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Phonak Expands Its Flagship Lumity Family with Four New Disposable Battery Models

Phonak Audéo L-312, Naída L SP, and Sky LM and SP deliver tailored solutions for people who need or prefer a disposable battery option.

HearingTracker Audiologist Matthew Allsop reviews the latest additions to the Phonak Lumity hearing aid line. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.

Phonak, headquartered in Stafa, Switzerland, with US headquarters in Warrenville, Ill, has unveiled four new hearing aids—all with disposable batteries—to extend its successful flagship Lumity product line. Lumity Audéo was introduced in August 2022 and runs on Phonak’s AutoSense OS™ 5.0, the company’s latest speech enhancement and directional microphone system designed to deliver better speech clarity, especially in background noise.

With today’s announcement, four new hearing aids further fill out the extensive product offerings in the Lumity family with the option of choosing:

  • Audéo L-312: Provides a size 312 disposable battery option for the Audéo receiver-in-canal (RIC) line
  • Naída L SP: Adds a Super Power (SP) size 13 battery version to the Naída behind-the-ear (BTE) line, and
  • Sky LM and SP: Extends the Sky pediatric BTE line with two hearing aids: an M form factor for infants and a Super Power (SP) option, with size 312 and 13 batteries, respectively.

The Lumity hearing aid family provides solutions for a wide range of hearing losses, universal connectivity, and a full range of rechargeable products—now alongside several disposable battery-powered options. The independent HearAdvisor Lab named Audéo Lumity as one of its 2023 Expert Choice Winners, and HearingTracker has recognized it as being one of the best hearing aids for listening in background noise.

Phonak Lumity Rics Btes Slim Ric Hearing Aids

The Phonak Lumity family now includes a comprehensive range of behind-ear products, including the Audéo Lumity receiver-in-canal (RIC) and Naída and Sky behind-the-ear (BTE) models in various power options and form factors, as well as the Phonak Slim RIC.

Phonak reports that its SmartSpeech technology has been proven to enhance speech understanding and reduce listening effort.1-5* Lumity offers personalized control through onboard buttons/switches and via the myPhonak and myPhonak Junior apps. However, the four new hearing aids do not feature an accelerometer for Phonak's motion sensor hearing system, tap controls, or fitness and activity tracking.

Here’s a more detailed look at each of the new hearing aids.

New RIC with disposable battery: Audéo L-312

As a smaller size 312 replaceable battery option wrapped in Audéo’s discreet RIC housing, the L-312 utilizes SmartSpeech technology for better speech understanding and reduced listening effort. According to Phonak, Audéo Lumity features a 30% reduction in service rate compared to Audéo Paradise and offers universal connectivity to most Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Phonak Audeo L 312

Phonak's Audéo L-312 receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid.

The Super Power BTE: Naída L-SP

The Naída Lumity Super Power (L-SP) BTE is designed for individuals with severe hearing loss, uses a size 13 battery, and boasts an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP68—the gold standard for durability and dependability in hearing aids. Featuring universal connectivity, Naída L-SP has been designed to provide unmatched functionality, catering to users searching for advanced hearing solutions.

Phonak Naida L Sp Hearing Aid

Naída Lumity Super Power (L-SP) BTE.

With the integration of Roger™ technology, Naída Lumity enhances hearing in noisy environments and over distances, with a 61% improvement3 in speech understanding during group conversations.** Like a supplementary auditory channel, Roger microphones facilitate easier learning, working, and socializing by directly transmitting the speaker's voice to the wearer's hearing aids. Sonova marketing research shows 90% of Roger users recommend to acquaintances and family members the combination of Phonak hearing aids and Roger technology.6 Like its sister product, the L-Ultra Power (UP), the L-SP offers a telecoil but does not feature tap controls.

New pediatric BTE solutions: Sky LM and SP

Sky Lumity is now available in the M form factor tailored for infants, alongside Phonak’s Super Power (SP) version, complementing the existing Phonak Sky L-PR and L-UP hearing aids. The LM uses a size 312 battery while the L-SP uses a size 13 battery.

Sky Lumity is crafted for children and teens, focusing on optimizing speech comprehension in noisy classroom settings using AutoSense Sky OS 5.0 and SmartSpeech technology. It also emphasizes enhanced connectivity, allowing kids to connect and explore the digital universe seamlessly. When paired with Roger technology, children using Sky hearing aids reportedly experience a 34% improvement in speech understanding compared to using aids alone,7 enabling an additional exposure to 5,300 words daily.8

Phonak Lumity Sky Lm And Sp

Sky LM and SP

The myPhonak Junior app, the industry’s only dedicated pediatric app, interfaces with many Phonak hearing aids. This specialized app for children not only empowers them but also offers parents the ability to track usage time, arrange remote consultations, and implement parental oversight. The app was honored with the 2023 Hearing Technology Innovator Award in the Mobile Apps for Hearing Devices category.

Although rechargeable batteries are convenient and now make up the majority of hearing aid sales, some consumers still prefer the disposable battery option. An informal online poll by audiologist Matthew Allsop showed that about 30% of respondents preferred a non-rechargeable over a rechargeable model (see above video).

There are several reasons for this. Some hearing losses need more power for processing and amplification, and therefore require a larger disposable battery. But hearing aids with disposable batteries can also be vital in remote areas with no power, or provide peace of mind for people who live in regions where power outages frequently occur (e.g., hurricanes, etc.). People who are prone to forgetting to recharge their hearing aids may also like them. Additionally, because lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in hearing aids gradually lose their power capacity over time, just as cell phones do, there is the potential for hearing aids with disposable batteries to have a longer practical service life without refurbishment.

However, rechargeable hearing aids made up 79% of all RIC and BTE-style hearing aids sold in 2021, according to Hearing Industries Association (HIA) statistics. Although they often cost more, rechargeable hearing aids can reliably last a full day, eliminate the need to purchase and replace batteries, pose great benefits for consumers with vision and dexterity problems, and offer a significantly better carbon footprint.

Lumity now available in almost all behind-ear styles and for all use-cases

Phonak introduced its Lumity Audéo product line only 18 months ago, and the Lumity family now encompasses a comprehensive range of styles and applications with its Audéo, Naída, and Sky RICs and BTEs in both rechargeable and disposable battery form factors. These products are applicable for most people with mild-to-severe hearing loss, as well as children and adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Last August, the company added four Lumity models to the Naída BTE and Sky pediatric BTE lines, as well as a CROS / BiCROS RIC option for people with one-sided (unilateral) hearing loss.

So what’s left? Currently, the Phonak Lumity family does not include custom In-the-Ear (ITE) models. Customs are available in the company's Virto Paradise product line, and it stands to reason Virto Lumity could be Phonak's next major product introduction.

Source: Phonak and HearingTracker

References

  1. Appleton, J. (2020). AutoSense OS 4.0 - significantly less listening effort and preferred for speech intelligibility. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence
  2. Latzel, M., & Hobi, S. (2022). ActiveVent™ Receiver provides benefit of open and closed acoustics for better speech understanding in noise and naturalness of own voice perception. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence.
  3. Thibodeau L. M. (2020) Benefits in Speech Recognition in Noise with Remote Wireless Microphones in Group Settings. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31(6), 404–411.
  4. Latzel, M., Lesimple, C., & Woodward, J. (2022). New implementation of directional beamforming configurations show improved speech understanding and reduced listening effort. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence
  5. Latzel, M., Lesimple, C., & Woodward, J. (2023). Speech Enhancer significantly reduces listening effort and increases intelligibility for speech from a distance. Phonak Field Study News. https://www.phonak.com/evidence 
  6. Sonova proprietary research. (2019). Project ID #1299. Please contact marketinsight@phonak.com if you are interested in further information.
  7. Wolfe, J., Neumann, S., Schafer, E., Towler, W., Miller, S., Dunn, A., Jones, C., Nelson, J. (2021). Evaluation of a Dual Adaptive Remote Microphone System. Journal of Educational, Pediatric & (Re)Habilitative Audiology (JEPRA), Vol. 25, 2021-2027
  8. Benitez-Barrera, C.R, Angley G.P., & Tharpe, A.M. (2018). Remote microphone system use at home: Impact on caregiver talk. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, Vol. 61, 399-409.

* For adults with moderate to severe hearing loss

** In loud noise compared to hearing aids alone

Karl

Editor in Chief

Karl Strom is the Editor in Chief of HearingTracker. He has been covering the hearing aid industry for over 30 years.