New Product Alert
The latest product from this brand is the Unitron Vivante hearing aid, launched in 2023.
Unitron Moxi™ Blu is Unitron’s latest flagship hearing aid family. Utilizing Sonova’s new PRISM™ chipset and Integra OS signal processing, Blu promises a new level of sound personalization and listening ease—even in complex listening environments. The Moxi Blu family consists of three different Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids, two of which are rechargeable.
Moxi Blu hearing aids were first introduced in May 2021 with 3 different Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) styles, and in November 2021 two additional power instruments were added to the technology platform. Blu shares technology with Unitron’s sister company Phonak—another Sonova brand—who manufactures the popular Paradise line of hearing aids. Blu continues with Sonova’s “Made for All” (MFA) Bluetooth compatibility, which delivers audio streaming, and hands-free calling, to a wide array of Bluetooth devices, including Apple (iOS) and Android phones. According to Unitron, Blu offers twice the memory of flagship models from the company’s previous Discover platform.
Highlights of Moxi Blu
- Latest generation of automatic sound processing
- 2x memory capability of previous chipset (Discover)
- AutoFocus 360 with dynamic noise reduction (not available on all technology levels)
- 2 active Bluetooth connections with pairing up to 8 different devices
- New tap control for connecting to devices
- New personalization features within the Remote Plus app
- Slimmer case for wearing comfort and improved cosmetics
- New connection alerts
- Improved on-board control button for better tactile input
Five devices available
To help you understand Unitron’s naming structure keep in mind that “Moxi” refers to their Receiver-In-Ear (RIC) style hearing aids and “Stride” refers to more traditional Behind-The-Ear (BTE) styles. The Blu hearing aid is offered in 3 different RIC styles and 2 power BTE hearing aids:
- Moxi B-R - Unitron’s smallest lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid
- Moxi B-RT - Unitron’s smallest rechargeable RIC with a telecoil
- Moxi B-312 - Unitron’s smallest RIC utilizing a standard disposable battery (size 312)
- Stride B-UP - their new thinner power BTE with a disposable battery (675)
- Stride B-PR - their new thinner power BTE with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery
All of the above are offered in 6 different color options. The RIC products are available with 4 different receiver strengths, offering up to 71 dB of gain. Unitron’s most powerful Blu product is the Stride B-UP with 84 dB of gain which can fit profound hearing losses; the Stride B-PR provides up to 68 dB of gain making it suitable for severe-to-profound hearing losses. This means that Blu will fit a wide range of hearing losses including severe to profound.
Blu is offered in 4 different technology levels, the Blu 9 (premium), 7 (advanced), 5 (standard) and 3 (essential). The total number of available programming channels, classification environments, and other features such as Dynamic Noise Reduction will vary by technology level as will price. Generally speaking, the higher the technology level and the richer the feature set, the higher the price point. For example, the level 3 or essential technology does not include as many environmental classification scenes, AutoFocus 360, soft speech enhancement, or spatial awareness.
It should be noted that Unitron extends a unique offering in their FLEX:TRIAL™ and FLEX:UPGRADE™ solution across their product lines. FLEX:TRIAL allows your hearing care provider to program off-the-shelf hearing aids to different technology levels that you then try at home. FLEX:UPGRADE allows you to upgrade to a higher level of technology if you find that your listening needs change or that you aren’t hearing quite as well as you had hoped. Not all hearing care providers offer these FLEX options.
A new sound processing strategy that takes advantage of the binaural (requires a binaural fit which means wearing two devices) connection between instruments, analyzing input across the 4 microphones to adjust directionality and noise reduction to optimize speech in challenging environments. This works when the hearing aid determines that speech is coming from the front. The intent is to improve your speech understanding and listening comfort in noisy listening situations.
Soft Speech Lift
New with Integra OS, this feature will add gain (volume) of up to 4 dB to soft speech in quieter listening environments (below 55 dB SPL) with the intent of making soft speech clearer.
Also new with Integra OS, this algorithm utilizes the 4-microphone input (again a binaural fitting is required) to provide targeted directionality that can be asymmetrical across ears. The intent is to overcome missing acoustic cues that the natural ear provides.
Along with their sister company, Phonak, Moxi Blu offers true hands-free streaming to either your Apple or Android smart phone; it may even work with an older style flip-phone that is Bluetooth enabled. The advantage of this feature for you is that you are no longer tied to your phone. That is, you can take the call and walk away from your phone as your hearing aids deliver both the caller’s voice to your ears as well as pick up and transmit your voice via the hearing aids. This feature is somewhat unique in the hearing aid industry as currently only Sonova products (Phonak, Unitron and Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand) and some select Starkey products offer this feature. Also new is the ability to be actively connected to two devices and pair up to 8 devices. This is advantageous, for example, if you utilize multiple smart phones, perhaps, one for work and one for personal use. Previously, only 1 phone could be connected at a time. This allows you to stay connected to both phones without the hassle of connecting and disconnecting the Bluetooth link.
This feature is new to Unitron but previously available within Phonak products. Tap control allows you to start/stop streaming, accept or reject phone calls and even access digital mobile assistants such as Siri by double-tapping the top of your ear. The feature is enabled by your hearing care professional within the programming software or by you in the Remote Plus app. It should be noted that there have been complaints of this feature not working consistently.
Moxi Blu offers new levels of personalization via the Remote Plus app. Within the automatic program you choose to change not just volume or low/high frequencies, but you can also choose to improve comfort or clarity within that program. When choosing “Comfort” or “Clarity” within the app, programming changes are made behind the scenes. For example, if you chose “Comfort” there is a slight reduction in volume and the strength of speech enhancement is minimized. These changes/preferences can also be reviewed by your hearing care professional on your next visit and help further fine tune your instruments. You can also rate your satisfaction with your listening experience within that program. The thinking behind these additional controls is that your hearing is unique as are your preferences and listening environments and that the changes you make can further improve the overall fitting of the instruments. The app also has the ability to provide ongoing support via imbedded instructional videos and the possibility of remote care with your hearing care professional.
Moxi Blu offers new levels of personalization via the Remote Plus app.
Redesigned on-board control
The button on the device is made 30-60% bigger depending on the RIC model. The intent here is to provide greater tactile feedback allowing for better ease of use. For example, if you suffer from numbness in your fingertips, the bigger button should make it easier to both find and control the hearing aids.
To improve upon comfort and cosmetics, the Moxi Blu RICs have been made slightly slimmer. The reduction is made at the top of the hearing aid and is reduced by approximately 0.8 mm. The redesigned and slimmer case also applies to the Stride power BTEs. This may be not only more cosmetically appealing, but also may be more comfortable than Unitron’s previous power hearing aids– especially for those who wear eyeglasses.
Pros of Moxi Blu
- New functionality with Bluetooth connectivity including an active connection to 2 devices and paring up to 8 devices as well as hands-free functionality.
- New signal processing which may help to improve speech clarity and listening comfort compared to previous generations of Unitron products.
- Tap function has potential to make connectivity features within the hearing aids easier to use.
- Bigger on-board control for better tactile feedback.
- Wide range of power options to accommodate any level of hearing loss.
- More personalization and control available to you via the Remote Plus app.
- FLEX:TRIAL and FLEX:UPGRADE offer a unique opportunity to try the technology before buying and/or to upgrade the same hearing aid after purchase.
Cons of Moxi Blu
- No custom instruments within the Blu line at this time.
- Wearing time on a single charge with the rechargeable battery is good but not as robust as with some other manufacturers. Unitron reports 16-24 hours of use with the 16-hour statistic including up to 8 hours of streaming. 16-24 hours means a full-day’s use should be easily achieved before recharging is required.
- Charger may be cumbersome for some to use when taking hearing aids in/out of cradle.
- Reports of the application frequently losing connection.
- Reports of the double tap not being recognized easily, perhaps, making the feature not useful.
The new Unitron Moxi Blu hearing aid offers several advantages over its predecessor and has some unique qualities not seen with other manufacturers.