Advertisement
ReSound image
Advertisement
ReSound image

ReSound Introduces Nexia Hearing Aids: A New Premium Line with Advanced Features and Auracast

Nexia is ReSound's new flagship hearing aid line offering advanced hearing-in-noise processing, AuracastTM broadcast audio technology, CROS/BiCROS capabilities, and a new patient acclimation system. A new Auracast-ready TV Streamer+ is also offered.

In this video, HearingTracker Audiologist Matthew Allsop provides an overview and his perspectives on the new ReSound Nexia 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.

ReSound announced today its new premium line of hearing aids, ReSound Nexia, that offers improved hearing-in-noise and runs on the latest Bluetooth® LE audio streaming standard, allowing for reception of Auracast™ broadcast audio technology—a first for hearing aids—which will give people new streaming and communication opportunities in public places such as theaters, airports, restaurants, and arenas.

ReSound Nexia initially consists of four new Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) models, including a rechargeable Micro RIE that is 25% smaller than the company's standard RIE. This tiny device also contains an accelerometer that enables tap controls for hands-free audio streaming with iPhones and iPads. Created for mild-to-profound hearing losses, the Micro RIE is easy to use, top-rated by users for hearing in noise, and offers powerful performance without compromising features, functions, or battery life, says the company.

A second version of the Micro RIE doubles as a CROS/BiCROS solution —a welcomed addition for people with unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss, and a highly requested option by hearing care professionals. The two other RIEs are slightly larger with size 312 and 13 batteries (the RIE 13 model provides a telecoil option).

Resound is also launching its new TV-Steamer+, which is also Auracast-ready, designed to give people with hearing loss immediate speech clarity at their preferred TV volumes.

Resound Tv Streamer

The new ReSound TV-Streamer+ can be used to receive streamed audio from a TV to Nexia hearing aids, but within the app will also eventually be able to work in Auracast broadcast mode as a transmitter.

The new Nexia hearing aids and TV-Streamer+ will be rolled out globally, starting in the United States, on October 12 along with the equivalent Beltone Serene product line.

Building on a winning design

ReSound Nexia builds on the successful technology found in the company’s previous flagship product line, ReSound OMNIA, which was introduced only last August. Nexia features the company’s signature combination of a 4-microphone binaural beamformer and omnidirectional listening system designed to automatically improve speech understanding from all directions.

Nexia will initially be available in four RIE models:

  • Nexia Micro RIE: Rechargeable, push-button and tap controls, no telecoil, compatible with Cochlear™ Nucleus® sound processors
  • Nexia Micro RIE CROS: Rechargeable, push-button, no telecoil
  • Nexia RIE 312: Disposable Size 312 battery, push-button, no telecoil
  • Nexia RIE 13: Disposable Size 13 battery, push-button, telecoil

All models can be controlled with push buttons or via the ReSound Smart 3D™ app. Each has 4 possible programs, comes in 8 different colors, and has the highest possible moisture and debris rating (IP68) for hearing aids.

Although it uses essentially the same chip platform as OMNIA, Nexia employs an accelerometer for tap controls and presumably for its new listening-in-noise benefits. Nexia also carries forward OMNIA’s trademark technologies like 360 All-Around Directionality, the unique M&RIE receiver (third microphone) technology option, and the Check My Fit app feature.

A new acclimation system has been included in the ReSound Smart Fit™ fitting software to assist hearing providers in easing users into amplification and increase acceptance rates. This includes “First Time User Onboarding” for initial sound comfort and adaptation to hearing amplification.

A ReSound study reports that 89% of users recommend Nexia for hearing in noise over legacy technology, and Nexia increased user satisfaction and fit acceptance by 50% and 48%, respectively.

Scott Davis, president of GN North America who will soon be heading up GN’s global hearing aid division, points to OMNIA as a significant factor in the company’s recent market gains and strong earnings. He also notes that persistently ranking atop consumers’ Google searches for hearing aids are the words “small,” “invisible,” and “discreet.” Davis believes innovations in advanced audio processing, miniaturization, and possibly the public’s increased recognition of hearing loss as an important cognitive and physical health issue are driving both ReSound and industry sales.

Scott Davis Gn

Scott Davis.

“Of course, we based Nexia on all the great things we've done in previous generations leading up to OMNIA, especially concerning speech understanding in noise—because we know from all the market studies that's the number-one desired hearing aid attribute,” he told HearingTracker. “Obviously, that’s very important. And what I get excited about is we’ve now made this technology 25% smaller thanks to a lot of clever engineering from our R&D team.

“Beyond that, we also have a new first-time user setting,” continued Davis. “From MarkeTrak, we know more people are starting their hearing journey earlier, so [by implementing the new acclimation system into our fitting software] we're now able to ease them into hearing aid use more effectively. We’ve also included an accelerometer into our super-small size RIE without losing any battery life, so now you just tap the hearing aid and it answers the phone for you…We’ve also added our first CROS/BiCROS product to our portfolio to help people with single-sided deafness. And perhaps what's most amazing is Nexia’s use of Bluetooth LE audio and Auracast.”

Hearing aids and TV Streamer+ with Auracast

Although it’s sure to be joined shortly by competitors, HearingTracker believes Nexia is the first Auracast-ready hearing aid released by a global hearing aid manufacturer—roughly 10 years after ReSound was the first to introduce Made-For-iPhone (MFi) in its LiNX hearing aids.

According to GN Chief Audiologist Laurel Christensen, PhD, the central focus of OMNIA was hearing in noise, and Nexia follows that up with the Bluetooth LE and Auracast broadcast audio technology. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of new technology [introduced in Nexia], but I look at Nexia as taking the next big step for moving into next-generation connectivity,” she says. “And why not us? I mean, we were the first to market with an MFi hearing aid, we were the first with 2.4 GHz, so we should also be the leader in this next generation of connectivity.”

Laurel Christensen Gn Resound

Laurel Christensen, PhD

Think of Auracast as an invisible PA system on steroids; it is widely anticipated to become the new “standard” for audio accessibility, giving theaters, places of worship, airports, bars/restaurants, and arenas new streaming and communication capabilities, gradually replacing telecoils and loop systems. With Auracast, these places will be able to use an audio transmitter, like a smartphone, laptop, television, or public address (PA) system, to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, hearables, earbuds, or any other Auracast-enabled audio device.

Just as you can select an available WiFi network for your phone today, you’ll soon be able to find Auracast networks on a smartphone menu. Christensen says that the TV-Streamer+ can be used to stream audio, but within the app, there will also be a broadcast mode so it can broadcast on low energy and the new codec. “It’s not a public transmitter today, but could easily become a public transmitter in the future,” she says, adding that the Bluetooth SIG Group will demonstrate Auracast-enabled hearing aids and devices at the October EUHA Congress in Germany.

Auracast could revolutionize not just hearing aids but all audio devices—and it's coming fast. In late August, Samsung announced that Galaxy Buds2 Pro and Samsung Smart TVs will allow for Auracast broadcasts, and the Samsung S23 phone is said to be Auracast enabled. Nexum is now marketing its VOCE Auracast transmitter/receiver, a device that wirelessly connects to as many as 1,000 receivers at a range of nearly 100 feet.

Davis points out that it all started in the comparatively small hearing industry, because the new Bluetooth LE standard originated as a low-latency, low-power power system to solve hearing aid transmission problems.

Tiny but powerful and long-lasting technology

GN recently conducted a survey that shows, on average, 1-in-3 hearing aid wearers make excuses not to go out because noisy environments negatively impact their enjoyment; many would prefer to stay home instead.1 According to ReSound, Nexia is top-rated for hearing in noise,2 delivers exceptional speech understanding in noise,3 and offers industry-leading access to and awareness of surrounding sounds.4

“ReSound Nexia represents a significant leap forward in hearing aid technology,” says Davis. “We know that 4-in-5 people change how and where they socialize to accommodate changes to their hearing. We want people to feel confident in noisy environments again. By delivering top-rated hearing in noise and supporting the incredible streaming capabilities of Auracast broadcast audio, ReSound Nexia will redefine the hearing aid experience and empower users to fully engage with the world around them.”

Hearing aid manufacturers sometimes sacrifice battery life to get a smaller device, but it doesn’t appear to be that way with Nexia. Although it depends on the wearer’s hearing loss and usage, Nexia reportedly offers 24 hours of typical use on one charge or 20 hours when streaming 50% of the time across all styles. The Micro RIE can provide a maximum of 30 hours of use on one charge, and it offers the option of three different chargers.

Resound Nexia Micro Rie Size Comparison

The miniaturized design of the powerful ReSound Nexia Micro RIE is 25% smaller than the standard RIE.

Nexia CROS: A welcomed addition to the ReSound product line

The Nexia Micro RIE CROS system fills what had been a hole in ReSound’s product lineup and represents a product some hearing care professionals were eagerly awaiting.

CROS (Contralateral Routing Of Signals) is a type of hearing aid system designed for people with unaidable hearing loss or deafness in only one ear. A CROS system typically consists of two hearing aids—one to pick up sound from the deaf ear and send it to the better ear (i.e., a transmitter) and one to play back the sound received from the deaf ear. When the better ear also has hearing loss, sound from both ears is amplified by the receiving hearing aid, and this is referred to as a BiCROS system.

“The CROS transmitter is essentially the same technology and form factor as the Micro RIE, so this will be the smallest CROS/BiCROS system on the market,” says Christensen. “We're very excited to be offering a tiny CROS hearing aid that sounds phenomenal.”

For more details on Nexia, please visit the ReSound website.

References

  1. GN Hearing international survey (n=14,000) (2023), more information available on request
  2. Compared to legacy technology. End-user NPS rating, data on file
  3. Jespersen & Groth (2022)
  4. Groth et al (2023)

* “Receiver-in-Ear” (RIE) is the term ReSound uses for what some companies refer to as Reciever-in-Canal (RIC) or Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) style hearing aids.

Karl

Editor in Chief

Karl Strom is the editor-in-chief of HearingTracker. He was a founding editor of The Hearing Review and has covered the hearing aid industry for over 30 years.