A rechargeable option, faster sound processing, more connectivity and better smartphone app control position new models at the cutting edge
Starkey Hearing Technologies is upgrading its Halo and Muse hearing aids with its next-generation Acuity OS2 sound-processing solution, an improved TruLink 4.0 smartphone app, the new SurfLink Mini Mobile streamer, and a rechargeable battery option from ZPower.
The product updates—especially the rechargeable battery option—position Starkey to continue competing effectively with other “Big Six” manufacturers in the tech-driven global market for premium-performance hearing aids.
Halo2 Made-for-iPhone Upgrade
Starkey says the “nearly invisible” Halo 2 RIC 312, which started shipping this week, is its smallest Made-for-iPhone hearing aid (it uses a smaller battery than the popular Halo 2 RIC 13). The new behind-the-ear receiver-in-canal Halo 2 comes with a new 4.0 release of its TruLink hearing control app for iPhones and Android smartphones, providing easier control and more personalization for hearing aid users.
“Halo 2 is one of our most popular hearing aids. It delivers high-quality performance, clarity of sound, listening comfort, and the connectivity with mobile technology that patients want,” Starkey Hearing Technologies Chief Technical Officer Tim Trine said. “With the Halo 2 RIC 312, new TruLink updates and the enhanced performance and speed provided by Acuity OS 2, patients will be able to have a better, more personalized listening experience.”
TruLink 4.0 Smartphone App
The new version of Starkey’s smartphone app, TruLink 4.0, helps patients wearing Halo or Halo 2 hearing aids better customize their hearing experiences. It features a new “Ultimate Personalization” tool that enables users to control and personalize noise management on-demand. Starkey also relocated its SoundSpace™ feature to a new personalized control section of the app to help users make easier adjustments to sound quality in different environments. Users will also be able to create custom memories to make geotagging and custom memory creation easier.
Muse Rechargeable Battery Option
Starkey said the new Muse Micro RIC 312t hearing aid will be available in February. It accommodates an optional rechargeable battery developed in partnership with ZPower, the leader in silver-zinc rechargeable hearing aid battery solutions. The rechargeable batteries last all day on a single charge, eliminating the worry that batteries may fail at inopportune times. They can also be swapped out for disposable batteries as a backup.
Having a rechargeable battery option for one of its leading hearing aid models helps Starkey maintain its competitive standing in a market that’s rapidly adopting rechargeable technologies. Signia claims its Cellion primax rechargeable hearing aid can run for at least 24 hours with unlimited streaming. And Phonak touts its new Audeo B-R rechargeable model as the world’s “first mainstream lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid.”
SurfLink Mini Mobile Streamer
The Muse hearing aid is not iPhone compatible but instead works with Starkey’s enhanced new SurfLink two-in-one streaming device, SurfLink Mini Mobile. Set for first shipments in February, the Mini Mobile not only streams phone calls but also enhances one-on-one conversations.
A compact cellphone streaming solution, the SurfLink Mini Mobile adapter plugs into the popular SurfLink Remote Microphone 2 to allow patients to connect to any Bluetooth®-ready device and stream phone calls directly to their hearing aids. Once a call is done, patients can unplug the Mini Mobile adapter and use the SurfLink Remote Microphone 2 to aid in one-on-one conversations.
Acuity OS 2 Sound Processing System
The new Acuity OS 2 operating system is designed to enable easy, user-controlled personalization. It is five times faster than the original Acuity OS, with next-generation features, including:
- Interactive Intelligence: ensures seamless environmental shifts and preservation of conversation by quickly and constantly adapting to changing audio environments when speech is present.
- Initial Fit Protocol: enables a faster and more personalized best fit by shortening the time professionals spend fitting and allowing more time to counsel patients on best practices for use and care.
All-new Muse and Halo 2 products will ship with Acuity OS 2. All Muse and Halo 2 products currently worn by patients can be upgraded to the new operating system at any time.
Last modified: January 27, 2017