I'm an experienced audiologist who has had the privilege of assisting countless patients navigate their way towards improved hearing health. Over the years, I have been part of many journeys, helping people to find the hearing aid that fits seamlessly into their lifestyle, meets their unique hearing needs and preferences.
There's an adage which says, "one size doesn't fit all," and this couldn't be more true when it comes to hearing aids. Today, these devices are worlds away from the traditional, bulky contraptions that may come to mind. Modern hearing aids are sleek, discreet, and packed with innovative technologies that can transform the way you interact with the world around you.
In this article, we're going to delve into an in-depth comparison of two popular hearing aid brands: Signia and ReSound. Buckle up, because this is going to be a fun, ring-side seat in this hearing aid face-off!
Round One – Styles
Signia Style Notes
Signia takes the spotlight when it comes to style and design, turning heads with its award-winning Styletto hearing aids. Best known for its slim Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) design, Styletto dispels the notions of conventional hearing aids, presenting itself more as a high-fashion accessory than a medical device. Elegant and sleek, the Styletto brings a touch of sophistication to the wearer, making it a favorite among fashion-forward users.
Signia's innovation is not just skin-deep. The brand also boasts rechargeable custom hearing aids, ensuring users never have to fumble with tiny batteries again. These devices offer exceptional convenience and ease of use, wrapping powerful technology in a neat, aesthetically pleasing package.
Moreover, Signia shines in catering to individuals with single-sided deafness through its Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) devices. These ingenious aids deliver sounds from the deaf ear to the hearing ear, enabling users to experience a more balanced and natural sound environment. With Signia, style and substance strike a perfect harmony, offering users a unique blend of aesthetics, comfort, and performance.
ReSound Style Notes
ReSound steps into the arena with an impressive portfolio that is innovative and versatile. Their newest addition, the Micro Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE), is among the smallest on the market. As ReSound’s smallest design yet, the Micro RIE is a testament to ReSound's commitment to producing discreet, comfortable, and high-performing hearing aids.
ReSound has also broadened their portfolio with the addition of Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) devices, mirroring Signia's approach to catering to individuals with single-sided deafness. This addition demonstrates their effort to provide a comprehensive hearing solution, delivering a balanced and natural sound environment to its users.
But it doesn't stop there! ReSound made a name for themselves with their rechargeable custom devices that closely resemble earbuds. These devices marry functionality with aesthetics, wrapping exceptional technology in a trendy and user-friendly package.
Another feather in ReSound's cap is their Cochlear pairing capability. This feature allows users to connect their hearing aids directly to Cochlear implants, ensuring seamless sound transmission and enhancing the listening experience. With its diverse and innovative offerings, ReSound creates a compelling case for itself in the hearing aid face-off.
When comparing the design offerings, ReSound triumphs with its Micro Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE) design. The Micro RIE design is artfully engineered to prioritize discretion and comfort, demonstrating ReSound's commitment to creating user-friendly products that don't compromise on performance.
This exemplary design, the smallest yet from ReSound, has proven itself to be a game-changer in the industry and a crowd favorite among users who value low-profile hearing aids. The Micro RIE design is a tangible testament to ReSound's innovative approach in the hearing aids market, making them the winner of this round in the face-off.
Round Two – Bluetooth Connection
Signia Bluetooth Notes
Signia steps up in the Bluetooth connection category with broad compatibility. Signia hearing aids are equipped with Made for iPhone (MFi) technology, allowing users to enjoy hands-free calling and seamless streaming of audio directly from their iPhone devices. The brand also supports Android users with the ASHA (Android Streaming for Hearing Aids) protocol. However, to benefit from hands-free calling, Android users will need the StreamLine Mic accessory.
Signia also has a keen eye on the future of wireless technology. It has integrated the necessary hardware for Auracast into their new Signia Pure Charge&Go IX model. This shows Signia's commitment to staying ahead of the curve by preparing for future advancements in Bluetooth technology. Signia will roll out its Auracast Indeed, with Signia, users can enjoy a hassle-free and integrated hearing experience, ensuring they're always connected to the world around them.
ReSound Bluetooth Notes
ReSound also holds their own the Bluetooth connection face-off. Like Signia, ReSound hearing aids are equipped with Made for iPhone (MFi) technology, enabling iPhone users to make hands-free calls and stream audio directly from their devices. ReSound makes sure not to leave out Android users in its comprehensive approach. The brand supports the ASHA (Android Streaming for Hearing Aids) protocol, ensuring that users get the best hands-free and streaming experience regardless of their smartphone choice.
What sets ReSound apart is its future-forward approach with the integration of Auracast capability. Users can look forward to benefiting from future advancements in Bluetooth technology, thanks to this forward-thinking move that incorporates both hardware and firmware necessary for Auracast. With ReSound, users are assured of a seamless and integrated hearing experience that keeps them connected with the world around them.
In the Bluetooth connection category, both Signia and ReSound display a commendable focus on technological advancement and user experience. However, ReSound seems to take a slight edge with its NEXIA being completely Auracast ready, showcasing ReSound's dedication to future-proofing their devices. This strategic advantage demonstrates ReSound's commitment to staying at the forefront of emerging technologies, thus ensuring their users are always equipped with the latest and greatest in hearing aid technology.
Round Three – App Controls
Signia App Notes
Signia proves to be a heavy hitter in the arena of app controls. They have incorporated a unique 'mask mode' in their app, a feature that enhances speech understanding while the speaker is wearing a mask - a necessity in our current pandemic-hit world. This novel feature has received significant applause from users, primarily for its practicality and relevance.
Another impressive feature is the directional microphone adjustment that allows users to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction, thus enhancing the clarity of conversations in noisy environments. Users also appreciate the health features incorporated in the app, including a hearing health check and tinnitus management, which go above and beyond the usual volume and equalizer adjustments.
These thoughtful inclusions indicate Signia's dedication to delivering a fantastic hearing aid experience that promotes not just better hearing, but also better overall health.
ReSound App Notes
On the other hand, the ReSound Smart 3D app boasts a variety of features that enhance the user experience. The "Check My Fit" function, for example, allows users to ensure their hearing aids are properly fit to the user's ear. In case of misplaced devices, the "Find My Hearing Aid" feature can help locate them.
The app also includes an equalizer and volume adjustments, giving users the ability to fine-tune their hearing aids according to different environments. Moreover, users can take advantage of various preset programs tailored to specific situations such as conversations in a noisy restaurant or listening to music. These features, provided by the ReSound app, showcase their understanding of user needs and their commitment to delivering a comprehensive, convenient, and personalized hearing aid experience.
The award for the 'Lost and Found' category unequivocally goes to ReSound. With its innovative "Find My Hearing Aid" feature, the company has tackled a common problem faced by hearing aid users. This feature is part of the ReSound Smart 3D app and works by providing a map showing where the hearing aids were last connected to the smartphone, making it easier for users to locate misplaced devices.
The convenience offered by this feature not only alleviates stress for users but also saves valuable time. This distinctive feature is a testament to how ReSound values the overall user experience, making it a clear winner in this face-off round.
Round Four – Special Features
Signia Special Feature Notes
Signia brings a host of special features to the table, elevating the user experience to impressive heights. A standout feature is the Signia Assistant, a digital companion at the user's disposal 24/7. This AI-driven assistant learns from the user's preferences and hearing environments to optimize the hearing aid settings, ensuring a personalized and superior listening experience. This level of individual customization places the user firmly in control of their hearing aid experience.
Moreover, Signia also offers a unique feature known as Own Voice Processing (OVP). This technology effectively tackles one of the most common challenges faced by hearing aid users - the experience of their own voice sounding unnatural or overly loud. By processing the wearer's voice separately from other sounds, OVP enables users to hear their own voice in a natural and comfortable manner. This feature is a testament to Signia's commitment to creating a seamless and natural listening environment, further enhancing user comfort and satisfaction.
ReSound Special Feature Notes
ReSound also brings an impressive array of special features to the table. Notably, their M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) receivers are a groundbreaking innovation in the hearing aid space. This unique technology combines the microphone and receiver in the earpiece, simulating natural ear acoustics and providing users with a more authentic and immersive sound experience.
Furthermore, ReSound also boasts the Front Focus feature. This technology enables users to concentrate on the sounds coming from in front of them, which is particularly useful in noisy environments where focusing on a single speaker can be challenging. It enhances speech understanding and ensures that no important conversation is missed. With these features, ReSound reiterates its commitment to delivering not just superior hearing solutions, but also a personalized and comfortable user experience.
In the contest of special features, Signia gets the win with its innovative Signia Assistant. This AI-powered companion provides on-demand, personalized adjustments, comprehensively enhancing the user's experience. By learning from the user's preferences and hearing environments, the Signia Assistant optimizes the hearing aid settings, delivering a tailored and superior listening experience round the clock.
This level of personalized customization underscores Signia's commitment to user-centric design and their aspiration to offer a more natural and comfortable listening experience. Therefore, in this round of special features, Signia emerges as the clear winner with its innovation, the Signia Assistant.
Round Five – Sound Quality
Signia Sound Notes
Sound quality is a pivotal factor in the performance of any hearing aid, and Signia excels in this area by delivering crisp, sharp sound quality. The company's advanced technology enables a high level of environmental sound awareness, allowing users to enjoy a natural and balanced auditory experience.
A notable feature is the use of multiple beamforming technology, which intelligently focuses on desired sounds, such as speech, while reducing background noise. This technology is particularly beneficial in noisy environments as it allows users to understand multiple conversations simultaneously. This superior sound quality and the nuanced ability to manage ambient noise stand testament to Signia's commitment to providing a highly satisfactory user experience.
ReSound Sound Notes
ReSound is known for delivering a bright, percussive sound that brings an edge to the hearing experience. Their patented M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) receiver plays a crucial role in reducing undesirable wind noise, a common issue faced by hearing aid users. Additionally, it effectively handles the noise created by hair rubbing on the microphone or touching the microphones, enhancing the overall sound quality.
This technological prowess underscores ReSound's commitment to providing a superior hearing experience, ensuring users can engage in conversations and activities without the distraction of external noises.
This final round is a tie and requires your personal input. We invite you to try our Live Listen files to experience firsthand the unique sound quality each brand offers. Is it the crisp and balanced sound quality of Signia that pleases your hearing senses, or do you prefer the bright and percussive tones of ReSound? Ultimately, the decision is personal and subjective since everyone's hearing needs and preferences differ.
Remember, the best hearing aid is the one that meets your specific needs and enhances your auditory experience.
In the final verdict of this face-off, it is ReSound that takes the ultimate crown. Despite the tough competition and the array of impressive features presented by both brands, ReSound edges forward with its unique and innovative solutions.
From its M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) receivers to the Front Focus feature, ReSound demonstrates its commitment to superior sound quality and a personalized hearing experience. Therefore, as we tally up all rounds and features, ReSound stands as the ultimate winner in this face-off, redefining the auditory experience with its groundbreaking technology and user-centric design.
In conclusion, both Signia and ReSound offer compelling options when it comes to hearing aid technology. Signia shines with its innovative Signia Assistant and OVP technology, delivering highly personalized experiences and natural voice perception. ReSound, on the other hand, impresses with its M&RIE receivers and Front Focus feature, providing an authentic sound experience and enhanced speech understanding.
As for sound quality, both brands have their unique strengths, with Signia providing a crisp, balanced auditory experience, and ReSound offering bright, percussive tones. Given these differences, the choice between the two ultimately boils down to personal preference and specific hearing needs.
We hope this comparison has provided you with valuable insights to make an informed decision best suited to your auditory requirements. Remember, the best hearing aid is the one that caters to your individual needs, ensuring a comfortable and enriching auditory experience.