We are finally free to enjoy the Christmas and holiday season with friends and family – great you say – but for those with hearing loss, however mild, this brings challenges.
We put six hearing tech devices through their paces, with a panel of clients and experts, each with varying levels of hearing loss. Here are their votes on the most challenging times to hear at Christmas and the best hearing tech to help.
The devices were chosen to cover a range of hearing losses, hearing situations, prices and ease of fitting. All devices are approved and available, either fully or partially subsidised, on the Australian Government Hearing Services program
and available for private health purchasers.
Our hearing tech line-up included in the Audeara A-O1
and Sennheiser RS 195
over-the-ear headphones. Earbuds were represented by Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 earbuds
and Nuheara IQ Buds2 MAX
. In the hearing aid category were the Unitron Blu 3 devices, available free to eligible clients on the Australian Government Hearing Services program and the cutting edge Phonak Paradise P30, entry level hearing aid.
So which Christmas events made the all-important hearing top 5?
Coming it at number 5 is the Christmas call home
We’ve suffered lockdown; now we’re all looking forward to getting up-close and personal with the ones we love, but phone and zoom calls are still a feature of life for the near future, especially for family members overseas. All devices except the Sennheiser RS 195 headphones had easy, fast Bluetooth connection to phones, computers and tablets. Bang for the buck was awarded to the Audeara A-O1 headphones or the Nuheara IQ2
MAX buds had great portability for those with only mild hearing loss.
Company Christmas party is number 4
Think noisy, packed rooms with colleagues where it’s not polite to ignore; others you’d like to know better and above all, being seen to join in. The panel was adamant, only the two hearing aids (Unitron Blu 3 winning on value) with their directional hearing technology, can block background noise and focus the microphone directly onto speaker. None of the earbuds cut the mustard in this sound environment and a big negative for the earbuds was form factor – being highly visible, they make you look like you are listening to something else rather than engaging with the event. If you are avoiding hearing aids, your best strategy is to place yourself in a quiet corner with plenty of light to lip read and invite close confidential conversations
This covered everything from Church services, to school plays or the end of year business town hall. Think large space and small voices. For mild hearing loss, Nuheara IQ2
MAX buds are a great solution – their personalised fit amplifies the sound to your ideal volume in these simple sound situations. Hearing aids will of course perform best for a wider range of hearing loss and many churches and theatres have telecoil which feeds sound direct to hearing aids. No buds or aids? Look for a seat in front of the speakers.
Whether its watching Love Actually
for the fifth time, hanging out for the Home and Away reveal
or planning a summer of cricket, the biggest vote was for watching TV at your own volume. It’s headphones all the way for sound quality, but here’s the rub; they do cut you off from any chat in the room. Hearing aids offer quality sound which can be enhanced with TV streamers, plus adjustable noise cancellation so you choose how much you hear around you
Christmas Day with family
This was hands-down number one, for importance and hearing complexity. For your hearing, it’s all about changing situations and noise levels - talking to the grandkids, helping prep the meal and keeping up with conversations around the table. For mild hearing loss only, the Nuheara IQ2
MAX buds will keep you in the game. For any loss above mild, hearing aids are the winner; Phonak Paradise boosts soft level speech and has adjustable noise cancellation if things get too loud. Motion sensors scan as you move between tasks, rooms, or in and outdoors to optimise the sound settings for your new environment.
No hearing tech? Let everyone know you are finding it hard to hear, so that they can attract your attention before talking to you. Keep a wing-man close-by, who can ensure you’ve caught all the important points.
Whatever your Christmas, party or family season looks like – get into the “Hear and Now”. It’s not about hearing aids, it’s about hearing tech and Connect Hearing have a range of hearing solutions including hearing protection, hearing enhancement, aids and accessories. Check out our online store
for product information.
Take the plunge and do a hearing test – do it at a clinic or do it from home. And if you do it before 31 January 2022
you can get 10% of our latest hearing tech
at any Connect Hearing clinic, including the products mentioned in this article.
Choose from our 5-minute free online speech perception test or book an appointment with one of our friendly clinicians:
*Fully subsidised devices available to eligible clients under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program only. Read on for more information.