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What are the different power levels and what do they mean?

There are three main hearing aid power levels – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The purpose of this article is to explain the difference between these technology levels, both in terms of feature differences and which type of person will benefit from each.

Basic

Signia 3nx/Phonak M50/Oticon OPN 3 (entry level technology)

These are fine ‘entry-level’ hearing aids, meaning they are suitable for those with mild hearing loss who do not live the most active lifestyle or find themselves in loud environments. Specific features which make them entry level include:

24 processing channels Ideal for patients who are only in quiet environments. Requires patients to manually adjust their hearing aids. The audiologist has very limited fine tuning capabilities with the hearing aids. Adjustments are made on a broad level (i.e. low and high but not individual frequencies).

Intermediate

Signia 5nx/Phonak M70/Oticon OPN 2 (mid level technology)

The medium technology level, these are a suitable option for people looking to improve their hearing generally, but who don’t spend too much time in loud environments. Specific features which make them mid level include:

32 processing channels Geared towards those whose primary listening situation is in a quiet environment, but may occasionally be in noisy situations.

Some settings may need to be manually adjusted, and have few automatic adjustments. This type of technology uses a more basic noise reduction algorithm.

The channels or frequency adjustment that the audiologist uses to fine tune the hearing aid is reduced, however does allow for some fine tuning.

Ideal for patients who have a very gradually sloping hearing loss or the same amount of loss across all frequencies.

Advanced

Signia 7nx/Phonak M90/Oticon OPN 1 (premium level technology)

This technology level is suitable for all hearing aid users, and is the recommended level for people who often find themselves in loud environments. From automatically adjusting to your environment, to allowing for exact programming by the audiologist, these are the most advanced hearing aids and result in the best hearing improvement. Specific features which make these mid-level include:

48 processing channels Perfect for patients who have a very active lifestyle and spend a majority of their time in noisy/complex situations. This level of technology will automatically adjust as needed depending on the environment the patient is in.

Utilizes cutting-edge noise reducing algorithms to help give the patient the latest advanced features and premium technology.

In addition, this level of technology gives the audiologist the most control over the fine tuning and programming of your devices. For example, if you have a loss in which you can hear low frequencies much better than high frequencies, then the audiologist can set each frequency needed with the specific amount of amplification needed.

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