This is a review of the latest hearing aids from GN ReSound. They are called ONE and are a unique premium product available only from independent audiologists (I am proud to be able to offer you devices that cannot be found on the high street!). Here are my thoughts as an end-user, following a 3 day trial of the top level of technology (the '9' model).
Look and Feel
The aids themselves are not quite the smallest on the market but they look and feel slick. All the materials used in the packaging, charger, receivers and the aids themselves are of a high quality, with a pleasing feel and a reassuring weight to them. The One sits further down behind the pinna than many other RIC aids, which is a pleasant surprise when using glasses. The square edges of the RIC design are a departure from the more traditional rounded designs and I welcome something that looks slightly more trendy. The black aids I tried blend well with dark hair and glasses frames while looking as far from ‘medical’ as possible. The reassuring but not intrusive weight of the aid will reassure users who are concerned about losing aids, especially with masks set to be in use for some time to come.
The One provides bright, clear, sharp sound quality which is Resound’s signature. Hearing aids to me always have a signature sound quality and Resound is one of the best 2 or 3 in it’s class (I have access to all manufacturers but recommend and sell only hearing aids of a level I would be happy to wear myself). They have a great balance between soft and loud sounds so you miss very little in the environment without being overwhelmed. With some hearing aids, there is an ‘is it on?’ feeling with them, but Resound One offers environmental sound stimulation and a reassuring connection to the environment.
Music is rich and pleasing, and the detail of the quieter instruments on one of my favourite tracks was audible and balanced with good vocal definition.
Resound One offers a full (both left and right) connection to Android and iPhone with no intermediary device needed, and with Hearing and Tinnitus Care's service you also have access to Remote Care via your iPhone, meaning if you wish we can adjust your aids via the phone without needing a physical appointment. I used an iPhone with these aids during my trial, and found they had a robust connection and good streaming sound quality of calls and other audio as you would expect from a premium product at this level.
If you have not used a direct connection to your mobile before, do not worry. Full phone connection training comes as standard with your care package!
Speech in Noise and Location
I was impressed with the One’s handling of speech in noise and also the complex and often ignored quality that is location of speech in relation to environmental noise. I found the performance in this category to be very, very impressive and although there may be perhaps one other set of aids that are equal, I genuinely cannot think of one that is better and there are dozens that are worse. With eyes closed, I was aware of the location and level of the items in my ‘soundscape’. Unless you have experienced the loss of this ability to locate and process sounds in this way, I don’t think you can adequately appreciate how lovely it is to get it back. Some hearing aids - even in this premium class – offer a flat reproduction of the environment. It is like the difference between seeing a 2D and 3D image. Even when you can hear speech well, the sensation of sound sources being balanced and knowing precisely where they are coming from is just a lovely thing. I can imagine a user moving from NHS technology or more basic tech to this would be absolutely delighted, and there is an improvement here that even long term high-end wearers can appreciate.
Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions I was unable to try these aids out in the pub or a busy restaurant, but audiologists often forgets that in the home there are significant noise challenges for hearing aid users. Standing in a kitchen with the kettle and washing machine on in the background while two family members quarrel is about as difficult as it gets in terms of echo and distinction of voices against background noises – I don’t need to leave my home to have problems with distinguishing speech in noise!
Resound One is appreciably a very strong competitor on speech-in-noise performance, offering excellent distinction while retaining natural sound quality. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to customers who need high performance in this area, and am more than happy to set you up with a trial of these new aids so you can try them risk-free for yourself.
Text or call 07584 176792 to enquire about whether these aids might be the right solution for you. There is never any obligation, pressure or awkwardness from Hearing and Tinnitus Care to purchase hearing aids, but if you are ready and these are the ones - they might just change your life.