Determining what hearing aid to purchase can be a difficult decision and depend on many factors including your lifestyle, hearing loss, and wants for connectivity and features. There are many manufacturers and styles on the market right now, so determining which one is the best for you may take some help from a hearing healthcare professional. This article is going to review one hearing aid currently on the market, the Resound Enzo Q hearing aid, to help give you valuable information about whether this device is right for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before investing in a hearing aid, it is important to consider your lifestyle and hearing goals. In order to acclimate to the hearing aid, it takes an adjustment period. During this adjustment period, you must be willing to wear the hearing aid consistently. This allows your brain to adapt to all the new sounds the hearing aid provides and make it your “new normal” listening. Hearing aids are not like glasses. We cannot simply put them in our ears and immediately start hearing better. Instead, we need to train our brain to listen to the new sound input and interpret it correctly. If you do not think you will wear your hearing aids consistently, it may be important to decide if amplification is the best route for you. If you have a very active lifestyle and are worried about breaking or losing the hearing aids, there are things your audiologist can do to help with retention to keep them on your ears. You can have a custom earmold made to provide a snug fit within your ear canal or attach a retention wire that can clip to your shirt or collar. If you work within a setting where you are constantly on the phone or have a headset, there are extra accessories that can be purchased to help directly stream your phone calls or audio to the hearing aids. Overall, most complaints or concerns about hearing aids can be resolved as long as you keep an open mind and communicate your needs with your audiologist.
Features & Benefits of each model
The Resound Enzo Q is a behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aid made for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. They have a larger body that sits behind your pinna, an ear hook, and a tube that connects this to your custom earmold. These are known as “power” devices because they can provide a lot of volume for those who need it. The Enzo Q does not come in custom in-the-ear (ITE) style because this style has a smaller computer chip and body, meaning it cannot provide as much power. If this is a must on your list for hearing aids, this device family is not the best option for you. There are two options for the Resound Enzo Q: the High Power (HP) BTE 88 and the Super Power (SP) BTE 98. The HP BTE 88 hearing aid is for individuals with hearing loss up to 110 decibels, while the SP BTE 98 can extend up to 120 decibels. The SP BTE 98 is often used for individuals with cochlear dead regions, meaning they have extensive damage to the hair cells within their inner ear that they cannot hear or respond to certain frequencies when tested in our sound booth. A product description on the two styles of Enzo Q hearing aids can be found here https://pro.resound.com/en-gb/products/hearing-aids/enzo-q.
Both the HP and PS come in three technology levels: 9, 7, and 5. Level 9 is the most advanced level and Level 5 is the most basic. These hearing aids come in ten different neutral color options including black, white, gray, brown, and tan. Both hearing aids also have a rocker switch button at the back that can allow you to toggle between programs or increase/decrease the volume of both devices.
Fit and Wearability
When being fit with Resound Enzo Q hearing aids, real ear measurements should be completed. Real ear measurements include placing a microphone within your ear canal, measuring your ear canal volume, and using this to apply volume across all the speech sounds for your hearing loss. These measurements are important because it customizes the hearing aids to your ear and helps provide the most comfortable fit. From there, the audiologist can make specific programming changes to the hearing aids through the Resound Fit Software. You as a patient do not have access to this software but can see your audiologist whenever changes need to be made.
The Resound Enzo Q hearing aids are battery operated, either using a size 13 (orange) or size 675 (blue) battery. Size 13 battery life can be anywhere up to 2 weeks, while Size 675 battery life is usually around 7-10 days. To save battery life, it is important to open the battery doors of the hearing aids whenever they are not being used. Currently, there are no rechargeable Enzo Q options.
Unique Perks and Features
The Resound Enzo Q devices are known for their great sound quality, especially because they have to provide a large amount of gain. They provide “clear sound” which helps high frequency sharp sounds to be audible, even if you have significant hearing loss in these frequencies. While they make a wide range of sounds audible, they also focus on not over amplifying background noise or bothersome sounds. This is done through their Binaural Directionality III microphone feature. This feature allows the hearing aids to automatically shift how their microphones are working depending on your environment. In quiet environments, both hearing aids will be picking up sound from all directions (omnidirectional microphones). As you get into noisier environments, the microphones will automatically switch to filter in what is important, like the person talking in front of you, and filter out background noise. Binaural Directionality III also applies “better ear listening strategy”. This means that one hearing aid can provide more input than the other depending on your listening environment. Say you are at a party talking to a group of friends, when another group walks up on your right side. Your left hearing aid will then provide more input than your right hearing aid because the hearing aids have determined that the conversation with your friends is more important than the other group of people talking. Although this is the default (and what is most recommended), this directionality feature of the microphones can be adapted to fit the listener and the environment. Additional programs can also be added, up to 5, to assist with different listening environments. Common programs include restaurants, outdoors, music, and auditoriums.
In terms of tinnitus, Resound Enzo Q devices do have the capability of providing direct on-ear sound therapy. The sound therapy can either be constant noise (white, pink, etc.) or modulated noise that resembles water. This can be very beneficial for those with bothersome tinnitus, as it allows your brain other sounds to focus on and can help make the tinnitus less bothersome over time.
Resound Enzo Q hearing aids also have direct streaming capability. They can be connected to both iPhone and Android phones and a full list of compatible phone devices can be found here https://www.resound.com/en/help/compatibility. When connected to your phone, you can stream both phone calls and media directly to the hearing aids. You can also download different hearing aid apps to act as remote control, receive remote programming changes, or provide tinnitus relief. The Resound Smart 3D app can act as a remote control and allow you to change your program, hearing aid volume, or apply extra noise reduction all from your phone. This is beneficial for individuals who have dexterity concerns or when the physical button on the hearing aid becomes confusing. Resound Smart 3D app also allows for remote programming changes. If you live in a remote area or it is difficult for you to make it to a doctor appointment, this is a great option for you. Within the app, you can request professional assistance. It will prompt you to fill out a questionnaire about what issues you are having with your hearing aids. This information will be sent to the audiologist, which they can then use to reprogram your hearing aids. They will then send the new programming back to you through the app, which you can download into your hearing aids. It is as simple as that! If you would still like to talk directly with your audiologist, you can schedule a telehealth appointment with your audiologist, and they can connect via video chat through the app. This allows you to see your audiologist, discuss your complaints, and make changes real time. The Resound Tinnitus Relief app is an extra tool for patients with bothersome tinnitus. This app provides nature sounds that can be layered and streamed directly to the hearing aids. This sound therapy can help provide tinnitus relief by giving your brain other sounds to focus on instead of your tinnitus. It also has breathing exercises, guided meditation, and visualization prompts to help relax the mind and body, reducing the negative overactivity of the limbic system.
If after reading about these devices, you have decided these seem like a good fit for then please contact your local audiologist to schedule a hearing evaluation and tell them you are interested in discussing this product. The total cost of the devices will vary by clinic. If you need help finding a hearing healthcare professional near you that works with Resound products, please visit the website here https://www.resound.com/en/find-a-professional.