In February 2013 Widex have launched their new Dream range of hearing aids. It is available in four levels of technology, the Dream 440, 330, 220, and 110, with the 440 being the top level of technology within the range. The Widex Dream 440 offers a choice of six hearing aid styles. RIC (Receiver In Canal), RITE (Receiver In The Ear), Micro BTE (Behind The Ear), BTE (Behind The Ear), CIC (Completely In Canal) and ITE (In The Ear). Each of theses models are available in a variety of colours to suit your individual style.
The Widex Dream 440 contains their new chip technology known as True ISP. This means better sound quality and faster signal processing. It also offers connection to a range of innovative new features such as InterEar technology, DEX wireless accessories and MY.WIDEX.COM which is a new personal site for hearing aid users.
With the launch of the Dream, Widex have introduced some new features to further enhance your listening experience. Personal Acclimatisation allows you to control the level and pace of your hearing aid’s acclimatisation to ensure not only automatic, but personal changes. The new Personal Zen feature means you can now personalise the hearing aid to deal with your individual tinnitus needs using a range of harmonic tones. The Personal Audibility Extender offers a more individual way to help those who have little, or perhaps no hearing at all when it comes to the higher frequency sounds.
Along with these new features, the Widex Dream 440 also offers 15 channel sound processing which allows the hearing aid to be more specifically programmed for your individual hearing loss. It also has 5 programmes which can be set up to manage your hearing needs in different environments and situations.
Also available on the Dream 440 is the TruSound Softener. This feature helps to cushion the impact of sudden loud noises, maintaining your listening comfort. Feedback Cancelling is designed to minimise any irritating whistling noises that may sometimes occur and the Speech Enhancer SII will focus on the voice you want to hear in a crowd and make it clearer. The Dream 440 also offers Noise Reduction to help eliminate any unwanted background noise.
Another feature of this hearing aid is Digital Pinna. This feature means your hearing aids will recreate the natural acoustics of your ear to ensure you receive a clear and natural sound.
The Widex Dream 440 is also compatible with the DEX range of wireless accessories giving you more freedom to enjoy everyday activities. The Phone-DEX is a landline device designed to work with your hearing aids but it can also be used as a normal landline phone. The M-DEX allows connection to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and is also an advanced colour display remote control for your hearing aids.
The TV-DEX is an accessory designed to help you enjoy watching television with no more arguments over the volume levels. This device streams the sound from your TV directly into your hearing aids without echoes or delays. It also has a ‘Room Off’ option which allows you to temporarily turn off the microphones on your hearing aids so you can hear the TV without being bothered by background noise.
The RC-DEX is a small remote control which can be easily attached to a keyring. It allows simple control of your hearing aids essential features such as volume control and programme selection.
The Dream 440 is the top level of technology in this new range from Widex. It offers a wide range of both key and new features and has wireless compatibility. It offers a choice of styles and colours to suit your individual needs. If you are interested in this type of technology but would prefer a lower cost option then you may want to try the other models in this range, the Widex Dream 330, Widex Dream 220 or Widex Dream 110. To see all the latest products from the Widex Dream Hearing Aids range, view here.
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.