An exciting new development in hearing technology
Despite the struggles of 2020, it has not been a disappointing year for new developments in hearing aid technology. Recently, independent clinics in Australia were given exclusive access to an innovative hearing aid design from American company Beltone. Based on the popular Receiver-In-Ear design, the Beltone Imagine with M&RIE (Microphone and Receiver-In-Ear) provides all the capabilities expected from a modern hearing aid with the advantage of an extra microphone placed in the ear canal.
The additional microphone in the M&RIE design makes use of the outer ear’s natural directional hearing capabilities to improve speech intelligibility in noise, sound localisation, and sound quality. The placement of a microphone inside the ear canal also helps to avoid wind noise interference, solving a common problem experienced by hearing aid users who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Another notable development we have seen with Beltone Imagine is the introduction of binaural beamforming microphone technology. This is an advanced hearing aid feature that wirelessly combines the four microphones on a pair of hearing aids to form a narrow directional beam, allowing for extremely focused hearing in background noise.
One potential disadvantage of binaural beamforming is that in combining the input from both ears and removing so much information from the back and sides, the brain is deprived of important information it needs to process sound naturally. To counteract this issue, Beltone have employed narrow directionality simultaneously with wider microphone pickup patterns to maintain important environmental information.
Beltone Imagine connects to both Apple and Android phones, and via the HearMax app, the user has a convenient visual interface to control their environmental settings in addition to streaming phone calls and audio. The app also serves as an interface for remote support from the audiologist, when needed.
Any prospective hearing aid user wanting to try the latest in hearing aid technology should definitely consider Beltone Imagine.
Beltone’s sister company, ReSound, have also recently launched their M&RIE model, ReSound One.