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Widex Hearing Aids

Widex have just launched their latest hearing aids, the Unique range. They heave designed the new platform to be amazingly adaptive for all situations, even the ones that the most active of us might find ourselves in. They say that these are the best that they have ever produced, which is a big claim from one of the best hearing aid manufacturers in the business.

Unique 440

The Widex Unique 440 is the flagship hearing aid in Widex's new "Unique" range. We are very impressed with what we have seen of this hearing aid so far and this current range improves on the now obsolete Dream range in all aspects. We have been fitting it for a while now and we are getting outstanding feedback from our customers.

As you would expect, Widex have produced an excellent range of hearing aids, with a number of features not available in any other hearing aid. Widex hearing aids are already known for their own unique sound, now combined with some ground breaking features we think that they can justify calling the product "Unique".

Main features

Sound Processing

The Unique 440 uses Widex's new U-platform chip which processes sounds across 15 channels. 15 channels is typical of all Widex top of the range aids. What is different for Widex though is the use of "Sound Class Technology", the hearing aid classifies what kind of sound environment you are currently in out of a choice of nine possible environments that are programmed in. It then adjusts the sound accordingly to maximise your ability to hear speech sounds clearly. The 440 has the most channels in the range and also has a "High Frequency Boost" feature that isn't available in the lower models to give additional clarity when needed.

Background noise reduction

All manufacturers have good background noise reduction features as standard these days. However, Widex have introduced a new feature that has extra emphasis on reducing softer, low level background noise that may be annoying. Widex have always put great emphasis on soft sound inputs because they believe that soft sounds in speech are very important for understanding. However, there are soft input sounds that you just don't want to or need to hear, like a computer fan or the noise of a fridge.

Wider dynamic range of hearing

Widex have also introduced a wider dynamic range of hearing to the Unique so you can hear more than ever. What this means is that most hearing aids take a range of sounds from quiet to loud and compress them into what hearing you have remaining to provide you with the full range of sounds for you to hear. They often ignore the very softest sounds and don't process louder sounds very well. What the Widex Unique hearing aids are doing is extending that range slightly so that very very quiet sounds (5dB) that aren't picked up by normal hearing aids will now be processed enabling you to hear the low sounds that most hearing aids ignore.

Connectivity

For communicating with other devices there is the COM-DEX accessory, which is a bluetooth enabled pendant you hang around your neck. This will pair to your phone so that you can stream audio to your hearing aids from your phone, via the COM-DEX. You can also download an app for your smartphone (Apple or Android) which lets you use it to remotely control the hearing aids. Also available are the usual range of extra accessories for TV or audio equipment streaming.

Tinnitus management

Nearly all modern Widex aids have the option to use Zen tones, Zen is a proprietary feature belonged to Widex that will help to reduce the effects of tinnitus. For tinnitus sufferers these predictable yet non-repetitive sounds are used in combination with counselling and relaxation techniques to deliver tinnitus relief as a part of a tinnitus management programme.

Unique 330

The Widex Unique 330 is the second to top aid in the new "Unique" range from Widex. They have delivered a very strong range at this price point, while retaining some of the better features.

Main features

Sound Processing

As is normal with Widex, the Unique 330 is a 10 channel aid utilising Widex's U-platform chip that the whole Unique range are built on. The 330 uses the new Sound Class Technology feature but the aids are restricted to five possible environmental types, again, the aim is to always maximise speech sounds when they are present and comfort when they are not.

Background noise reduction

The noise reduction in the Unique 330 is excellent and is suitable for all but the noisiest environments. However if you are really active with lots of exposure to quite noisy environments then you might want to think about the Unique 440.

Wider dynamic range of hearing

The 330 also has access to that wider dynamic range of hearing, they have also included the soft sound noise reduction so that you won't get annoyed by hearing the fridge buzzing away in the background.

Tinnitus management

Zen tone tinnitus management is also available in the 330 model.

Unique 220

The Widex Unique 220 is Widex offering for the mid-range hearing aid market. This range of aids is for people who need to hear well in light social environments as well as in quiet and would like to hear the television. It has many of the features of the Unique 330 but at a lower price point, however with it's superior processor it is still an outstanding hearing aid.

Main features

Sound Processing

The 220 is powered by the U-platform processing chip, Widex say that the chip is significantly better than the previous generation. The Unique 220 has just 6 channels and it only has three environments for the aid to choose from in it's Sound Class Technology. The three environments are speech in quiet, speech in noise and a comfort in noise setting.

Background noise reduction

The noise reduction feature in the Unique 220 range is good enough for hearing speech clearly whilst suppressing background noises in up to moderately noisy environments. If you lead a particularly active lifestyle then you may want to go for one of the better models.

Amplification of soft sounds

As with the rest of the range, the Unique 220 aids have access to that wider dynamic range of sound, they amplify sounds as quiet as 5 dB so that you can pick up even very soft sounds.

Tinnitus management

The Unique 220 also has the Zen programme so it can be used to help relieve tinnitus.

Unique 110

The Unique 110 is the new entry level hearing aid from Widex. The Unique 110 has retained a number of features even though it is the most basic in the range. It has the famous Widex sound and it is a significant step up from the older Dream 110 which wasn't well received.

Main features

Sound Processing

The Unique 110 has four channels and doesn't have Sound Class Technology on board. While it is an automatic aid, It doesn't adjust itself as well as the higher technology models so if you go into a noisier environment you may want to consider programmes so you can adjust the aid to reduce the background noise. The 110 has three manual programs available.

Background noise reduction

Background noise reduction on the 110 is very basic, this is not really the hearing aid for you if you go into environments with a lot of background noise on a regular basis, it may be somewhat difficult to hear speech in these environments.

Amplification of soft sounds

The Unique 110 still benefits from the extended range of hearing that the more expensive models have and the soft sound noise reduction feature is also present.