Signia Styletto X - Hearing Aid Review
Over 130 hours with Signia's new flagship
01 December 2020
The Styletto X hearing aids are Signia’s third generation offering in their Styletto line. Aimed at packing the latest in hearing technology in a sleek and slim design, their look, feel, and functions are a far cry from the traditional “big beige banana” we have all grown to LOVE hate! In spite of a number of shortfalls, the new design, Apple AirPod-like charging case and music customizability makes it a fantastic option for anyone looking for a portable and modern hearing aid.
My complete review of the new Signia Styletto X hearing aids. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions by clicking on the three small dots.
My Top 3 Features
Three generations after the launch of the Styletto line, Signia has continued to refine their design, making a device which not only looks and feels good, but has the performance and features that rivals competitors. One of the benefits of this longer and skinnier design is that it can be easier for people with dexterity issues to use, providing more material to grip onto. An additional feature available in this new model, which was absent in the second generation, is the use of interchangeable speakers (aka “receivers”). This means the new Stylettos are suitable for a wider range of hearing losses.
Accompanying this modern hearing aid is one of the smallest and, in my opinion, best designed cases on the market. Closely resembling the Apple AirPods’ case, the Styletto X case has a secure lid, magnets to hold your hearing aids in place, internal batteries, and USB-C/wireless charging. From my experience, for someone who frequently travels or needs to take off their hearing aids often (working with power tools, etc.), this is a fantastic option. Other cases currently on the market are much bulkier and often do not include an internal battery, requiring you to be plugged directly into the wall.
The Styletto X case has a secure lid, magnets to hold your hearing aids in place, internal batteries, and USB-C/wireless charging.
The only limitation with the sleek case design though, is it can only fit domes or small earmolds. This means that if your hearing loss requires a full earmold, it may not fit, so you may need to look at other options or consult your audiologist. Although the charging case does include wireless charging, it has not been reliable for me and I would highly recommend using wired USB-C charging instead.
For those of you who love music and want the best in audio quality straight out of the box, the Stylettos fall short. However, that being said, one fantastic feature built into Signia’s professional software is the ability to set a universal streaming equaliser. This means if music is a priority for you and you’re willing to spend a bit of time with your audiologist tweaking the settings, these can be tuned to your liking. I have found that the Signia’s lack bass but have good clarity in the mids and highs. I do have to say though, even after tuning, they still don’t sound as good as Widex’s MOMENT or Phonak’s Paradise music playback out of the box.
In one of my latest Hearing Tech News videos, I explain how to fix tinny-sounding music on Signia Styletto X hearing aids. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions by clicking on the three small dots.
The Stylettos offer direct connectivity for most iPhone models, but require an additional accessory for Android streaming. Hands-free calling is only possible with the Streamline Mic accessory as well. Overall, the Stylettos provide fairly standard streaming options at this point in time. There is little extra to note on the superiority compared to other models.
The Styletto X devices are compatible with iPhones 5 and later, allowing direct music and call streaming to the hearing aids without an additional accessory. Like most other hearing aids (besides Phonak Marvel/Paradise), phone calls use the iPhone’s microphone to pick up your voice whilst streaming the other person’s voice directly to your hearing aids. This means you will have to keep your phone close when taking calls.
No direct audio streaming capabilities are currently available for Android through Signia devices. You need a companion device like the Streamline Mic for this purpose. Only Phonak’s Audeo Marvel and Paradise devices currently have direct audio streaming for all Bluetooth devices.
The Signia Streamline Mic works as a remote control, remote microphone and Bluetooth streamer for your Signia Nx or X hearing aids. Watch this video to find out how to connect and use this device. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions by clicking on the three small dots.
Comfort and Ease of Use
From my experience, the Stylettos were comfortable and easy to put on with a long body and firm speaker wire. They weren’t as comfortable as the Widex MOMENT which had a more delicate wire (see my review), but were more comfortable than the Starkey Livio Edge AI which were much stiffer. If you have troubles with insertion, the extra rigidity of the Signia’s over the Widex’s may help you out. Another point of contention may be with the device case itself, as it is more finicky to manage in comparison to other models, such as the Starkey case.
Speaker Dome Options
Signia has a range of dome options ranging from open to occluding. Depending on the severity and type of hearing loss you have, your audiologist will suggest one that will work best for you. I felt the open domes were not as comfortable as Widex’s offering, which were much softer. Their open sleeves were pretty comfortable but, once again, I preferred the Widex Tulip domes for their additional comfort. I felt like the hard click mechanism on the tip of the domes were irritating in the ear canal and caused some discomfort. However, after a few weeks of wearing these, experiencing this sensation did go away.
Signia Styletto X dome options
The Signia app is available for both iPhone and Android and allows you to control settings like volume, program switching, directionality, and sound balance. Signia has also recently updated their app with a new mask mode and Signia Assistant to provide additional help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearing aids can be controlled with or without Bluetooth connectivity, however the new mask mode and Signia Assistant is only available when using Bluetooth. One of the benefits of this app system is that almost any iPhone or Android device can control Signia devices.
Here's my Hearing Tech News tutorial on how to use the new Signia App. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions by clicking on the three small dots.
The Styletto X hearing aids are only available in a rechargeable option. A 3 hour charge boasts 19 hours (No streaming) of runtime or 16 hours (with streaming). Signia also claims 30 minutes of charging will provide up to 5 hours of runtime which can be especially helpful in a pinch. Fully charged, the case can recharge the hearing aids 3 times which is a great feature if you wanted to go on short road trips without your charger.
- Not the most comfortable eartips/domes
- Longer body may be more noticeable
- Requires a Streamline Mic for streaming music to Android Phones and other non-Apple devices. Streamline Mic stability varies.
- If you do have dexterity problems, the charging case may be harder to manage compared to something like a Starkey Livio Edge AI case.
Own Voice Processing
For first time users of hearing aids or Signia devices specifically, the sound of your own voice can sound quite abnormal at first. If you do go into an audiologist to get the Stylettos (or any Signia device) fit, ask them to run Own Voice Processing, the process where the software analyses your “own voice” and tries to reduce its amplification. My grandma, who is currently using a Signia Styletto Connect (Last generation Styletto), reports it significantly helps reduce the sound of her own voice.
Adaptive Media Playback
Signia’s hearing aids have a feature where it increases and decreases the volume of music or videos being streamed to the hearing aids depending on the amount of ambient sound. For me personally, I found this really annoying as the volume would fluctuate when I was walking and wind blew over the microphones. Additionally, the volume would also fluctuate if I talked or sang too loud.
If you’re looking for a modern hearing aid that works well and looks good, and portability is a priority for you, I would highly recommend testing out the Signia Styletto X at your local audiologist.