The Z Series range is designed to suit all kinds of hearing loss and suit different lifestyles. With the wide range of models available it is easy to find one to suit you. The Starkey i20 is the economy level hearing aid in the Z series. Equipped with 900 Sync wireless technology, it creates a three dimensional sound quality whilst enhancing speech sounds in noisy environments. The i20 model is ideal for less challenging hearing situations such as one to one conversations where there is not too much background noise.
With the Z Series, there is a wide range of styles to choose from, making it easy to find one that suits you and your lifestyle. The smaller, in the ear styles include In The Ear (ITE), which is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. In The Canal (ITC) which is suitable for moderate to severe hearing loss. These two styles can be fitted with a telecoil as an optional extra.
The smallest style in the range is the Completely In Canal (CIC) model, this style is nearly invisible in the ear canal and is suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss. This is the only fitting not to come with a volume control and directional microphones. The smaller styles come in 5 faceplate colours and 4 shell colours.
For those who prefer behind the ear styles or need a more powerful hearing aid there is the Receiver In Canal (RIC) and a micro RIC with the multiflex tinnitus program as an optional extra. It has a telecoil and is suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. The most powerful fittings are the Behind The Ear (BTE) models which include a BTE mini and BTE power plus. This style also has a telecoil and is suitable for all levels of hearing loss from moderate to severe. The RIC and BTE styles are available in 7 colours
Despite being the economy model the i20 contains 4 channels to process the sounds around you and improve sound quality as well as an Acoustic Scene Analyser program set at level 2. This works alongside the Audioscapes program to assess your environment and enhance speech in quiet settings and reduce the effects of wind noise. This means that you will have the best hearing settings wherever you are. The Purewave Feedback Eliminator removes the distracting sound of feedback before you know it’s there
These wireless hearing aids have synchronised user controls to ensure that the settings on both of your hearing aids are always the same. Spatial Streaming ensures that your hearing aids are always working together whilst the stream boost program enhances audio streaming to remove distractions. The binaural telephone mode is a program which makes listening on the phone easier. It automatically raises the volume on one hearing aid when you are on the phone, whilst reducing the sound on the other side, allowing you to focus on the conversation.
Using Speech ID these hearing aids can detect speech sounds and enhance them for clarity. They also use Spectral IQ which is a sound compression program which brings inaudible, high frequency sounds such as women’s voices within your hearing range by replicating the sound at a lower frequency. It does this without distorting other sounds, giving better clarity.
Acuity Directionality allows you to focus on speech and other sounds around you giving you a great quality listening experience.
The Z Series also contains Starkey’s Multiflex Tinnitus Technology which is ideal for those who suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. This feature can be programmed to a users specific needs in order to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus.
All hearing aids in the Z series are fully compatible with Starkey’s range of Surflink accessories. These include remote controls to which allow you to change the programs and volume easily and discretely. Mobile phones which stream the callers voice direct to your hearing aids as well as media streamers allowing you to stream sound from your TV or music device.
These hearing aids also benefit from Hydrashield2, a nano coating which works to repel wax and moisture which, if allowed to build up, can stop the hearing aid working at its best.
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.