So for what seems like three useless features, and the lack of SoundRecover, we’re supposed to pay a thousand more? Seems like the decision is made for me. Unless I’m interpreting the features incorrectly?
There are significant differences in how these features are applied between Exelia and Naida. For example the Soundflow Premium is a 4 program automatic the can blend unlimited programs between (speech-in-quiet, Speech-in-Noise, Comfort in Noise as well as Music). For example if you’re in a bar with music playing the aids could for example design a blend of 60% speech-in-noise, 20% comfort-in-noise and 20% Music (just an arbitrary example as it depends on the situation and your position in the situation).In this blend it would then also incorporate adaptive levels of EchoBlock (reduces interference of reverberant backgrounds), NoiseBlock (in 20 channels - decreases modulated noise - eg fans, A/C’s traffic etc - relative to speech frequencies - much slower than SoundRelax and is aimed at optimizing speech in noise where sound relax is aimed at comfort of sudden loud noises), WindBlock, SoundRelax (significantly improves comfort of sudden loud impact noises without affecting speech or sound quality) as well as Amount of VoiceZoom (which is a 33 Channel adaptive directional microphone able to suppress the 33 loudest sounds behind you even as they move around).
The Exelia is a 20 channel device and also has ZoomControl (accessible through the myPilot remote control) that allows you to Zoom the aids in a specific direction using all four microphones (2 on each aid). It does this by linking the mics and changing the configuration depending on which direction you choose to Zoom. For Example a passenger in a Car might want to Zoom left to hear the driver instead of the windscreen (as most hearing aids’s directionality is normally forward focusing). To understand how this works you need to understand that adaptive directionality works by using two omni-directional mics - one front and one rear - where an electronic timing difference is introduced to create a polar plot (which has a certain notch - or maximum reduction point - depending on the loudest noise source). The ZoomControl function in the above example the left front mic would become the right front mic, the right front mic would become the right rear mic, the left rear mic would become the left front mic and the right rear mic would become the left rear mic. It then streams all the sound picked up this way in real time to both aids, making you hear mainly only what is happening on the left. This would essentially be the same as turning your head completely to the left, while in actual fact you’re still looking forward. The same can be achieved for any other direction (forward, left, right, back) depending on your selection on the remote control.
The Naida has only single band adaptive forward facing directional mic which can reduce only the one loudest moving sound source behind the wearer. It also has no ZoomControl. The Naida V is also a 16 channel device with 16 channel NoiseBlock (So less detailed reduction of modulated noise relative to speech). It also only has SoundFlow Advanced (Speech-in-Quiet, Speech-in-noise, Comfort in Noise) and is unable to correctly identify Music automatically(will identify it as noise and consequently reduce it using NoiseBlock). As such you’ll require a manual music program to overcome this if music is important to you. It also does not have the same comfort with loud impact noises (think dishes clanging, doors slamming etc) or improved speech understanding in reverberant situations (think large tiled areas or metal sheds etc). It does however have SoundRecover and all the features which profound users would need (they often want grunt rather than comfort features and can feel “cut-off” if they had to use the Exelia’s extensive features). The Naida is also significantly larger than the Exelia, making it less cosmetically appealing than the Exelia.
Both aids are extremely good in what they do and as such you should try them both if possible to see which YOU prefer.