So when is next "Big Change" in HA's and CI?

As far as I’m concerned there’s been very little advancement in HA’s or Cochlear implants over the last forty years or so. Now I know the HA dealers on the board won’t like that news, but then again they pump new aids round the clock. Also there might be some with CI that feel technology has changed over the years. I question that.

So sorry to bust anyone’s bubble but since digital aids came out in 1987, there really hasn’t been a drastic change in HA operation, development or performance. So over the last 37 years unfortunately we’ve not seen (as far as I’m concerned) a life changing event in HA development. OK we got streaming, bluetooth connection, renewable batteries, and a few other bells and whistles, but as far as major advancement in actually hearing better with a HA - not much has happened or improved over last 37 years. Sure aids have gotten smaller and some what more powerful, but again are we all really hearing better in 2024 versus how we heard with aids back in 1987 with fully digital aids. I’m in the camp that says “not really”.

Same with Ci, which really have not changed much over last 30 plus years. Pretty much all internal and external parts of a CI are the same size. Which means still on the “large” side. Furthermore CI still don’t restore normal hearing. And in most cases the CI user will lose remaining natural hearing in the ear with the implant.

So going forward is the HA industry and CI manufacturers still going to just continue to take baby steps in an attempt sway buyers to buy this or that. Or are we going to see some real changes that might actually justify a “Life Changing Moment”? Yea the Clock has been ticking for a really, really long time.


xMEMS. One of the first earbuds with this tech were just released. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to hold onto my current HAs for as long as will be needed for this tech to become available in hearing devices.


I agree, this is potentially a big deal.


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Well personally i have seen a lot of improvement in the aids i wear over the 20 years i have been wearing aids. But I have noticed the difference in clarity, in connectivity, and how my audiologists have been able to tailor the aids to my hearing needs. Are they perfect, no. But they have definitely improved to improve my speech understanding as my hearing loss as worsened.


Digital hearing aids did not come out until around 1996. If I recall I think the first one was the Widex Senso.

As a general point - I would probably agree that there has been no eureka moment. We have seen a lot of incremental improvements but for some of us, including me, over a 30 year period, there has been a deterioration in our hearing as well, so overall maybe no change. It is still difficult to hear in noise, in a group and when faced with certain accents.

But I think the medical community as a whole are aware of the limitations of hearing aids, despite what claims the manufacturers are making. Which is why there have been some drug developments and other ideas like spectacles with subtitles etc. Further improvements maybe, but the holy grail of normal hearing is a distant dream at the moment.


This is old news but I hope Hearing Aids manufacturers will introduce a new receiver technology soon.

Oh nevermind. Reginald beat me to it LOL

By the way, I hear rumors that Oticon plans to release a new receiver in 2023 but seems to not make it out.

I hope a new receiver is simple just change to a new one and you are good to go.


I’ve got some old Audeo S Smarts you can have for a song. That’s still two decades newer than 1987, and you shouldn’t notice much difference. :wink:

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Almost certainly will need new firmware in the aids, new fitting sw to see the option to make the change and a change in the fitting sw just like other changes to receivers. The impedances between the two kinds of receivers in pretty unlikely in my mind to be the same. So it would either be way too loud or way too quiet.



Well xMens speaker technology is “news” to me so I’m glad it was posted here for review. Seems the “kicker” will be how xMens new technology can be used by HA manufacturers and the cost to combine what xMens offers into current aids.

One would think some large HA manufacturer might make a play to buy up xMens, but probably easier said then done since xMens has other outside interests other then just improved hearing aids. I listened to the video and could care less how xMens products protect aids from water damage/moisture and dust accumulation. But when CEO starts talking about new speaker technology could make big changes in HA performance - that caught my attention.

Hopefully by end year we will find out if xMens is a home run or if not a single.

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I’m probably missing something here, but how would xMEMS be a game-changer for RICs? ITC aids, sure, because a smaller speaker means you can put more other stuff like bluetooth in that tiny space. But how many RIC users need or want smaller receivers? Seems like the extra space would just get filled up by a dome or mold anyway.

Balance armature in most hearing aids has a roughly 20-7900 kHz to 20-9000 kHz response curve. xMEMS claimed that their speaker can do 20–20 kHz.

Balance armature in hearing aids always aim to be Speech Clarity focused, so 20-10000 will suffice. And Balance armature have poor full range response. They usually have trade off like if they are tuned for low frequency, they will sacrifice mid and high frequency and Balance armature tuned for Low Frequency reproduction is quite BIG because a small Balance armature can’t give enough Low Frequency range. This is a drawback in terms of size.

Also, large Balance armature are bad for mid and high frequency reproduction because the mechanic inside moves slower than the smaller size.

While Mid and High tuned Balance armature have no problem with size. It has poor Low Frequency reproduction instead. As a result, no one size can do everything. You get good Low, you lose mid and high. You get good mid, you lose Low and High. etc.

Balance armature has spiky peaks here and there. xMEMS claimed to have a smoother peak. So sound will be more natural and less mechanical artificial.

High end in-ear headphones have 4-8 balance armature divided into 4 low 2 mid 2 high or 3 low 3 mid 2 high whatever their configuration. This is why they can reproduction all sound ranges with Balance armature. They mixed the BIG BA and small BA inside.

Hearing aids can’t do that. If they want to do RIC design. They gonna stick with 1 single Balance armature.

xMEMS tiny speaker in my opinion. It claimed that it can do full 20-20 kHz which means we don’t need many units inside our ear canals and can enjoy the full 20-20 kHz range. Why wouldn’t you be excited about this? They breakthrough the physics law that Balance armature has such limitations.


xMEMS also have much faster response time, which again leads to more clarity and more natural sound.
The main problem with this tech is that they’re quite power hungry apparently.

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Many people are hearing better because of digital signal processing enabled by faster chips with more memory. Take the Phonak Lumity feature (I think Oticon Real has similar) that detects speech coming from any direction and focuses on it. So while you’re facing a friend across the restaurant table from you, it’s listening for a waiter coming up from behind. But you don’t hear it swinging the microphones around. So how does that work? Here’s my educated guess:

Mic directionality is determined by the sampling delay introduced in the rear mic input. In digital aids, that delay is created and adjusted in the software. Given enough processing power, the aids could process input from a single set of mics with different sampling delays at the same time, and see the soundscape with different directionality patterns simultaneously. That’s what I think is happening here. The “live” processing stream is massaging the sound to prepare it for your ears, and at the same time another processing stream is listening to what’s going on all around, and deciding which direction the “live” stream should emphasize. Again, this is “given enough processing power”, which we have now.


I disagree. Both my Aid and my CI are substantially better than they were, say ten years ago. Just one example: the ability to handle noisy situations better. I can remember being inundated by a “Wall of Sound” from both my early aids, and my first CI. Now they have directional mics, sound suppression, programs for different situations, etc.

Now we have Bluetooth streaming, which has allowed me to listen to music, and make phone calls comfortably, for the first time in decades. We have connectivity & apps that let us tweak on the go. We have remote programming. Yada yada yada.

Do they need to get better? Sure. But let’s not make a blanket statement like “As far as I’m concerned there’s been very little advancement in HA’s or Cochlear implants over the last forty years or so.”


Well I am now that I know what you’re talking about! :star_struck:

Thanks for explaining all that!

This is a big wooden spoon stirring a pot.
It’s nonsense. Not taking the bait.


Truth hurts sometimes Raudrive.

Looking forward to the next generation of hearing aids with solid state speakers.

wrong, first digital was the digifocus. Senso was the first CUSTOM hearing aid

there was actually, if you cant believe back then none of the HI had even noise reduction.
Yes they were digital, with no noise reduction or directional mics.

I would say, the first time there was a quite a good leap was back when the first 10,000hz
Hi come out. The improvement in sound quality was quite noticeable.

Going forward, check you tube COCOA hearing aids- provided they can nail this will be the next
big thing