As an experienced audiologist, I've had the privilege of working with cutting-edge hearing aids from various manufacturers, including ReSound and Widex. Both have consistently delivered great results for my patients, but I often get asked, "Which one is better?" To answer that, I thought it might be fun and informative to stage a friendly head-to-head comparison between ReSound and Widex. In the following sections, we'll dive into the ring and examine these two heavyweights pound for pound, feature for feature. So, get ready for an exciting match-up and find out which brand will be crowned the champion of this hearing aid duel.
Let's get into it!
Meet the Contenders
In one corner, hailing from Lynge, Denmark, we have Widex. Founded in 1956, Widex is a pioneer in the hearing aid industry, known for its commitment to quality, innovation, and design. Widex has made a name for itself by blending top-notch sound clarity and performance in beautifully crafted devices. Its dedication to creating hearing solutions that are both technologically advanced and user-friendly has positioned it among the market leaders.
In the opposite corner, originating from Ballerup, Denmark, stands GN ReSound. Founded in 1943, GN ReSound has been pushing the boundaries of hearing technology for decades, introducing numerous industry firsts. Well regarded for their smart connectivity, ReSound hearing aids offer a seamless experience for users, connecting directly to smartphones and other devices. This connectivity, coupled with superior sound quality, demonstrates GN ReSound's commitment to enhancing the quality of life for those with hearing impairments.
Round One - Style
ReSound Style Notes
When it comes to style, ReSound brings variation and subtlety to the table with their hearing aid styles. Their latest innovation, the NEXIA micro RIE, is 25% smaller than their previous standard RIE. This impressively small and discreet hearing aid can provide powerful support without drawing unwanted attention, making it a perfect choice for individuals who value discretion. The pushbutton on this device also enables manual control for those who prefer it.
ReSound's product portfolio caters to all, providing solutions for mild to profound hearing loss. Whether you're looking for a custom hearing aid, a powerful BTE, or a discrete micro RIE, ReSound has something for everyone. They've also released a CROS, specifically designed to treat single-sided deafness. This diversity in their product offerings gives ReSound an edge in the style round.
Widex Style Notes
In the other corner, Widex hearing aids boast one of the smallest RICs (receiver-in-canal) on the market. Their slightly boxier look may not be as sleek as ReSound’s designs, but don't let that fool you. This compact design packs a punch, offering impressive sound quality while maintaining discretion for the wearer.
Widex further flexes with a full range of hearing devices. From custom in-the-ear devices to behind-the-ear models, Widex has it all. This ensures that there is a Widex hearing aid to fit everyone's unique hearing needs and lifestyle.
The Style Winner…
And the winner of this round, in my professional opinion, is ReSound. The variation, subtlety, and diversity in their product offerings, combined with their push for innovation and commitment to quality, give them a slight edge over their competitor. While Widex offers excellent devices and noteworthy features, ReSound manages to go the extra mile with their smaller, more discreet designs and manual control options.
This, along with their comprehensive solutions for varying degrees of hearing loss, has truly set ReSound apart in this match-up. However, it's important to note that both brands offer outstanding products that have improved the lives of countless individuals with hearing impairments. Therefore, this decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and individual hearing needs. But for now, let's give a round of applause to our champion of this round - ReSound!
Round Two - Bluetooth
ReSound Bluetooth Notes
Entering the Bluetooth round, ReSound kicks off. Their latest hearing aid, the NEXIA, is fully Auracast-ready - an exciting advancement for the future. ReSound leads the pack when it comes to iPhone Bluetooth connectivity, as they were the first to implement the Made for iPhone (MFi) technology. If you own an iPhone 11 or later, your ReSound hearing aids can effectively function as a hands-free headset.
The hearing aids will capture your voice, allowing you to keep your phone tucked away in your pocket! ReSound also extends compatibility to specific Android devices, using the ASHA protocol. However, it's crucial to ensure your phone model is on the list of compatible devices.
Unfortunately, the hands-free feature does not extend to Android phones without the use of an external accessory.
Thankfully, ReSound's Bluetooth accessory options, such as their Mini Mic and TV Streamer, are top-of-the-line and some of the best assistive devices available in the industry. The Multi Mic+ stands out as a favorite amongst my patients, providing substantial assistance in noisy environments like restaurants. For patients with a Cochlear Americas implant in the other ear, ReSound is undeniably the best option.
Widex Bluetooth Notes
When it comes to iPhone connectivity, Widex offers the same Made for iPhone (MFi) technology, ensuring a seamless, high-quality sound experience for iPhone users. This allows the hearing aids to function as an effective wireless stereo headset, making phone calls clearer and enjoyable.
Turning to Android devices, Widex uses ASHA (Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids) technology. This innovative protocol ensures Android users can also enjoy superior sound quality directly streamed to their hearing aids for a more immersive audio experience.
However, while iPhone users can take phone calls hands-free with Widex hearing aids, Android users will need an accessory, the COM-DEX, to enjoy this feature. Despite this, the COM-DEX device is handy, allowing users to stream high-quality sound to the hearing aids from the smartphone.
The Bluetooth Winner…
After analyzing the performance of both ReSound and Widex in terms of Bluetooth connectivity, it is clear that ReSound emerges as the victor. The brand's pioneering efforts in iPhone Bluetooth connectivity and dedication to technological innovation give it the upper hand. Additionally, ReSound's robust line of Bluetooth accessories, including the Mini Mic and TV Streamer, add value for users.
Despite the minor setback with certain Android devices, ReSound's commitment to comprehensive solutions has positioned the brand as the winner of the Bluetooth round. However, it's important to underline that the choice of hearing aids should always be based on individual needs and preferences. Both ReSound and Widex offer outstanding solutions, each with its own strengths.
Round Three - App Controls
ReSound App Notes
ReSound has one of the best rated apps in the industry. They offer an impressive array of in-app features, delivering a high degree of personalization that users find highly beneficial. Users can tailor programs, modify the noise filter, and adjust streaming settings, offering a level of flexibility that genuinely empowers and liberates them. ReSound's premium technology includes a 'Front Focus' program that your audiologist can set up for you, which proves highly advantageous in crowded, noisy environments such as restaurants.
This feature enables users to focus on conversations without strain. Additionally, for those new to the world of hearing aids, the 'Check My Fit' feature is a fantastic tool. It smoothly guides users through the process of adjusting to their new hearing aids. Let's not overlook the 'Find My Hearing Aid' feature, a practical and thoughtful addition for those prone to misplacing small items. It's clear that ReSound's commitment to user-friendly design and technology that responds to the needs of its users provides them with a significant edge in the fierce competition of the hearing aid market.
Widex App Notes
Stepping into the ring for this round is Widex, showcasing their commitment to user-friendly design with the Widex MOMENT™ App. This app is intuitively designed, providing users with a multitude of features allowing them to personalize their hearing experience. The SoundSense Learn feature uses machine learning to optimize sound settings based on the user's personal preferences, and real-life listening situations. Users can create and save personal programs, ensuring easy access to preferred settings for recurring listening scenarios.
However, where Widex truly shines is their PureSound™ technology, a revolutionary ZeroDelay™ setting that delivers a more natural sound, reducing the 'tinny' and artificial sound often associated with hearing aids. This unique feature sets Widex apart from its competition, offering a hearing experience that is as close as possible to natural hearing.
Despite these impressive features, it's important to note that the Widex MOMENT™ App is only compatible with select hearing aids from the brand, which may limit its accessibility for some users. Additionally, while Widex's app does offer a 'Find My Hearing Aid' feature, it only provides the last known location of the hearing aids and does not track them in real-time.
The App Winner
Reflecting on the performances of both ReSound and Widex in this round, it's a close call. Both brands demonstrate a dedication to providing users with control and customization, truly enhancing the hearing aid experience. However, in light of ReSound's more comprehensive and accessible range of in-app features, including the 'Front Focus', 'Check My Fit', and real-time 'Find My Hearing Aid' feature, the winner of this round, in my professional opinion, is ReSound.
Despite this, it's crucial to keep in mind that the choice of hearing aids should always be based on individual needs and preferences, and both ReSound and Widex continue to offer innovative solutions that cater to a wide variety of users.
Round Four - Special Features
ReSound Feature Notes
When it comes to special features, ReSound's hearing aids truly excel due to the inclusion of their innovative M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) technology. This unique feature significantly enhances the natural sound quality, providing users with a more authentic, immersive listening experience. This technology is particularly effective in minimizing wind noise, a common challenge for many hearing aid users.
In my personal experience, the sound quality provided by ReSound's M&RIE technology is noticeably superior, offering a crisp, clear, and well-rounded audio experience. However, it's important to note that this technology may not be the best fit for those with severe hearing loss, as its effectiveness decreases with the severity of the hearing impairment. Despite this, for those within its suitable range, M&RIE technology from ReSound is a game-changer in sound quality enhancement and environmental disruption reduction.
Widex Feature Notes
On the flip side, Widex responds with a soothing solution for tinnitus sufferers - its array of tinnitus masking options. Users can experiment with and personalize their experience using Widex's signature fractal tones, a distinctive feature setting them apart.
These specially designed sounds provide relief to those struggling with tinnitus, thereby enhancing their quality of life. This strategic move showcases Widex's commitment to not only enhancing sound quality, but also to addressing the less talked about yet vital aspect of hearing health - tinnitus. This unique feature indeed positions Widex strongly in terms of special features, demonstrating its continuous efforts to cater to a wide array of users and their specific needs.
Special Features Winner
When considering the unique offerings of both ReSound and Widex in this round, Widex overtakes its competitor with its unique tinnitus management capability, a feature that is truly beneficial for those suffering from tinnitus.
This demonstrates that while ReSound's M&RIE technology is a commendable contribution to the field, Widex manages to carve out its niche by addressing a prevalent issue in the hearing-impaired community that often goes unnoticed. Their array of tinnitus masking options, coupled with their signature fractal tones, provides a soothing experience for users, making life more comfortable for those dealing with tinnitus.
Therefore, in this round of Special Features, Widex rightfully claims victory, reminding us that the ideal choice of hearing aids is always one that aligns closely with the user's individual needs and circumstances.
Round Five - Sound Quality
ReSound Sound Quality Notes
Sound quality is, without a doubt, a crucial aspect of a good hearing aid, and ReSound's sound quality doesn't disappoint. ReSound has a bright, resonant sound quality with a bite to it, bringing speech crisply to the forefront. This distinct sound fidelity makes ReSound hearing aids a great option.
ReSound pays special attention to background noise management with an innovative 3rd microphone inside the ear canal and industry-leading beamforming technology.
Widex Sound Quality Notes
Widex’s standout ZeroDelay™ technology provides a natural sound quality, eliminating the overly processed effect often associated with hearing aids. This positions Widex as a preferred option for audiophiles who prioritize a natural and polished sound experience. The technology affords users a no-lag, authentic audio experience, delivering high-fidelity sound quality coupled with solid clarity.
Widex Sound Quality Notes
Upon careful evaluation of the sound quality offerings from both ReSound and Widex, Widex edges ahead in this round. While ReSound's sound quality is impressive, boasting a bright, resonant sound signature that crisply highlights speech, Widex's unique ZeroDelay™ technology takes the cake.
This feature ensures a natural sound quality, eliminating any overly processed effect and providing an authentic audio experience devoid of any lag. The superb clarity and high-fidelity sound quality delivered by Widex's hearing aids showcase their dedication to superior auditory experiences.
Thus, in the Sound Quality round, Widex rightfully takes the lead, reflecting its commitment to delivering natural and polished sound experiences that cater to the needs of users with different hearing preferences and requirements.
After an in-depth analysis and comparison of ReSound and Widex, spanning various rounds, it's time to declare the overall winner. Despite Widex's impressive performance in the Special Features and Sound Quality categories, ReSound emerges as the ultimate winner of this matchup.
ReSound's innovative approach to hearing aid technology, its unique M&RIE technology, and exceptional sound quality truly set it apart. It's important to remember that while Widex demonstrated commendable features—particularly for tinnitus sufferers—the versatility and overall performance of ReSound's offerings gives it the edge in this comparison. Every user has unique needs, and for a broad segment of users, ReSound's combination of sound quality, innovation, and user-friendly features makes it the best choice.
In conclusion, the journey through the offerings of both ReSound and Widex has shed light on their unique strengths and specializations. While both companies have demonstrated their prowess in hearing aid technology, ReSound emerges victorious due to its innovative approach, superior sound quality, and user-friendly features. It's important to note that the right hearing aid is ultimately dependent on the individual needs of the user.
Thus, while ReSound won this matchup, Widex's unique capabilities, particularly in managing tinnitus, could make it a preferred choice for certain users. This analysis serves as a guide, but making an informed decision requires an in-depth understanding of one's specific needs and a consultation with a hearing specialist. The world of hearing aid technology is vast and rapidly evolving, promising exciting advancements for the future.