Widex is one of the premium hearing aid brands that we provide at our hearing aid centres across Munster. They are a brand with a history of unique innovation who offer outstanding quality and reliability.
The Beyond range is the very latest addition to the Widex Line-up, it is also their first ever Made For iPhone hearing aid. It is a slightly changed Fusion device based on the Unique technology, and it has three different radios onboard, the one for Widex Link, a telecoil and the new radio for direct iPhone connection making it possible to stream music and conduct phone calls directly to the hearing aid without any intermediary device. Widex Products are famous for their sound quality, now it appears that sound quality extends to the best sound Made for iPhone. The device is slightly longer than the original Fusion but it is thinner, it also has a new button.
Widex have also introduced a smartphone app with the Beyond which is available on ios and will soon be available on Android. The Beyond app seems to have the usual features that are available with Made For iPhone devices generally, you can set geo locations for different sound programmes and make changes to how the hearing aids are working on the go. However, there also seems to be an element of self-fine-tuning on the app, whereby users can actually change the frequency response of the hearing aids. They are calling this feature the Preference Control and it seems to break down frequencies into three bands, Bass, Middle and Treble. It is interesting to see manufacturers begin to hand over this type of control to users. It means that you can have some control over how the hearing aid actually works as you change the sound settings.
While Widex has now introduced a 2.4ghz Bluetooth radio to the Beyond for the connection to the smartphone, it has retained both the WidexLink and a telecoil on the hearing devices.
Retaining the Widex Link makes sense for several reasons. The first being, that it is still, without doubt, the single best system available for streaming high-quality audio. The second is that it will mean that any Widex users who upgrade their devices to the Beyond will still be able to use their Dex accessories. Retaining a T-Coil also makes some sense, the T-Coil system is making a huge resurgence in the United States and many in the UK and Ireland are used to using the T-Coil in public places.
As we discovered retaining the WidexLink radio also ensured that all the inter-ear features that Widex has become famous for also continue to work even if you are streaming audio to the hearing aids. The inter-ear features, in particular, the inter-ear compression ensure that Widex hearing aids work as well as they do and sound so natural.
The Beyond at present appears to be only a Fusion type hearing aid and it has been introduced as part of the Widex Unique family, however, it will be interesting to see how and if Widex expands the range beyond just the initial offering. The Beyond is available in a 440, 330, 220 and 110 version in line with their usual technology level offers. You can read more about the Widex Beyond story here.
Widex launched their latest hearing aids yet in late 2015, they have called them the Unique range. Widex have gone a little mad with their branding advertising for the new Unique range with outdoorsy activity imagery. However, they have done so for a reason that relates to the hearing aid technology. One of the new key features in the Unique range is a quite amazing wind noise management feature. So these hearing aids may well be the best hearing aids for you if you are an outdoorsy type of any description. The range is a full line up of hearing aids, ITE, BTE and RIC devices in four levels of technology.
The Widex Unique hearing aids are available in four levels of technology, the 440, the 330, the 220 and the 110.
The Unique 440 is the flagship or premium range of hearing aids in Widex's new "Unique" range. The feedback from users of these devices so far has been outstanding, even experienced Widex users say that these are the best Widex hearing aids that they have ever used. Widex have introduced some new technology and some new strategies with this new range including their latest wind noise management feature and for the first time sound classes.
The Unique 440 uses Widex's new U-platform chip which processes sounds across 15 channels. 15 channels is typical of all Widex flagship hearing aids. What is different for Widex though is the introduction of and use of "Sound Class Technology", this feature classifies what kind of sound environment you are currently in out of a choice of nine possible environments that are programmed in. It then adjusts the sound accordingly to maximize your ability to hear speech sounds clearly. The 440 has the most channels in the range and also has a "High-Frequency Boost" feature that isn't available in the lower models to give additional speech clarity when needed.
Widex claims that it's new wind noise attenuation feature is an industry leading wind noise reduction feature. Widex don't make claims very lightly, so we would be of the opinion that if they say it, it is true. The Unique 440 can attenuate more wind noise than any other hearing aid out there, no matter the direction the wind is coming from, even from directly ahead. However, this new feature is only available on the 440 models. It makes the 440 an ideal choice of hearing aid for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
All manufacturers have good background noise reduction features as standard these days. However, Widex has introduced a new feature that has extra emphasis on reducing softer, low-level background noise that may be annoying. Widex have always put great emphasis on soft sound inputs because they believe that soft sounds in speech are very important for understanding. However, there are soft input sounds that you just don't want to or need to hear, like a computer fan or the noise of a fridge. This new feature in combination with their existing noise reduction features means that Widex hearing aids are now comfortable in all sound environments.
Widex have also introduced a wider dynamic range of hearing to the Unique so you can hear more than ever. What this means is that most hearing aids take a range of sounds from quiet to loud and compress them into what hearing you have remaining to provide you with the full range of sounds for you to hear. They often ignore the very softest sounds and don't process louder sounds very well. What the Widex Unique hearing aids are doing is extending that range slightly so that very very quiet sounds (5dB) that aren't picked up by normal hearing aids will now be processed enabling you to hear the low sounds that most hearing aids ignore. This will allow you access to even the softest speech cues.
For communicating with other devices there is the COM-DEX accessory, which is a Bluetooth enabled pendant you hang around your neck. This will pair to your phone so that you can stream audio to your hearing aids from your phone, via the COM-DEX. You can also download an app for your smartphone (Apple or Android) which lets you use it to remotely control the hearing aids. Also available are the usual range of extra accessories for TV or audio equipment streaming. Widex use their very own type of wireless communication protocol, it is recognised as the very best in the business.
Nearly all modern Widex aids have the option to use Zen tones, Zen is a proprietary feature belonged to Widex that will help to reduce the effects of tinnitus. For tinnitus sufferers, these predictable yet non-repetitive sounds are used in combination with counselling and relaxation techniques to deliver tinnitus relief as a part of a tinnitus management programme.
There are three sizes of behind the ear model and three in the ear models available. The Passion is the slim, attractive behind the ear receiver-in-canal model and is suitable for most hearing losses. It has no manual controls so can only be adjusted by remote control or app. The Fusion is the larger, more powerful behind the ear model which also features a push button for program changing. The Fashion is the largest of the over the ear models and is mainly for people who want or need a full earmold.
Of the three in the ear models, one is the standard sized in-the-ear, one is the CIC or completely-in-the-canal. The smallest is the CIC-M which is Widex's equivalent of an IIC or invisible-in-the-canal. Being so small, some features had to be cut from this model, mainly anything requiring wireless communication which this aid cannot fit in.