Hearing Matters

Hearing Innovations of 2021: What’s New This Year?

We’re finally free from 2020, but like Dr. Cliff said, last year wasn’t all bad. In fact, if you were seeking hearing treatment, it was actually pretty good! 2020 was a year filled with innovation in hearing care and astounding advancements in technology. New hearing aids come closer than ever to restoring your natural ability to hear and are filled with new features. Hearing care practices evolved for the better, too. Let’s take a look at this year’s most exciting hearing innovations!

The Best Hearing Innovations of 2021

New Technology

More people sought treatment for hearing loss in 2020 than ever before – and they had some incredible new options available to them. This year saw new devices released by all the leading hearing aid brands: the Phonak Virto Marvel and Audéo Paradise, the Starkey Livio Edge AI, the Resound One, and the Widex Evoke to name just a few. These hearing aids run the gamut in shape and style, but all incorporate exciting new technology that can improve your hearing… and your life!

Low batteries have been the bane of hearing aid users for decades. But what if we said you could ditch those batteries forever? Rechargeable hearing aids have come a long way in the past few years. Now they’re more powerful and convenient than ever. The rechargeable hearing aids of 2021 feature excellent battery life and long-lasting performance thanks to lithium ion batteries, which can last up to 30 hours on a full charge.

Better Performance

Today’s hearing aids are more powerful and more feature-rich than ever before! Leading manufacturers strive to emulate natural hearing and offer modes for different noise environments.

The latest hearing aids are significantly better at reducing background noise and helping you hear what you want to in loud places. They accomplish this using advanced onboard AI, such as the one sported by the brand-new Oticon More. Just announced at the virtual CES 2021, this hearing aid is pre-programmed with 12 million real-life sounds and can help your brain recognize speech in noise more easily.

The COVID-19 pandemic we find ourselves in will likely continue through much of 2021, and now-commonplace facemasks will likely be around longer still. While potentially lifesaving, these masks make communication more difficult for those with hearing loss as it can muffle the voice and negates the ability to lipread.

Fortunately, hearing aid manufacturers have been paying attention. New “mask modes” are available from many manufacturers like this one from Starkey. Enable mask mode on your hearing aid and it will boost certain frequencies, helping you hear people more easily when they’re wearing a mask.

More Connectivity

When you suffer from a hearing loss, Bluetooth connectivity may not be the first thing you look for in a hearing aid. You have a more pressing concern: hearing! But there’s more to the connectivity features of new hearing aids than just being able to listen to music through them (although there is that, too).

New phones can wirelessly connect with more devices than ever before, and hearing aids can too! Leading hearing aid brands feature downloadable apps, like myPhonak, for iPhone and Android. You’ll get access to remote controls, configurations, connection options, and hearing statistics.

But connectivity is about more than just turning up the volume! With help from connected devices, your hearing aids can translate languages in real time, take phone calls, notify you of appointments and calendar updates, and much more. And all of this connectivity doesn’t have to be complicated; tap controls allow you to easily use your hearing aid’s functionalities.

You can also connect to other hearing assistance devices, like Phonak’s Roger™. This device functions as an external microphone and can improve your 3D perception of sound. Wear it, place it on a table, or hold it close to someone speaking to better hear what’s important.

Better Care

More patients demand a commitment to best practices from their providers and are taking control of their hearing care. Fortunately for them, it’s become easier than ever to find quality hearing care. Dr. Cliff Olson, a Phoenix audiologist and YouTuber, launched a network of approved providers that don’t cut corners and provide the best possible treatment for the best outcomes. And at The Hill Hear Better Clinic, we’re thrilled to be a part of this network!

There’s more to hearing aids than just hearing care, though. The ear happens to be a great place to track other aspects of your health. Some manufacturers offer apps that track the number of steps you’ve taken, how long you’ve stood, and how much you’ve exercised daily. They can even track mental stimulation and speech, helping you prevent cognitive decline.

These apps can be used to track the health of your loved ones, too. The Thrive Care App from Starkey can help you keep tabs on an elderly hearing aid user with their permission. An internal gyroscope can even alert you to a fall.

What’s In Store Next Year?

While we hope 2021 will be better than its predecessor in many ways, it’s never been a better time to seek treatment for your hearing loss. Whether you’re upgrading to new devices or checking out hearing aids for the first time, there’s something new for everyone. Want to learn more about how the latest technology and innovations can help you hear better? Schedule an appointment with us today!