Phonak Paradise Audéo – The Sound Difference in Hearing Aids
Imagine, after bundling up and hopping in the car, you and your soulmate take a trip to the park to enjoy a midwinter’s hike. Imagine opening the door and stepping out of the car. Your boots crunch on the salt in the parking lot. As the wind blows, you can hear the tinkle of branches encased in ice from last night’s freezing rain. And, as you walk through the park, each of your footsteps through the snow lets off a sharp crack.
After the hike, when you get back home, you start a fire and put on a record. You listen to the sweet melody as you and your soulmate dance to the beat, while the fire pops and crackles. Your feet shuffle over the carpet and keep the rhythm with muffled thumps.
Then, you relax and put the game on TV. After several nail-biting moments of uncertainty, while the announcer rattles off what the players are doing, your team scores, the crowd roars, and you and your soulmate trade a high five.
Imagine being able to hear all those sounds again, just like you used to …
Imagine Phonak Audéo Paradise Hearing Aids
Phonak Audéo Paradise hearing aids almost like the name implies, let you own a piece of paradise for yourself. The technology behind them was inspired by the way we naturally interact with the world. They combine various features—such as speech enhancement, noise cancellation, motion sensors, and Bluetooth connectivity—to help you navigate the world as naturally as possible, whether you’re at work, meeting friends for dinner, or at home.
- Hear sound naturally. The ability to hear starts with vibrations in the air that our ears pick up and channel to our auditory nerves and into our brains. Paradise hearing aids use advanced sound processing technology to deliver the most natural sound possible.
- Understand speech as easily as ever. Speech Enhancer separates the sound of words spoken in a relatively quiet environment, so you can hear someone speaking softly or someone speaking from a distance.
- Cancel out that background noise. Every room is different, some are filled with diners, like in a restaurant, some with an audience, like at a movie theater, and some with a family at a dinner table. Dynamic Noise Cancellation allows you to adjust the noise cancellation features of your hearing aids for each environment.
- Connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device. Watch a big screen TV, YouTube videos on your computer, or listen to music on your phone. As long as the device is Bluetooth-compatible, you’ll have the best seat in the house, as far as sound goes.
- Enjoy the best hands-free device in the world. The built-in motion sensors, microphones, and Bluetooth connection open up a whole new way to interact with your devices. While you’re driving, simply tap on your ear to answer the phone, or use virtual assistants like Siri or Google to ask for directions, listen to and respond to text messages, and more.
- Control your hearing aids with a touch screen. The myPhonak app lets you control your hearing aids with an iOS or Android device, which is easier than fussing with buttons and listening to beeps.
Two Ears Are Better Than One
For various reasons, getting just one hearing aid may be tempting. Perhaps it’s the cost or maybe you feel you can “get by” with just one. While getting one device might seem to make sense, there are numerous reasons why it’s almost always better to restore hearing in both ears.
- Balance. This is not related to the sense of balance, which is associated with the inner ear. Rather, your experience with any social situation will be much better if you can hear equally with both ears. Just like snowflakes, no two social gatherings are the same. Seating arrangements change, as does the room size or, where outdoor gatherings are concerned, the lack of a room. And situations change, as well. Watching a movie is different than sitting down to dinner. With two good ears, you’ll be able to move amongst these situations with ease.
- Richness. The easiest way to explain the richness of sound, when both ears are equal, is to imagine any time when one of your ears needed to pop, to let out some pressure, but it didn’t want to, no matter how many times you yawned. The world probably seemed off-kilter and only righted itself when your ear popped. The feeling may not be as extreme as that if you just have one hearing aid, but the idea remains the same, and it will be much more pervasive. Equalizing your ability to hear between both ears will give you a fuller, more enjoyable life.
- Conversation. Speech is a complex series of sounds. Vowels are long, drawling sounds, and consonants are quiet sounds that shape the words. If you have a hearing aid in one ear, then you may not catch all of the nuances of someone’s words, because your brain is only receiving the full sound of one ear, some of which the unaided ear won’t catch. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s the same idea as enhancing the richness of sound. When you have hearing aids in both ears, your brain will receive the full range of sound, so you’ll be able to understand speech better.
- Location. If your ears don’t hear the world equally, then your brain will have a difficult time pinpointing the location of an individual sound, like the ringing of a mobile phone or, more importantly, the sound of a bang or crash while you’re driving. If both ears hear equally, your brain is able to judge the origin of sounds much better. This can improve safety but also reduce the strain on your brain by getting your attention earlier and preventing your brain from playing “catch up” or missing the beginning of a sentence or word.
- Overload. Just as with judging the location of the sound, if you only have one hearing aid, one ear may receive most of the sound you hear. If that’s the case, your brain may not be able to determine the signal-to-noise ratio, in order to translate sound into speech, because both ears are receiving different signals. This would be like two ham radio operators receiving two versions of the same broadcast, with differing degrees of static. They would have a hard time discussing the broadcast with one another because neither has the complete picture. In some cases, the brain will even dismiss or ignore much of what its getting from one side when there large imbalance between the two ears.
- Silence. Our ears are like our arms, legs, and other muscles. If we don’t use them, they atrophy. If you only have one hearing aid, and the auditory nerve and some regions of the brain are not stimulated enough, then it may become “atrophied” over time.
- Technology. The newest technology is designed with two devices that can work together. Like a GPS signal, the two devices work together using multiple microphones to “triangulate” where sounds are coming from. When there is only one device, we essentially blind the device from effectively determining where sounds are in space and cripple its ability to optimize sound, reduce noise or wirelessly share information.
All of this may sound like bad news, but it’s easily rectified with two hearing aids, one for each ear. Hearing loss, like vision loss, doesn’t normally affect just the right or left ear or eye. After all, you wouldn’t spend money on glasses with only one lens.
Hearing Solutions has been serving Ontario for over 20 years, and we are proud to help people enjoy the world of sound and life. We offer a free hearing test in a warm and friendly environment. We understand the trials and tribulations involved with hearing loss, and we will help you choose the best options, for your unique situation. We offer sound advice you can trust.
So, making an appointment for a free hearing assessment makes all the sense in the world. Hearing aids can make life more healthy, more enjoyable, and more inclusive.
1. Wright, A. (2020). Adaptive Phonak Digital 2.0 – Next-level fitting formula with adaptive compression for reduced listening effort. Phonak Field Study News, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed August 19, 2020.
2. Why two hearing aids are better than one! – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vMdAeYVBIQ