Siemens Hearing Instruments have launched a brand new platform of hearing aid technology to improve on their Xcel range of hearing aids. Siemens Micon promises over double the number of instructions per second compared to its predecessor, an incredible 250 million a second! The Micon platform has a very wide bandwidth of 12kHz, 48 channels and 20 handles on the premium products (7mi), this is an impressive launch from Siemens who seem to have been working hard behind the scenes to produce a real contender to the marketplace.
As usual with Siemens, they have launched the upper half of the range in the new chipset, the majority of the lower end of the technology will be launched with the Micon technology later this year.
Siemens have taken the opportunity to utilise improvements in receiver design and a smaller chip to release a micro RIC called Ace which is absolutely tiny. The Micon Ace loses some wireless functionality in the pursuit of cosmetics, but for anyone wanting a VERY small RIC it really fits the bill. Also improvements in Siemens shell design promise more discreet ITE, ITC and CIC’s, along with a re-brand of the ‘in the ear models. In the Ear hearing aids from Siemens will no longer be branded as Motion ITE’s but as Insio.
At present Siemens have released to market the 7mi technology level (premium), the 5mi (advanced) and the some of the 3mi (mid range). In the autumn expect to see the rest of the range launched including 1mi technology level for the budget conscious.
So for a run down of the new range, at premium 7mi level we have Siemens Ace RIC, Pure RIC, Motion BTE, Aquaris BTE and Life Thin Tube. Insio to follow shortly.
At advanced 5mi level we have the same mix of products, and at 3mi mid range level we have Pure RIC, Aquaris BTE and Life thin tube.
More models will migrate across to the new technology later this year, towards the end of 2013 we expect to see the vast majority of Siemens hearing aids taking advantage of the better performing Micon technology.
So here are some of the highlights of the new Micon platform, not all features are available in all technology levels;
Automatic Classification – At 7mi level the Micon has 6 separate sound classifications in automatic mode, Quiet, Speech in Quiet, Noise, Speech in Noise, Music, Car. The Micon has a great new feeedback cancellation system, in the past it has been a bit of a weak area for Siemens hearing aids, but now they seem to have addressed the issue and it does not seem to be an issue at all.
Frequency Compression is an option, unlike Phonak’s SoundRecover, Siemens only activate their frequency compression as a general rule with steeply dropping high frequency losses and it can pull the frequencies across to the low end more aggressively than other manufacturers.
With previous Siemens technology tinnitus management was buolt in, but only on Life models, now tinnitus management is available through the whole Micon range.
A telecoil is now available in the Siemens Pure 312 Micon, and water and dust resistance across the range of BTE’s and RIC’s is a very impressive IP67 which means they are extremely resistant to dust and moisture. The Aquaris Micon models are even better with dust and moisture resistance, with an IP score of IP68.