Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP
Oticon have brought out their latest superpower range, called the “Dynamo” series.
Superpower aids are only for the severely to profoundly deaf. If you’ve found this page because you are the head of a great nation or Superman then these are not the hearing aids you are looking for. Superpower in this context refers only to the amount of power the hearing aids can generate, in this case 143 dB SPL maximum output and with 82 dB full on Gain.
This particular model is the Dynamo SP10 which is the top model in the range. Hearing well in noisy social environments is always going to be a challenge for those with severe hearing loss but the SP10 has the most tools available to help you to hear what you want rather than the background noise.
As with all superpower aids, this one isn’t small. It does however have just a size 13 battery so it is smaller than most of its ilk. It features an analogue style volume control with the traditional 1, 2, 3 or 4 that many might be used to from their NHS hearing aid days.
The Dynamo SP10 is a 16 channels aid, as are all of the Dynamo’s. The important part is that it has 9 fitting bands to adjust those channels.
Speech rescue is part of Oticon’s “Brainhearing” strategy. It takes higher pitched consonant sounds such as “sssss” and “fff” which the severely deaf often can’t hear, even with amplification and it copies them. It then makes lower frequency sounds out of them, without distortion, putting them in a range that you can hear. This takes some adjusting to as voices will sound different but it can bring back speech understanding to people who had thought they wouldn’t clearly hear speech again.
Speech guard E is a compression strategy designed to keep incoming speech sounds natural, even whilst the hearing aid is actively reducing background noise.
The SP10 has a number of features for managing noise. “Freefocus Premium directionality”, “Voicepriority”, “transient noise reduction”, “binaural processing” and “spatial noise reduction”
Together all of these features combine to focus on speech sounds, primarily in front of you. At the same time the aids are actively suppressing unwanted background sounds. With the SP10 being the premium aid in the range it has the full set of features and offers the best chance of hearing well in all environments.
Feedback Shield is there to stop the aids whistling. It is a version specifically adapted for the superpower range and it stops the whistling without excess gain reduction.
The whole Dynamo range is compatible with connectline telephones and are suitable for Bimodal fittings for those with cochlear implants.
Paul has been in the audiological industry for over 20 years. He studied audiology at Cambridge and has worked in both the manufacturing and retail sectors of the industry. He worked for one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers as Trainer, Product Manager and also Sales Director. He later became the National Sales Manager for one of the national hearing aid retailers. He has dispensed many hearing aids as a private audiologist and he sits on the Council of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA)
Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.
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.
If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.