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Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids UK: What are they and how do they work?

Updated 02/01/2024

Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids UK

Exploring the SP and UP hearing aid types

 

Power and customisation

With powerful amplification capabilities and customisable features, superpower hearing aids cater to the unique needs of each user, ensuring a tailored and comfortable listening experience. Moreover, their sleek and discreet designs make them less conspicuous, reducing the stigma often associated with hearing aids.

On this page, we talk about how super-powered hearing aids work and what to expect from this type of device.

Super Power Hearing Aids

Super Power Hearing Aids (SP / UP)

Super Power hearing aids are designed to assist people who have severe to profound hearing loss.  Previously if you fell into this category then there was very little on the market that could help you.

However, with recent advances in miniaturisation and power amplification then there is now a select range of superpower hearing aids that could make a real difference to your day to day life.



Super Power Hearing Aids

The Differences

 

Approximately 70% of people who use hearing aids are classed as having mild to moderate hearing loss, which means that they can hear sounds over 60dB relatively well, and just struggle to hear sounds in the lower registers.

However, people with severe hearing loss will have difficulty hearing sounds up to 80dB and those with profound hearing loss will struggle to hear sounds over 80dB.

 

What do Super Power hearing aids look like?

Super Power hearing aids tend to be based on a combination of either Behind the Ear (BTE) or Open / Receiver in the Ear (RIC) styles and In The Ear (ITE) hearing aids. This means that they have a casing that sits behind your ear, along with another element that fills their entire bowl or your ear.

This provides maximum space for the inclusion of larger and more powerful hearing aid batteries, receivers, processors and amplifiers.

 

How do Super Power hearing aids work?

To be able to assist people who have severe and even profound hearing loss Super Power hearing aids have to be able to process and amplify sounds to a much higher level. However, being able to effectively provide hearing support for severe and profound hearing loss is about much more than making sounds louder.

Simply amplifying sounds can actually cause more problems than it solves, as there can be severe issues with sound distortion and feedback. Therefore much of the technological advancement that has brought about the development of Super Power hearing aids has actually been centred on not only amplifying sounds.

Hearing aid brands have also made them more clear and distinct enough for their users to be able to effectively process.

SP hearing aids

Advantages of Super Power Hearing Aids

Powerful sound amplification

To be able to amplify sounds to a level above approximately 80dB requires a very powerful amplification system to be included within Super Power hearing aids. This requires the inclusion of extremely powerful processors and larger and more powerful batteries.

Advanced receiver technology

Amplifying sounds to a very high level requires the initial reception of the sounds to be incredibly crisp and clear, otherwise once amplified the sounds will become distorted and fuzzy.

Super Power hearing aids include incredibly technologically advanced receivers to ensure that all of the subtle nuances of sounds are detected.

Feedback cancellation

Another problem with amplifying sounds to very high levels is that it can cause some hearing aids to suffer from feedback. This is when the hearing aid will emit a series a high high-pitched whistling noises when they come into close contact with other objects, such as another person or even sometimes just pulling your clothes over your head.

However, Super Power hearing aids will feature extremely advanced feedback detection and cancellation technologies which can now all but eliminate feedback.

Transposing difficult to hear frequencies

Along with difficulty hearing sounds in certain decibel ranges, many people with severe to profound hearing loss also struggle to hear sounds in either particularly low or high-frequency ranges. Therefore even if these sounds were amplified users still wouldn’t be able to hear them.

Therefore Super Power hearing aids include technologies that can detect and isolate sounds in certain frequency ranges and transpose them to a more moderate frequency that once amplified can be heard clearly.

Audio streaming

This is a feature that can now be found in many hearing aid models, however, it can be especially useful for people with severe to profound hearing loss.

Direct audio streaming allows the sound from televisions, phone calls and music etc to be streamed directly to your hearing aid, meaning that background noise etc is completely eliminated and you can hear only what is being fed directly into your Super Power hearing aids.

To find out more about Super Power hearing aids, or any of the other hearing aid types that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today.


Want to discover more about Super Power hearing aids or any other type?

Superpower hearing aids have revolutionised the quality of life for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. These advanced devices employ cutting-edge technology to amplify sounds with remarkable clarity, offering users the ability to engage more fully in their daily activities and social interactions.

To find out more about Super Power (SP) hearing aids, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today. 

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Explore Other Hearing Aid Types Below

Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
View Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
View Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
View In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
View In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
View Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
View Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.

 

Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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