It is indeed. The Starkey Livio range is the 2019 offering from the American hearing aid manufacturer Starkey.
Best known for making their in-ear aids smaller than most, Starkey have been trying to move towards creating a popular RIC (receiver in canal) platform to rival the likes of Oticon for top spot with regard to advanced technology.
We will talk more about the AI side of things below, but at it's core, the Livio AI is an efficient, high technology hearing aid that does very well at it's main job of helping you to hear better.
There are four shapes:
Also all models have an "AP" option. That stands for "absolute power" and is the stronger model for severe to profound hearing losses.
Is there an in the ear model?
No, the Livio does not have any custom made in-ear models. Look to the previous IQ range for those.
Yes and no. The Livio is a mixed bag and doesn't seem to quite know what it is and who it's aimed at. It has some really good features that seem to be aimed at opposite ends of the market and as a result seems to push away most people who would otherwise be interested in it. This is a shame, as once you get past the special features that make the Livio different to all other hearing aids of this generation, you have what is actually a very solid hearing aid underneath.
The AI sensors
The top of the range Livio is the Livio 2400 AI. Choosing the model with the AI (standing for Artificial Intelligence) will cost you a fair bit more. So what do you get for it?
Well Starkey call it the world's first "Healthable" hearing aid, and yes it's certainly easy to be the world's first when it's a made up word. Basically it's an activity tracker that communicates with your smartphone and via an app tracks various data in a similar way to a wrist worn activity tracker. Heart rate, movement activity etc.
More interestingly they also come with a foreign language translation feature. Working with the Google Translate app on your phone, the hearing aids will translate foreign language that you hear into English. The person you are talking to certainly has to speak slowly and enunciate their words, but it works.
Finally the Livio AI hearing aids have a fall detection and alert feature. This can communicate with up to three people of your choice should you suddenly fall over and not be able to get up. All of these new non-hearing related features are interesting, but for different people.
I have spoken to people who are excited about the activity tracking and translator, only to be quite put off by the idea that anybody might expect them to fall over and have to come to their aid. "I'm only in my 60's for goodness sake!" they say.
I've spoken to others who like the idea of the fall detection for their very elderly relative but are put off by the price. Many people who are at risk of a fall are less likely to need a top end hearing aid designed for very active people.
Get past the AI
If you don't get sidetracked by everything I've covered so far, then you find yourself with a very interesting hearing aid range. Starkey have industry leading feedback management, meaning hearing aids that rarely whistle. They have background noise reduction to rival Oticon's open sound system and they have hearing aids across the price range meaning that as long as you don't need those AI sensors you can get a lower priced hearing aid that is still packed with great features.
The Livio AI Ecosystem
The Livio ecosystem is unlike anything previously available to hearing aid wearers and enabled patients to improve their listening experience, manage their wellness and share their health data with their audiologist. The audiologist can observe any of this remotely via the Telecare facility.
The Livio has a range of accessories that use Bluetooth to communicate with the hearing aids and has an extremely good rechargeable option.
Why no prices for the accessories?
As you will see from the rest of the website, we are completely transparent on pricing. However it's complicated for accessories as the prices can vary. Sometimes the manufacturers have offers where some are included for free, often there is a discount from Starkey if you are buying more than one accessory at the same time as the aids. Call us for current information.
Lithium Ion rechargeable
Included with the Livio RIC R rechargeable model is the charger illustrated on the right.
It's easy to use, the aids turn on automatically when you take them out of the charger. The charger only needs to be plugged into the wall a few times a week as the charger itself holds enough power for three full charges of the aids.
Some Li-Ion rechargeable models are significantly chunkier than their battery driven counterparts, with the Livio R it's barely noticeable.
There is also a mini turbo-charger that holds enough power for four full charges and can incredibly charge the hearing aids with 3.5 hours worth of charge in just 7 minutes. This isn't included though, Starkey charge extra for it.
This little box lets you stream audio from a TV or other audio source directly into your Livio hearing aids. It's easy to set up and use and the sound quality is top notch. It works with both newer and older TV sets and it lets the user hear the television clearly without impacting others.
This is a remote control to make adjustments to your hearing aids. As well as the obvious, it also lets you mute the aids, change the memory settings and turn some of the hearing aid features on and off.
If you have a smartphone, save your money. The app does exactly the same as this and more besides.
Mini remote microphone
This is a clip on microphone. You attach it to the person you want to speak to and the mic will pick up their voice and stream it directly into your hearing aids. This can be beneficial in background noise for people with hearing that is sufficiently bad that they cannot hear well enough with the hearing aids alone in noise at a distance, even with such good aids as the Livio.
Remote microphone +
This lets you stream from most devices featuring Bluetooth, directly into the hearing aids. Popular uses would be laptops, Android mobile phones and Amazon Alexa.
The Thrive app adds a lot of features and offers a lot of control over your hearing aid. You can download it for free on your smartphone even if you don't have the hearing aids yet if you want a proper look at the features, but here are the highlights.
Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.
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.