How Signia Created the Most Reliable ITE Solution
When designing a hearing aid, customer satisfaction is the primary goal. Size, wearer comfort, and audio streaming are three of the deciding factors when patients consider ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aids. Signia focused on these aspects to create the most reliable ITE solution, and here’s how.
ITE hearing aids offer an ultra-compact design that is both discreet and easily controlled. However, ITE options come with a number of unique challenges. They also require specific studies to judge their effectiveness. In such studies, customers gauge how comfortable they are with the Signia option – the new Insio™ Nx ITE and ITC (in-the-canal) devices – compared to competitor options.
Many aspects of the hearing aid are tested, from their size and appearance to how well they work. Customer comfort is also judged according to both short-term and long-term wear. If the hearing aid passes all the given tests, they are trial-approved. Signia’s Insio Nx ITCs and ITEs are the most reliable options available, achieved through rigorous testing and improvement.
Test Results: Size
For those with hearing loss, a large hearing aid may clash with their self-image, and they may find the appearance unattractive. This can lead to lower scores overall, regardless of how well the hearing aid works. The first portion of the study asked participants to rate the devices on a cosmetic scale.
Participants were asked how the hearing aid looked in their ears. Both Insio Nx and the competitor received results that averaged between “good” and “acceptable.” There was no clear preference for one or the other, and both were given positive ratings.
Test Results: Comfort
Hard of hearing users may have to wear their hearing aids for long periods of time. For this reason, the hearing aid needs to be comfortable enough to wear over both short-term and long-term periods.
When asked if the hearing aid caused painful pressure in their ears, all participants told researchers that the Signia hearing aid gave them no pain. Nearly all the respondents rated the Signia Insio Nx hearing aid as “comfortable,” whereas the alternative received mixed results. Both passed the test, with a slight preference for Signia being shown.
Test Results: Audio Streaming
Bluetooth® enables patients to use their hearing aids with their phones, televisions, and microphone accessories. The connectivity allows for wireless streaming and communication, which is a popular feature in the current market.
The quality of the hearing aids’ audio streaming feature was tested in the final stage. When the stream quality was judged, almost all the participants gave Signia’s Insio Nx a “good” rating. The competitor received mixed responses, with the general consensus being that the stream quality was “acceptable.”
During the robustness section of the test, none of the participants rated the Signia hearing aid below “acceptable,” whereas the overall rating for the competitor was “poor.” The end results suggested Signia’s Insio Nx was the better option. Subject commentary included several comments about Signia having “better sound quality” than the alternative.
How We Developed the Most Reliable ITE Solution
Innovation is part of developing hearing aids, and Signia has made many changes over the years. Because of these improvements, our ITE solutions are best-in-class.
We accomplished this by adjusting where and how we integrated the Bluetooth antenna. Placement of the antenna plays a large part in how the hearing aid looks and functions.
An external, projecting antenna can ruin the look of a hearing aid and make it unattractive to wearers. However, tucking the antenna too far into the device can block Bluetooth transmissions and cause the sound quality to plummet.
Signia developed a middle ground to solve this issue entirely.
By placing the Bluetooth antenna on the faceplate of the Insio Nx hearing aid, we’ve managed to improve transmission quality without forfeiting aesthetic design. The antenna is coated in the same color as the faceplate, allowing it to fit in nicely with the faceplate design. This solution allows Bluetooth to work at full capability, without interfering with the overall appearance of the hearing aid.
Find out more about Insio Nx: pro.signiausa.com/signia-hearing-product-portfolio/signia-nx/insionx-bluetooth.