Unitron is a leading brand of the Sonova Group, the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world. Unitron is based in Canada with a U.S. headquarters in Minnesota. While the company has its largest presence in North America and Europe, Unitron products can be found in more than 70 countries around the world. Other than Unitron, you can also find Lyric hearing aids and Phonak products under the Sonova umbrella. Unitron has gained a reputation for offering solutions for a wide array of hearing loss levels and creating a robust line of accessories and smartphone apps.
The Unitron Stride is a line of Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids that feature a comfortable fit, desirable aesthetics, and intuitive control both on the device itself and through Unitron apps. The newest Stride hearing aids, the Stride B models, are run on the Most of the Unitron Stride line of hearing aids have disposable batteries, but the new Stride M R is a rechargeable hearing aid with the same great features for which Stride is known. Unitron Stride features SoundCore technology that is made up of four distinct technologies that work together to understand the wearer’s listening environment, make adjustments to help the wearer actively participate in conversations, and cancel as much background noise as needed. The following is a description and review of the Unitron Stride line of hearing aids.
Things to Consider Before Buying
You can find a Unitron Stride hearing aid on any of the three platforms used by Unitron: Blu, Tempus, and Discover Next. The Stride P R is the only one powered by Discover Next while the “B PR” and “B UP” are both powered by Blu. Prior to 2021, all of the Stride hearing aids were on the Tempus platform and the other 4 options remain there. Stride hearing aids are BTE style devices that focus on aesthetics, comfort, intuitive controls, and great speech understanding. There are rechargeable options available on any of the three platforms as well as disposable battery options with the Blu and Tempus powered devices. Stride devices are known for their SoundCore Technology. SoundCore is made up of 4 intelligent features that work together to understand and automatically adjust to the wearer’s listening environment no matter how much or how little background noise is present. The 4 features are as follows:
- Sound Conductor
- Spatial Awareness
Stride hearing aids include some of the best BTE hearing aids that Unitron offers and each device can be combined with accessories and oftentimes Unitron’s Remote Plus App. There are either 4 or 5 different technology levels associated with each model so it is important to note which features, apps, and accessories come with each technology level and model.
- Comfortable, lightweight BTE hearing aids.
- Almost any feature and technology that Unitron offers is available on one of the Stride models.
- SoundCore technology offers the best in automatic hearing solutions out there.
- A robust line of accessories are available.
- The Remote Plus App is intuitive and easy to use.
- Your Stride hearing aids adjust to your environment with little to no work required.
- The devices themselves are easy to work with and can be manipulated without an app or accessory when needed.
- Bluetooth devices are available and the Stride B line features almost universal connectivity.
- When you stream music, television, etc. you get high quality sound that you can control from either the app or the accessory.
- You can choose the platform and technology level with which you are most comfortable.
- Most of the Stride models are rated IP68 meaning they are water and dust resistant.
- No invisible or ITE models available in the Stride line.
- There is such a broad range of Stride hearing aids that it can be difficult to know which device has which features.
- If you have profound hearing loss, the Max line is better suited for you.
- Many of the Stride hearing aids are on the expensive side.
Features & Benefits of Each Model
- Stride M
A small, lightweight BTE hearing aid that is both discrete and powerful at the same time. In fact, it can easily be confused with an RIC device because it operates in much the same way but with more power. It comes in 12 different color options and uses a size 312 battery that lasts for days at a time while offering relief from mild to severe hearing loss.
- Stride M R
The rechargeable version of the Stride M.
- Stride P
The Stride P is another stylish BTE hearing aid that comes in 12 different colors and uses a size 13 battery. It is slightly larger than the newer Stride M and is not as powerful either. It is a more traditional BTE hearing aid but with all of the features and speech clarity that you will find in other Stride devices.
- Stride P R
The Strid P R is another rechargeable option in the Stride line, but it is the only Stride hearing aid to be powered by the Discover Next platform. It is similar in aesthetics and fit to the Slide P, but it offers more features and a rechargeable battery.
- Stride P Dura
Very similar to the Stride P, the Stride P Dura has more water and dust resistant features and offers more durability than the Strid P or P R.
- Stride B PR
One of two Stride hearing aids run on Unitron’s Blu platform, the B PR is the only one of the two options that is rechargeable. Unitron Blu offers the company’s most up-to-date technology and connectivity to go along with the Stride style and comfort.
- Stride B UP
The Stride B UP is the other Stride device that runs on Blu. The B UP is a power hearing aid that offers telecoil technology along with the ability to be used by people suffering from mild to profound hearing loss.
Design/Type of Hearing Aid
The Unitron Stride line of hearing aids are all BTE devices that sit behind your ear. Some of the models are RIC hearing aids while others are the more traditional BTE style. All of the Stride line can work with people who suffer from mild to severe hearing loss and many of the Stride hearing aids are ideal for those who suffer from profound hearing loss as well.
Fit and Wearability
Stride hearing aids are built for comfort. They are all lightweight and they sit comfortably behind your ear with little to no customization needed for most of them. The new Stride M and M R models are notably small for BTE devices and kind of blur the line between RIC and BTE hearing aids.
Because the Stride hearing aid line is so broad, different models use different batteries so that you can find anything from rechargeable to size 312 and anything in between.
- Sound quality
With binaural spatial processing and spatial awareness, Stride hearing aids use directional microphones along with the ability for two hearing aids to work together to pinpoint the direction and origin of sound. Stride hearing aids do this so fluidly that it makes the listening process easier and more natural.
A lot of different things come into play when it comes to how quickly people adapt to their new hearing aids. Stride hearing aids offer comfort, wearability, a natural listening experience, and an automatic adaptation manager that all allow wearers to comfortably work their way into their new hearing aids. The Automatic Adaptation Manager, specifically, slowly transitions wearers from the amplification level that is most comfortable to them to the amplification level they truly need in small, simple steps so that the process is not overwhelming.
- Noise cancellation
AntiShock technology eliminates the discomfort that is caused by sudden impulse noises but does not remove them completely so that you retain speech clarity and situational awareness simultaneously.
- Speech Understanding and Clarity
SpeechPro and SpeechZone technologies work together to provide optimal speech understanding no matter where speech originates and no matter how noisy or how much background noise there is in your listening environment. SpeechZone hones in on speech that comes from in front of you, particularly in noisy environments, so you can focus on conversations.
- Automatic sound adjustment based on environment
SoundNav and Sound Conductor, both part of the SoundCore technology, provide automatic adjustments depending on your listening environment. SoundCore, described more specifically below, is what allows Stride hearing aids to automatically adjust to your listening environment, but SoundNav and Sound Conductor are the catalysts. Sound Conductor adjusts for speech in conversation and provides good speech clarity in both noisy and quiet environments, maintaining natural sound no matter where you are. SoundNav, on the other hand, is key because it automatically identifies and classifies sounds into seven distinct environments and then adjusts features and technology accordingly.
With almost all of the Stride hearing aids, there is streaming capability either through direct connection to Bluetooth devices or through available accessories. The Stride B devices feature stereo-quality sound to go along with the Bluetooth connectivity.
These are all of the accessories that are compatible with at least one Stride hearing aid.
This small, hands-free device allows you to connect to communication and entertainment devices that your hearing aids may not connect to directly. It has a long battery life and stereo-quality sound and connects to smartphones, FM receivers, MP3 players, televisions, etc.
Similar to the uDirect, it is very straightforward and very discreet. You can connect to devices such as smartphones, televisions, audio players, etc.
This is a separate microphone that you can place near someone else so that you can hear them better and hold a conversation even in the noisiest of environments.
Delivers the volume from your television directly to the hearing aids in both of your ears so that you can hear it better and control the volume.
- Remote Control
A discreet, straightforward, and easy-to-use device that offers direct control over the essential features of your hearing aid such as volume and program setting. The Remote Control 2 is a similar device with slightly more advanced control options.
- TV Connector
Enjoy automatic stereo-quality sound sent wirelessly to your hearing aids. You can control the volume that you personally hear regardless of the volume level of the television. This accessory also works with computers, stereos, and even tablets as well.
Unique Perks and Features
The two Stride Blu hearing aids can connect to almost any Bluetooth electronic device out there directly in what Unitron calls “made-for-all connectivity.” Almost all of the devices in this line are Bluetooth hearing aids except for the Stride P and Stride P Dura, they are also the only two Stride hearing aids that do not work with the Remote Plus App.
Remote Plus App
The Remote Plus App allows the user to control the volume in one or both hearing aid, choose either the automatic or preselected program of your choice, or go into more advanced settings that include setting the balance or the tinnitus masker. You can also use the app to rate your experience using different settings in different sound environments. When you use this features, you can send your results directly to your audiologist so that they can make changes to your device if needed.
SoundCore Technology is one of the newest and most important features that the Unitron Stride hearing aid offers. SoundCore is split up into four separate features as follows:
SoundNav is the building block of SoundCore technology because it automatically identifies and classifies sounds into seven distinct environments and then adjusts features and technology accordingly.
SpeechPro provides optimal speech understanding by localizing speech no matter the environment. Even in the noisiest places, SpeechPro can pinpoint the direction of speech allowing you to have clear and easy conversations in noise and in crowds.
- Sound Conductor
Sound Conductor adjusts for speech in conversation and provides good speech clarity in both noisy and quiet environments, maintaining natural sound no matter where you are.
- Spatial Awareness
Spatial awareness is important because it allows the wearer to know where all of the sounds in their environment originate. Whether it is speech, ambient noise, or anything else, it is vital for the hearer to know and pinpoint the direction and origin of sound, and spatial awareness does this automatically.
There is a tinnitus masker available that should be used as part of a comprehensive tinnitus therapy program. It includes a noise generator that provides a noise enrichment source to stimulate your auditory system.
There is a such a wide array of Stride hearing aids that it is difficult to pinpoint an exact cost. There are 5 different technology levels, 6 different models, and 3 different platforms represented in Stride hearing aids and each of those things can raise or lower the price depending on what you want in a hearing aid. In addition, the audiologist office that you choose can also make the price go up or down as well as whether or not your insurance will cover any aspect of the hearing aid process. For Stride hearing aids, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 per ear to $5,000 for a set or even more. The higher the technology level, the more you will pay.
- How much do Unitron Stride hearing aids cost?
Unitron Stride hearing aids can cost as little as $1,000 per ear or as much as $5,000 for a set and sometimes even more. There are 5 technology levels and 3 different Unitron platforms represented in the Stride line of devices and each of those things can greatly affect the price you pay. Not to mention your audiologist is one of the major determinants of price. The more features and the greater the technology that you want for your hearing situation, the more the price can rise. The key is to look at all of the features available and decide which ones are the most important to you and find a device that fits your situation.
- Who makes Unitron hearing aids?
Unitron is made by Sonova Group, the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world. Unitron is a Canadian-based company that has been around since 1964 and offers hearing aids in more than 70 countries around the world. With their size and experience in the market, Unitron offers more than 20 different hearing aid models and has developed a robust offering of apps and accessories for their hearing aids.
- What is the best hearing aid on the market?
The best hearing aid on the market differs from person to person and depends a lot on personal preference. The Stride line is best known for being a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing BTE hearing aid equipped with some of the best technology that Unitron offers. The Stride B line is new as of 2021 and uses Unitron’s Blu platform that includes universal connectivity and high end features to create a great listening experience. These new devices are probably the highest end of the Stride line. Each brand and each device has its own strengths and weaknesses, it is up to each individual to match their needs with the features and strengths of the device.
- Where is Unitron manufactured?
Unitron is a Canadian-based company that is owned by Sonova who has corporate offices in 28 different locations worldwide. While based in Canada, Unitron manufactures its products in Suzhou, China.
There are six distinct BTE style hearing aids in the Unitron Stride line. The Stride B and Stride M (R) are probably the most technologically advanced while the Stride P is probably the least. At the same time, each model offers either four or five different technology levels and the features offered vary greatly both among models and technology levels. If you suffer from mild to profound hearing loss and desire a BTE or RIC hearing aid, there is sure to be one in the Stride line of devices. Unitron’s SoundCore technology is available up and down the Stride line which makes each device excellent in terms of speech clarity and understanding and directionality. If you are looking for a BTE hearing aid, Unitron Stride hearing aids are definitely worth a look.