Widex MOMENT Review
Widex MOMENT is the latest Bluetooth-connected hearing aid from Danish hearing aid manufacturer Widex. Aimed at providing the very best in sound quality in a small and light package, MOMENT delivers a number of upgrades from its predecessor, EVOKE. I spent the last two weeks wearing MOMENT and I’m ready to share my personal experiences, feature highlights, pros and cons, and buying recommendations.
What stood out for me when testing the MOMENT hearing aids was their fantastic music playback and sound quality. Unlike many other hearing devices—which at times lack warmth, richness, and clarity—MOMENT provided an immersive experience almost comparable to listening with high-quality wireless earbuds.
There are four different levels of technology available for each model in the MOMENT line: “440” (highest technology and highest cost), “330”, “220”, and “110” (lowest technology and lowest cost). Levels of technology are used to distinguish between certain feature offerings; higher technology levels offer more programs, better performance in noise, and better streaming connectivity. Notably, Widex’s innovative SoundSense Learn artificial intelligence technology is included in all but the entry level 110 devices.
SoundSense Learn is an artificial intelligence technology that helps you better tailor your hearing aids to your unique listening situations. In challenging listening situations, you are able to start up the MOMENT smartphone app, compare different sound profiles, and follow the steps to select which profile sounds best for that particular listening environment. Widex claims that SoundSense Learn improves both sound quality and listening comfort. In my time wearing the MOMENT aids, I was satisfied with the sound quality and amplification, so didn’t fully test out these features.
MOMENT boasts a new feature called PureSound™, which Widex claims delivers a more natural sound than ever before. Widex describes PureSound as “an industry defining, ultrafast signal pathway that eradicates the unpleasant artefacts inherent in classic hearing solutions.” PureSound is related to another new feature, ZeroDelay™, which enables near-0ms sound processing across the entire frequency spectrum, also allowing for a more authentic listening experience.
When using the PureSound™ program I found that my own voice sounded more natural than it has with other hearing aids. New hearing aid users often complain of their own voice sounding unnatural, which can often be attributed to the delay, amplification, and echo introduced by hearing aids. However, from my experience I found the PureSound™ program to be quite pleasant.
For me personally, one of the main benefits of hearing aids for music playback over other bluetooth headsets, is their ability to pass-through ambient sound. This is especially important when you're going for walks, runs, or even bike rides as it helps you to keep track of your surroundings while still enjoying your music. I have also found it extremely enjoyable being able to do the dishes or listen to music, and still know when others are talking to me. If you want to enjoy music, hear well, and maintain environmental awareness, the MOMENT hearing aids are worth considering.
My video review
The Widex Moment hearing aids have been my go to for all day music and podcast listening. Their great music sound profile allows you to enjoy your music whilst being aware of your surroundings. If their charger and COMDEX app were just better these would be my perfect pair of hearing aids.
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Comfort and design
The MOMENT hearing aids are small, discreet, and simple to manually adjust. The single button makes for easy program switching and the variety of dome options available ensures a personalized fit for your ear. For my ears, I would rate these devices an 8/10 for comfort.
The MOMENT receiver wire is delicate and I found that even after a few minutes (especially when streaming music) I forgot they were there. Comparatively, the Starkey Livio Edge Ai hearing aids have a much stiffer receiver wire, which I found to be less comfortable. However, their rigidity may make it easier for individuals with dexterity challenges to insert.
As mentioned before, program switching can be controlled on the MOMENT devices with the single button on top, making it easy and convenient to change when moving between listening environments (eg. Restaurant, Music, Zen, etc.). Additionally, volume and program settings can also easily adjusted in the Widex MOMENT App.
In terms of size, MOMENT is similar to the Livio Edge, but smaller than the Phonak Paradise, which may be a benefit if you are looking for a more discreet option. The Styletto X from Signia is longer and thinner than the others and they do look quite sleek. From my experience the extra length can be helpful when putting the hearing aid on, giving a bit more material to grab on to.
Starkey Livio, Widex MOMENT, Phonak Paradise, and Signia Styletto X.
MOMENT comes with several speaker (aka “receiver”) dome options ranging from open to fully or partially occluding. Depending on your type and degree of hearing loss, your audiologist will select the most appropriate option. Generally, the more severe the loss, the more occluding the dome will have to be. If you’re looking at getting better music playback quality, you may want to ask about additional dome options (more occluding), but be sure to discuss this with your audiologist, as you’ll need a special listening program when using different domes.
Image via HAB Hearing
The streaming quality is somewhat limited on its own, but it vastly improves with the use of a COM-DEX device. The MOMENT app is also essential for functions such as adjusting the volume and customizing your listening profile.
MOMENT streams audio direct from iPhone (and other iOS devices) without any additional accessories. Most modern hearing aids are iPhone compatible, allowing for this type of connectivity. I have however found that the connection with older devices (e.g. iPhone 6s) has been less stable, with regular drop outs during streaming. This was especially noticeable during walks or runs where music would cut in and out. If you have an older iPhone (6s or earlier), you should consider picking up the COMDEX accessory for stable connectivity.
The MOMENT mRiC and the RiC 312D are “Ready for Android,” meaning that once Android software allows for direct streaming, these hearing aids will be capable of connecting.
Like most other Made-For-iPhone hearing aids, MOMENT does not provide true hands-free calling. Your iPhone microphone needs to be close by during calls, or the caller will not hear your voice. A separate accessory, the COM-DEX (discussed below), is required for truly hands-free calling when using the MOMENT aids. The Marvel and Paradise hearing aid families are currently the only hearing aids that allow you to use the onboard mics to speak during calls.
MOMENT is compatible with COM-DEX, a wireless accessory that allows you to stream directly from your phone, computer, or tablet. All MOMENT hearing aids can be used with the COM-DEX. This does mean having to purchase an additional device that you wear around your neck. However, this product enables you to connect two Bluetooth devices to your hearing aids at once, such as your laptop and your phone. It also has a very stable and clear microphone pickup, allowing for true hands-free calling.
While the COM-DEX does allow your hearing aids to connect to your computer, the added benefit of the microphone in the device is lost with Windows computers, as they do not allow both Bluetooth microphones and headphones to be used simultaneously. This is not an issue with Apple computers, as their software supports using the built-in COM-DEX microphone.
While the COM-DEX is not required for streaming from an iPhone, it still improves the reliability of the connection enough that it is worth purchasing. The device does come at an extra $300-400 which can be a bit pricey on top of the hearing aids themselves, but in my opinion, with the built-in mic allowing for true hands-free calling, and added connectivity to other devices such as your computer and Bluetooth connected TV, it is a worthwhile purchase.
Widex MOMENT App
The MOMENT app is the same for both iOS and Android devices. It has some beneficial controls for adjusting the volume and sound settings of your hearing aids and also serves as the control center for SoundSense Learn optimizations.
With regards to streaming, the MOMENT app also allows you to control the volume of the content you stream with the phone volume buttons. Unfortunately, you cannot set a preset volume for when you start streaming audio to your devices. So this means you may need to adjust the volume each time you begin streaming to get to your desired volume.
The WIDEX MOMENT App allows you to personalize your listening experience by adjusting the volume, pitch, and directional focus of your hearing aids. The app allows you to create custom programs and use SoundSense Learn AI technology.
Compatible hearing aids:
The COM-DEX app is fairly limited in functionality when compared with the MOMENT app. You can turn the hearing aid surroundings setting on and off, but not fine-tune it. This means you have no control over how much surrounding sounds are being picked up. The COM-DEX accessory cannot be controlled through the MOMENT app, which means you’ll need both apps on your phone to control both the MOMENT hearing devices and the COM-DEX accessory.
The MOMENT mRIC boasts around 16 hours of continuous use time with streaming and 20 hours without. A half-hour quick charge will provide an extra four hours use time, which is especially useful for times when you may have forgotten to plug in your devices at night. It takes around four hours to fully charge these hearing aids which is comparable to most other rechargeable options from other companies.
The mRiC uses induction charging, a unique feature within the hearing aid industry. This means that there is no need to worry that the hearing aids are touching the charging contacts properly. The design of the case is also very open, which makes it easy to pop the hearing aids into the charging dock. The charger for these devices are ideal for someone who puts in their hearing aids in the morning and takes them off at night to charge on your nightstand. As long as you follow this routine, there should be no issues with battery life.
The mRiC R D model is currently the only rechargeable model in the MOMENT family. The other two RIC (receiver in canal) models, the RIC 312 D and the RIC 10, along with all three CIC (completely in canal) models, all work with disposable batteries.
There are a few drawbacks to the MOMENT’s rechargeable option (mRIC R D). First, there are no magnets to secure the aids in place. This is unfortunate, as I have seen them fly out before when the case is bumped or knocked. Phonak, Starkey, and Signia have all incorporated magnets or some securing mechanism to prevent this from happening. There’s also no lid on the charging station, making it inconvenient to carry around (important consideration for frequent travelers).
Another drawback to the charging dock is that it doesn’t have an onboard battery. This means it won’t charge up your hearing aids without a direct connection to an outlet. The hearing aids power off when placed in the charger, but won’t turn off automatically if the charger isn’t plugged into an outlet. This means, you’ll want to manually power down your hearing aids (when an outlet isn’t handy). And if you live in a place with frequent power outages (which I discuss at 9:01), getting a power bank may be a necessary accessory to avoid waking up to dead hearing aids in the morning.
Some companies, like Starkey, have gyroscopes that allow their hearing aids to automatically switch off after being placed on a table for 15 minutes. The Signia Styletto X case is my current favorite, for its portability, inclusion of an internal battery, magnet, and a secure clasp, all absent in the Widex charger. Their case is very similar to that of Apple’s Airpods, making them ideal for frequent travelers or individuals who need to remove them throughout the day (eg. to use power tools).
Telehealth - Widex REMOTE LINK
As in-person appointments have become much more challenging during the last few months due to COVID-19 restrictions, Widex has expanded their remote programming capabilities. Remote programming, otherwise known as telehealth, is the ability for your audiologist to remotely and settings in the hearing aid whilst you are in the comfort of your own home.
Widex has introduced their REMOTE LINK accessory and, if purchased, can allow your audiologist to remotely make almost all the same software adjustments they could in person. We have seen several audiologists deliver REMOTE LINK devices to their client’s to enable this feature. To enable the use of the Remote Link accessory you will need to download the REMOTE CARE app which enables both adjustments as well as real time video calls with your audiologist (see iPhone and Android compatibility here). Especially during this period where lockdown restrictions and health and safety concerns are a reality, features like Remote Care are ever more important.
Through additional settings, clinicians can remotely add new programs, adjust volume, detect faults and much more. A unique feature in Widex’s remote care option includes the ability to monitor feedback (aka whistling) within the hearing aids. If you have ever tried hearing aids before, you know how annoying it is when they just screech all the time. This can help out with that.
Widex REMOTE LINK in action.
In summary, the Widex MOMENTs are great “set and forget” hearing aids. Their fantastic automatic program switching, sleek design, comfort, and superior sound quality make for stellar devices you won’t even notice you’re wearing! In my opinion, if the charging case was better and connectivity was improved, these would be my go to hearing aids.