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 Key hearing aid, to help give you valuable information about whether this device is right for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before investing in purchasing 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
The Resound Key hearing aid family is a cost-efficient option for individuals who need hearing aids, without limiting the features and overall design of the hearing aid. The Resound Key family can come in a range of styles and sizes of hearing aids including behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), custom in-the-ear (ITE), custom it-the-canal (ITC), and custom completely-in-the-canal (CIC) devices. Because of this wide selection, these devices can fit all severities of hearing loss from mild to profound hearing loss. Determining what style is best for you can depend on your hearing loss, ear anatomy, and personal preferences. Custom devices require taking earmold impressions of your ears, while RITE devices can use rubber earbuds and be easily interchangeable. For BTE options there are four choices: BTE 67, BTE 77, BTE 88, BTE 98. BTE 98 can fit more severe to profound hearing loss and uses a 675 battery (blue) while the others can fill moderate to severe hearing loss and use a size 13 (orange) battery. Battery life for the BTE devices will vary but should be up to 10-14 days. The RITE devices can come in either a rechargeable option or battery option. A full charge for the hearing aids should give 30 hours of battery life. We recommend that you charge your hearing aids every night. Battery life for the RITE devices is typically longer than BTE devices and should last two weeks. The ITE and ITC devices are battery operated and use a size 312 (brown) battery. This is a smaller battery size and should last 10-14 days. The CIC device uses a size 10 battery (yellow). These devices are the smallest option, and almost invisible within your ear canal. Because of the small hearing aid body size and small battery, battery life will be around 7-10 days. The Resound Key hearing aids also come in multiple neutral color options including black, brown, gray, and tan.
When being fit with Resound Key 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.
Resound Key hearing aids strive to provide “organic hearing”. This means that it wants to provide sound in the most natural way, as if we were not even wearing devices at all. This is achieved through the Natural Directionality II sound processing. This means that one hearing aid is focusing on sound coming from directly in front of you (directional microphone) while the other hearing aid is processing sounds from all directions (omnidirectional). The hearing aids can switch roles back and forth depending on your placement within the environment. . For example, let’s say you are going out to eat with family at a busy restaurant. Your seat is at the end of the table. On your right side is your family, and on your left side is the rest of the restaurant and kitchen. Your right hearing aid would be in the directional mode, allowing you better access to your family’s voices and the conversation. Your left hearing aid would be in the omnidirectional mode. The directionality of the microphones can be adjusted to best fit your hearing needs. Additionally, up to 5 programs can be added to help you listen in varying complex environments. Common programs include restaurants, outdoors, music, and auditoriums.
Unique Perks and Features
Resound Key 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 your doctor appointments, 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 you need extra help listening in complex environments, on the phone, or while watching your television there are many accessories that can be used in addition to your hearing aids. The Resound Mini Mic and Multi Mic are both great options that act as a direct microphone to your hearing aids by picking up a person’s voice and streaming it directly to your hearing aids. They can be passed between individuals, clipped to a shirt or jacket, or placed on the center of a table. They are also helpful for school or work environments, as they can be used with lectures or for presentations. The Resound Phone Clip can connect to a landline phone or a laptop computer and stream phone calls, meetings, or media directly to your hearing aids. This has been recently very helpful for telehealth doctor appointments or during Zoom or Microsoft Teams virtual meetings while working from home. The last device is called the Resound TV Streamer, which is a device that plugs directly into your television and streams your favorite shows and movies into your hearing aids. This can help you hear and understand what the characters are saying better, without having to turn the volume up as loud. These devices are typically not included in the sale of your hearing aids, and do cost an additional fee.
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. 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.