by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Ear Technology Inc. has done it again! “Done what?” you ask. They’ve come up with another cool product. You probably first knew them for their Cadillac of hearing aid drying and disinfecting systems—the Dry & Store. Then about 3 or 4 years ago they designed their unique TransEar BTE bone conduction hearing aid for people with single-sided deafness. The TransEar uses a special ear mold as the bone conductor.
Now they’ve come up with a new concept in hearing aid programming and design—what they call the Clik system—where all the programming is done with the click of a button on the hearing aid itself. There is no need for computers, programming interface boxes, etc.
What this means is that instead of programming this hearing aid in the sterile, quiet environment of your audiologist’s office, you can both step out into the street and program it right there for those exact noisy listening conditions.
What’s even cooler, is that if you are a savvy hearing aid wearer, you can program this hearing aid yourself. (Your audiologist will have to show you the programming “trick” first.) This means you can program/tweak the Clik hearing aid in your home, or office, or wherever you typically spend your time in order to get optimal hearing with it under real-life conditions.
The Clik hearing aid is specifically designed for the millions of people who have the typical mild to moderate ski-slope (high-frequency) hearing loss. It comes with 5 algorithms pre-programmed for quiet environments, and another 5 algorithms for noisy situations.
In addition, the Clik hearing aid comes with not one, but two t-coils—something I’ve been wanting for years. One t-coil is vertically polarized for use with telephones and neckloops, and the other t-coil is horizontally polarized for use with room loops. That way you almost always get optimal coupling with any magnetic induction device. Furthermore, the hearing aid automatically uses the t-coil with the louder signal—you don’t have to fool around switching between them.
The Clik hearing aid is simple to use. One button controls the volume. The second button controls its three memories—one for quiet, one for noise, and the third for t-coil use.
I love their sense of humor. Instead of one beep for memory one, two beeps for memory two etc., they give you the typical sounds for which these various memories are used. Thus for the noise setting you hear a short burst of (white) noise. When switching into the t-coil mode, you momentarily hear a dial tone. Cool, huh? (For the quiet setting, since you can’t hear “quiet”, it has to beep to let you know you are in that memory.)
You have full control over the volume—you set it to what is comfortable for you. Its 8 channel wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) keeps loud sounds from becoming too loud while at the same time amplifying softer sounds so you can hear them.
Like most new hearing aids, it has adaptive feedback cancellation so it won’t “squeal” in your ear. It also uses directional microphones and incorporates noise reduction technology to reduce the background sounds that make it so hard to understand speech in noise.
Another cool feature is that it functions as either an open fit aid for those with mild to moderate losses, or as a regular aid with an ear mold for those with more severe hearing losses.
Oh, yes, before I forget, the Clik hearing aid doesn’t cost an arm and a leg—an arm maybe, but definitely not the leg!
For more information on this neat new hearing aid, talk to your audiologist, or check out the Clik web site.