In the 2000 HR Dispenser Survey (June HR), hearing care professionals indicated that more than one-quarter (28%) of their clients had severe-to-profound hearing losses. To many of those clients, power hearing instruments often represent the difference between a world of silence and a world filled with communication, social interaction, employment and all the sounds of life. This month, HR reviews the latest offerings in power hearing instruments. For more information on any of the products below, fill out the Reader Service Card found on p. 11 of this issue of HR and drop it in the mail, or contact the manufacturers directly using the toll-free numbers provided. The product descriptions listed here were supplied by the respective manufacturers upon request of The Hearing Review. u
Argosy carries an assortment of ITE and BTE power instruments. The ITE line offers three diverse circuits with power options capable of providing up to 63 dB of gain. The 3-Channel Clock, with its three independently adjustable channels, is designed to provide the flexibility to address unique configurations. MANHATTAN II provides an adaptive filter for multi-situation listening. Linear-Plus provides the extended headroom of Class D circuitry.
BTE models with linear or output compression, providing up to 83 dB of gain, are also available from Argosy. BTE features include direct audio input, slim mini-housing and a powerful 125 dB telecoil. Eden Prairie, MN: 800-328-6105.
Audina offers three hearing instruments recommended for severe to profound losses. The Super60D is a high power, Class D linear full shell ITE hearing instrument, utilizing a Size 13 battery. Its standard Otoseal Shell (all soft shell) has been designed to create a secure, yet comfortable seal, allowing for increased gain without feedback. Matrix choices include 127/67/1 and 122/60/1. It is recommended for severe-to-profound losses and features one trimpot (LFC, HFC, PC or Gain). The Super60D also is available as a programmable model (matrix: 126/62/1), featuring the same Otoseal shell, with low frequency cut, high frequency cut, low frequency boost, threshold control and overall gain and operates in a compression or linear mode.
The Audina BTE 2000 is a Class B, high power, beige BTE instrument (matrix: 138/83/1), utilizing a Size 675 battery. Trimpots include an output control, low frequency control, high frequency control and gain control. The instrument offers M-T-MT telecoil switch as standard. Longwood, FL: 800-223-7700.
Authorized Hearing Systems
AHS offers a variety of programmable products for fitting severe losses. QuickLink Power BTE is designed as a sophisticated two-channel WDRC instrument with a user-adjustable VC, providing up to 60 dB gain/130 dB SPL output. ProLink Power programmable instruments provide up to 65 dB gain/130 dB SPL output in ITEs, and up to 40 dB gain/120 dB SPL output in CICs. ProLink Power Products feature Dynamic Output Compression with a low EIN applicable for new and previous users and are designed to fit most high-frequency, ski, flat and reverse slope losses. These power products (available with programmable directional microphone, programmable telecoil and custom softshell options) are fit via AHSs QuickFit software. Plymouth, MN: 800-631-3600.
AVR announces the Logicom-20/P BTE/FM. Logicom-20s integrated FM receiver is designed to eliminate the need for attachable FM boots or external antennas. Designed as a state-of-the-art multiprogram hearing instrument, Logicom-20/P combines Extend-Ear, the first BTE/FM aid, with ImpaCt DSR675, the first power BTE capable of moving critical high-frequency speech information to lower frequencies, according to the company. Logicom-20/P is designed for individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss in the low frequencies and severe to profound hearing loss in the high frequencies. Like ImpaCt DSR675, Logicom-20/P has a maximum SSPL90 of 136-138 dB and 75 dB of peak gain. Eden Prairie, MN: 800-462-8336.
Bell Hearing Instruments
Bell Hearing offers a custom ITE power instrument designed for moderate-to-severe hearing losses. The instrument, which utilizes a Size 13 battery, delivers up to 60 dB of peak gain and 125 dB maximum OPL. It features a standard trimmer for high cut (otherwise known as feedback reduction) control. The Bell Power ITE instrument offers a maximum gain of 50 dB and 118 dB maximum OPL. The aid, which utilizes a Size 312 battery, is limited to more of a moderate hearing loss due to size restrictions dictated by the smaller shell size.
The company offers two models of power BTEs: the BP 60 and BP 72. The BP 60 has a small compact case, uses a Size 13 battery and delivers 60 dB peak gain and 135 dB maximum OPL. It is designed for moderate-to-severe hearing losses. The BP 72, which uses a Size 675 battery, is intended for severe losses and delivers 72 dB peak gain and a maximum OPL of 133 dB. Both BTE models have a tone control and output control, numbered volume control and a three-position O-T-M switch. Oldsmar, FL: 800-535-0516.
The Beltone Ultima 80 is a high power BTE hearing instrument with output compression limiting for moderately severe-to-profound losses. The Ultima 80s Class D amplifier produces a peak output of 136 dB and peak full-on gain of 80 dB. Key features include: AGC-O; Class D Amplifier; Four controls including Power/AGC-O, Gain, Active Low-Frequency Cut Control, High-Frequency Cut Control; and a three-position Mic-Tel switch. Optional features include damped ear-hook and an audio input/BICROS adapter. The Ultima 80 is available in three colors: beige, brown and grey. Chicago, IL: 800-621-1275.
Bernafon provides a hearing instrument solution for severe hearing losses within every technology classdigital, programmable and conventional. The Smile 110 and 111 BTEs offer digital sound processing, two memories with an optional remote control, providing sound quality with user control. The NAL-NL1 fitting rationale is designed to provide improved speech intelligibility. The Audioflex 120 BTE, , featuring two memories and a multi-function remote control, also fits severely hearing-impaired individuals. Severe to profound hearing losses can be addressed with the Opus2 Super Power BTEs (with or without AGC-O) or the T98 BTE. Severe losses can also be fit with the Opus2 Power BTEs (with or without AGC-O), the Opus2 High Power ITE and the T98 BTE. Eden Prairie, MN: 888-941-4200.
Electone offers both ITE and BTE power instruments. The companys Power Class D is designed to be a reliable and versatile hybrid ITE circuit for severe hearing loss, featuring low distortion, increased headroom and reduced saturation. With a maximum output of 125 dB, this instrument has four potentiometers. For moderate-to-severe hearing loss, Electone’s BTE line features the E26-PP with maximum output of 135 dB, programmable instruments SDM 2000-1 with maximum output of 134 dB and SDM 2000-2 with maximum output of 137 dB.
For severe-to-profound hearing loss, Electone’s E80 T-AGC PP BTE instrument is a miniature, high-powered output compression instrument with maximum output of 135 dB. Rounding out the BTE line is the E55 PP with a maximum output of 133 dB. Longwood, FL: 800-432-7483.
Hearing Technologies offers a push-pull linear, Class B power circuit in full concha and canal size instruments for moderate-to-severe hearing losses. A vertical volume control or standard volume control is available on the full concha model. A switchable directional microphone is also available on the full concha model.
An input compression, Class B circuit is available for full concha and canal fittings for moderate-to-severe hearing losses. Pinellas Park, FL: 800-553-6003.
Lori/Unitrons ICON AoHP mini-BTE and US 80 PP BTE are designed to be two of the most powerful hearing instruments on the market. Suitable for severe-to-profound hearing losses, both products feature four controls for maximum fitting flexibility, a powerful pre-amplified telecoil and DAI. Both products are also available in low-frequency emphasis models and are FM-compatible. The ICON and the US 80 are especially recommended for children.
Lori/Unitron also offers a variety of high-power custom models that are suitable for severe hearing losses. Choices available are Class D or B (Push-Pull) circuitry, linear or output compression, peak outputs from 120-126 dB and peak gain from 60-68 dB. Golden Valley, MN: 800-888-8882.
The Beethoven, manufactured by Magnatone, is designed to be a powerful, clean-sounding ITE instrument. Driven by a Class B hybrid circuit, it delivers high gain (60 dB avg. FOG) and output (129 dB SPL) with low total harmonic distortion and input noise. The feedback control (FCP), included as a standard feature, allows control of the high frequencies and reduces the feedback potential of the instrument. The aid also features the patented Rid-Wax Barrier system and is recommended for moderate-to-severe losses with UCLs of 120 dB SPL or higher and MCLs up to 120 dB SPL.
The MegaPower, manufactured by Interton of Germany and distributed by Magnatone, is a Class B power BTE. The instrument uses a Size 13 battery and provides 78 dB full-on gain, maximum 137 dB SSPL90 and offers Class B output compression. It features four adjustable trimmer controls (power, high frequency, low frequency and gain), M-MT-T switch and optional audio input. Casselberry, FL: 800-327-5159.
DigiFocus II Compact Power is a seven-band, two-channel fully digital hearing instrument that fits up to 105 dB HL. It can be programmed to operate in fully automatic mode, or its manual volume control can be activated. The programming algorithm is based on the companys expanded Adaptive Speech Alignment rationale, ASA2P.
The instrument comes with manual switch which can be programmed to O-T-M-MT combinations. The standard Direct Audio Input (DAI) connection provides compatibility with a variety of FM trainers including FM boots, CD/tape players, computers, TVs, etc. Accessories include tamper-resistant battery doors and a variety of bright colors for children. Somerset, NJ: 800-526-3921.
PowerZoom is the flagship of Phonaks complete line of super-power hearing instruments. With all the features of the PiCS Mark2 instruments, PowerZoom is designed with a frequency response and algorithms based on clinical research with this special population of hearing-impaired individuals and is the only hearing aid with AudioZoom.
Fully programmable NovoForte instruments are designed to exceed the power capabilities of most high-power instruments. In a sleek new case, the instruments can now be ordered in a rainbow of colors. All Phonak instruments, Classic or programmable, are compatible with the MicroLink FM system which is designed to be suitable for children in classrooms and adults with special communication needs. Warrenville, IL: 800-777-7333.
Phonic Ear introduces the Sprite BTE programmable, non-linear hearing instrument with a built-in FM receiver. This BTE is produced in collaboration with Oticon, Bernafon and Rion and offers WDRC. The hand-held programmer allows automatic fitting according to DSL, DSL [i/o], NAL-RP or POGO II protocols. Manual adjustments are also possible. For hearing at a distance, the unit features two interchangeable FM channels (or one FM channel and a telecoil). Two models cover the range from normal hearing (for CAPD applications) through profound loss with output up to 135 dB SPL and gain of up to 75 dB. The first release of this product is intended for educational audiologists with a second version scheduled for release late this year intended for dispensing audiologists. Petaluma, CA: 800-227-0735.
Qualitone, a leader in power instruments for over 45 years, brings new choices to people with severe hearing loss. Sapphire Power DSP reportedly delivers the sound quality patients expect from digital, with the power they need. The feedback management algorithm is designed to make fitting this power instrument easy. Sapphire Power is available with up to 65 dB SPL gain and 125 dB SPL output.
The company also offers the Millennia II Peak Transfer. The resonant peak of this programmable, two-channel instrument can adjusted from 800 Hz to 3000 Hz. Place the power where it is needed most: with six adjustable parameters, this product offers the flexibility to fit most losses. The Ultra Power is now available in all models. The instrument delivers up to 67 dB SPL of gain with 129 dB SPL output in an ITE model, while the CIC delivers up to 55 dB of gain with 120 dB SPL output. Minneapolis, MN: 800-328-3897.
Rextons high-power Energy ITE and BTE hearing instruments offer hearing professionals flexibility when fitting a severe-to-profound hearing loss.The Energy ITE instrument features dual receivers for reduced acoustical feedback and increased stability during high gain/high output signal conditions. The ITEs have a maximum gain of 65 dB and a maximum output of 128 dB.
The Energy P and Energy P-L BTEs feature curvilinear compression and three individual fitting controls: NH, AGC-O and PC. The BTEs have a maximum gain of 76 dB and a maximum output of 137 dB. Plymouth, MN: 800-876-1141.
Siemens Hearing Instruments
Siemens has a complete line of Power BTE products suitable for children and adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss. These instruments span all technology categories from conventional through fully digital, single to multi-channel, with multiple compression strategies including WDRC. All have high gain and output, sensitive telecoil, audio input standard (including MLX/TMX compatibility) and most have a manual VC. Most of these models are offered in mini or midi case sizes, making them suitable for proper fit on ears of children and adults alike.
All programmable and digital models are designed to be easily programmed via the NOAH-compatible CONNEXX software or the hand-held PP-2000 programmer. Piscataway, NJ: 800-766-4500.
Starkeys newest power instrument is the Gemini Custom Digital. The Power option is available in an ITE (full concha) model and, with space permitting, a LPF (low profile) model. The Gemini Power ITE incorporates the SoundScapes algorithm. SoundScapes provides a sophisticated set of digital performance features that maximizes Geminis fitting flexibility. The algorithm features: In-Situ Loudness Verification, a Feedback Management Algorithm, In Situ Audiometry, a Custom Filter Design for flexible frequency shaping and an Expanded Dynamic Range.
Starkey also offers a full line of Power BTE Instruments which include: the A675 TSP and SSP, the 42 PP SP and the A13 HDPS. Eden Prairie, MN: 800-328-8602.
Telex Communications, Inc., offers the P780 Power BTE. The P780 is reportedly a distinctive design for the world market; it will bear the CE mark and will be produced at Telexs ISO 9001 certified Rochester facility. The P780 sculpted medium BTE-size case features a tone hook that creates a smooth internal arc with the case. The P780 is an output compression analog instrument featuring a Class D receiver and the companys patented variable release-time, dual recovery rate Adaptive Compression technology. Four controls allow for fitting flexibility: gain control, output compression control, active high and active low tone controls. The instrument is available with direct audio input capability via standard Euro plug and is capable of achieving 140 dB peak output and 79 dB peak gain. Battery life using a high power zinc air 675 battery is 273 hours. The P780 is recommended for patients with moderately severe-to-profound, flat or sloping hearing losses. Burnsville, MN: 800-328-8212.
United Hearing Systems
United Hearing Systems reintroduces a line of BTEs including the featured 46 HP Power Model. This power BTE produces up to 80 dB gain and 135 dB output. The linear Class B amplifier with oversized CI receiver is designed to offer the type of fidelity most severely impaired users prefer. The three trimmers, neatly hidden under a hinged panel, reportedly offer precise control over MPO, BASS, and TONE to allow true frequency shaping for a variety of pure tone threshold configurations. The highlights of the 46 HP are: 675 battery, Audio Input, screw-on earhook, easy-to use paddle OTM switch and three colors (beige, grey and brown). Plainfield, CT: 800-835-2001.
Widex Hearing Aid Co.
The Senso C18 Plus Power BTE is a fully digital three-channel instrument that offers features such as an Enhanced Sound Stabilizer, Speech Intensification System and Speech Enhancement Algorithm, Automatic Feedback Management, In-Situ Threshold Measurement (Sensogram) and Extended Input Dynamic Range. The Fully Digital Senso C19 Plus Power Directional model builds on that with the additional advantages that come with a directional microphone.
According to Widex, the Super Power Senso P37 and P38 hearing instruments are the first fully digital hearing instruments for adults and children with severe-to-profound hearing losses. The Super Power hearing instruments offer the performance of Senso models and over 140 dB SPL peak output, a low battery indicator, an optional volume control, direct audio input compatibility and more. Senso Plus and Senso models are designed to offer the longest battery life of digital hearing instruments of comparable functionality, according to the company. Long Island City, NY: 800-221-0188.