver on all basic user needs.

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Signia Nx Proven Benefits

Our goal at Signia has always been to allow our patients to live their lives to the fullest despite hearing loss. Therefore, we develop hearing solutions designed to ease and facilitate communication in a variety of listening situations. This paper describes several of our advanced features on the Nx platform and corresponding studies that demonstrate clinically proven benefit to patients.

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Signia: Pioneers in Machine Learning Hearing Aids

It’s debatable whether a computer will ever “think” in the same way that the human brain does, but machines’ abilities to see, understand, and interact are changing our lives. It is no surprise then, that in the past few years we have seen mention of machine learning in hearing aid trade journal articles. But are machine learning hearing aids really something new?

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Better Speech Understanding with Signia Nx CROS/BiCROS Instruments

Patients with SSD often experience significant problems with speech understanding in daily listening situations where noise is a factor. The results of this study demonstrate that the two latest CROS/BiCROS solutions offered by Signia, the Pure 312 Nx CROS with Narrow Directionality and the Silk Nx CROS, provide clear and significant speech intelligibility benefits for users in challenging listening environments.

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How to use AutoFit (IMC2)

AutoFit™ is a beneficial feature in the Connexx™ Fitting Application that automatically provides the Hearing Care Professional (HCP) with an optimized real-ear insertion gain (REIG) setting without the need for the HCP to manually match targets. This paper describes how to perform quick match-to-target fittings using AutoFit from Connexx Version 8.5 onwards.

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3D Classifier

At first glance, a tiny hearing aid and a self-driving car don’t have much in common. However, on a technological level there are a couple of similarities: self driving cars use a variety of sensors to collect real-time information about the environment such as GPS, optical cameras, specialised radar, and accelerometers.

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The Trouble with Open

We have been taught that the occlusion effect often is the culprit in own voice issues, so why is it that with the prevalence of open fittings, patient dissatisfaction with the sound of their own voice is still an obstacle to hearing aid acceptance?

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A Comparison of Feedback Cancellation Systems in Premier Hearing Aids

This Hearing Review publication reports on a study which uses three tests to evaluate the various aspects of hearing aid performance directly affected by the FBC: Aided Gain Before Feedback, Max-REIG, and a sound quality evaluation using Multi-Stimulus Test with Hidden Reference and Anchor (MUSHRA). Considering all potential trade-offs, the Signia FBC can be considered a best-in-class algorithm in this multifaceted benchmark analysis.

Hearing Review

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The art of designing Pure Charge&Go Nx

Connectivity is undoubtedly one of the most im-portant topics in the hearing aid industry today. While most people immediately associate the word connectivity with being able to link their hearing aids with electronic devices such as smartphones, in a genuinely patient-centric hearing system the ap-plication of connectivity encompasses more than simply connecting to personal electronic devices.

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How to Use Own Voice Processing in Connexx 8

Signia Nx hearing aids solve the own voice issue with a sophisticated technological solution—a real-time detection of the wearer’s voice, combined with dedicated Own Voice Processing (OVP). To use OVP, the patient must perform a short customization procedure during the initial hearing aid fitting. Here is how to do it.

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Signia Nx Sound Quality & Own Voice Processing

A high level of sound quality is vital for new hearing aid wearers who have to adapt to hearing the world via an electronic device. This is especially important for the sound quality of the wearer’s own voice. Hearing care professionals often resolve own voice complaints by reducing amplification, with the unintended consequence of decreased speech intelligibility. With the new Signia Nx, this is no longer an issue—because of the revolutionary technology called Own Voice Processing (OVP).

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Comparison of Music Sound Quality Between Hearing Aids and Music Programs

While hearing aid users often wear their hearing aids for music listening, they are frequently dissatisfied with the sound quality of music. This AudiologyOnline article details a study which describes music sound quality ratings between the universal and music programs of five premier market hearing aids, and which hearing aid achieves the best overall sound quality ratings.

AudiologyOnline, August 2017

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Moving Beyond the Audiogram Towards a Patient-Centered, Interactive First Fit

It has long been known that pure tone audiogram (PTA) measurements cannot fully account for the variation in speech intelligibility scores measured from hearing impaired listeners. With regard to hearing aid fittings, it is clear that there is no simple solution that would allow us to perform a consistently perfect customized fitting by even adding one additional variable to audiogram data. A transition from the “average” patient fitting towards a more individual fitting requires several stages. In this paper, these stages are described and explained, based on data obtained from several clinical studies.


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Signia Rated Superior to Competing Products for Music Sound Quality

Listening to music is important for most hearing aid users, and, having a high quality signal is essential. Using the MUSHRA methodology, samples of music were rated for the premier instrument from four leading manufacturers. Data analysis revealed significantly higher ratings for Signia primax for both the universal program and for the music program. The superiority was present regardless of music genre, or whether the music sample was familiar or unfamiliar.

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Comparison Study of Speech Recognition Using Binaural Beamforming Narrow Directionality

This article examines the advantages provided by the Signia primax Narrow Directionality processing for speech understanding in background noise in four studies: Comparisons of the primax system to previous research with the binax platform, SNR benefits related to average speech understanding, and comparisons to a competitive product using Signia adaptive directional and narrow directionality processing.

The Hearing Review, May 2017

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The Connected Ear

“Connectivity” is a word that is used a lot in today’s society, and for good reason. Whether we are connecting with friends and acquaintances on Facebook, using our smartphones to connect to media and news websites, or checking the weather, the theme of connectivity plays a big part in most people’s lives.

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Motion Detection. A System for the Listener on the Move.

Pure 13 BT is the first solution that marries the until-now separate worlds of hearing instruments and advanced smartphone technology to improve signal-processing. With the new myControl app from Signia, the hearing aids can access information from the wearer’s smartphone, enabling them to detect the acoustic environment and anticipate the listener’s intent and preferences more precisely than ever before. The hearing aids cannot know for certain what the wearer wants to hear, but with the movement information, they can predict it with better accuracy. In addition, the user can control their instruments, monitor their acoustic environment and, of course, stream directly from their iPhone or iPad.

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Multi-center Evidence of Reduced Listening Effort Using New Hearing Aid Technology

A review of clinical studies from three leading hearing aid research centers show a consistent trend for the Signia primax features to significantly reduce listening effort. Moreover, research from one site revealed that speech recognition performance for hearing-impaired listeners (pure-tone average 35-60 dB) using the primax Narrow Directionality algorithm was equal to that of normal-hearing individuals for the same speech-in-noise task.

Hearing Review, February 14, 2017

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Motion SP: The New Super Power

Although only a small percentage of our patients suffer from severe to profound hearing loss, designing the ideal hearing solution for them brings unique challenges. With their particular listening needs in mind, Signia has offered generations of hearing solutions with increasingly sophisticated technology.

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Listening Effort, Speech Intelligibility, and Narrow Directionality

Dr. Veronika Littmann at Signia R&D, together with Dr. Harvey Dillon and his research team at NAL recently published an article on Narrow Directionality in The Hearing Review. The article reports on a study which showed that Narrow Directionality provided a significant listening advantage in a laboratory experiment comprising a frontal target speech in diffuse speech babble. For this experiment, participants with moderate hearing loss matched the intelligibility performance of a group of age-matched near-normal hearers. The range of effort incurred in listening for the hearing-impaired participants also matched that of the age-matched, near-normal hearing group.

The Hearing Review, January 2017

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Optimising hearing aid processing for music appreciation

Hearing aid manufacturers’ main focus has, up until recently, been improvement of speech intelligibility. Today’s hearing aid users have much broader demands however and often cite improved music perception as a key outcome or goal. Drs Tish Ramirez and Rebecca Herbig from Signia outline the changes in technology that hearing aid manufacturers are implementing to try to address this need.

Published in ENT and Audiology News, September/October 2016, vol. 25 no. 4. ©Pinpoint Scotland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Reducing Reverberation with EchoShield: Clinical Outcomes

Improved understanding of speech in background noise is a common desire of hearing aid wearers, and a design goal of hearing aid manufacturers. Over the years, technology has been developed to specifically address this concern. Noise reduction algorithms contribute significantly to sound quality and reduced listening effort; directional microphone technology can substantially improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the ear of the listener.

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Objective Measurement of Listening Effort

Listening Effort is the mental exertion listeners experience trying to solve an auditory task such as understanding speech (or detecting a target among interferers). Because listening effort is influenced by the clarity of the signal, it is therefore affected by hearing loss, as well as signal degradation caused by background noise or bad sound quality.

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The SPEECH is the core of primax. This is the engine responsible for the automation of the Universal program, and it is clinically proven to reduce listening effort for the wearer throughout the day*. More than a single feature or innovation, SPEECH steers a conglomerate of algorithms and processes which work in concert to achieve the goal: less listening effort.

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Reverberation is the persistence of sound caused by sound waves reflected from surfaces. When the room is large or reflective enough, the reverberation mixes with the original speech source and degrades the signal quality. The EchoShield program reduces the effects of reverberation so that the sounds are clear and crisp again, reducing listening effort for the wearer.*

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Wireless CROS & BiCROS

The primax wireless CROS solution is designed for people who have normal hearing in one ear and unaidable hearing loss in the other. Sounds from the unaidable side are received by the microphones of a CROS Pure transmitter device, processed, and wirelessly transmitted to the side with normal hearing.

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A New Wireless CROS and BiCROS Solution

While the majority of individuals with hearing impairment have hearing loss in both ears, 10% or so of this population have a unilateral condition. Of this group, for many, the impaired ear is unaidable, and this condition often is referred to as single-sided deafness.

Canadian Audiologist - vol. 3, issue 4, 2016

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While we recommend easyTek as the ideal solution for use with Bluetooth phones, TwinPhone is the perfect solution for people who typically use the same nonBluetooth phones at home or at work. TwinPhone allows the wearer to hear the phone conversation in both ears without easyTek.

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HD Music

As a major improvement upon the binax music program, an industry benchmark, primax offers three dedicated music programs. These dedicated music programs are uniquely designed to enrich the sound quality of music and to maximize the enjoyment of music, whether the wearer is listening to recorded music, attending a live concert, or making music himself.

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Listening effort

Depending on the acoustic situation and the context, listening can require more or less attentional and cognitive processing. This dynamic activity of the brain which accompanies and enables listening is ongoing and cumulative. And it happens regardless of how much of the speech is actually understood.

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Reducing Listening Effort via primax Hearing Technology

The primary goal of amplification is improving speech understanding. When listening situations become noisier or more challenging, this is even more important. However, beyond improving speech intelligibility, another indicator of the effectiveness of hearing aid fittings that has sometimes been overlooked is the cognitive demands, or listening effort required for speech understanding to take place. This is why it is important to not only improve speech understanding, but also make speech understanding easy. This is the underlying goal of the new Signia primax™ platform ― to improve speech intelligibility and reduce listening effort for the wearer.

AudiologyOnline, June 9, 2016

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Music Lovers and Hearing Aids

Some people cannot imagine life without music - it relaxes, inspires, and for many, completes their lives. Music has a different meaning for each person, and there are individual preferences, but most would agree that music listening should be enjoyable. This seemingly simple task easily can be undermined when hearing loss is present, as listening to just a limited part of the dynamics, or a reduced frequency range of our favorite music could significantly reduce the enjoyment of the experience.

AudiologyOnline, February 26, 2016

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Directionality Assessment of Adaptive Binaural Beamforming with Noise Suppression in Hearing Aids

In this work we present a new method for assessment of directionality in modern hearing aids, which has the benefit of simulating both a target source and an interfering source at the same time using speech signals. We show the benefits and the limitations of the method and present measurements for different microphone modes of different manufacturers. Furthermore, a sequential index based on these measurements is introduced.

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