Starkey Hearing Technologies Introduces Z Series

Starkey Hearing Technologies Introduces Z Series

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Starkey Hearing Technologies, a global leader in hearing technology, is excited to introduce the all-new Z Series™, Starkey’s newest full family of wireless products featuring next generation 900 MHz technology – 900sync™. Sold under the Starkey label, the new Z Series product line provides the most robust and consistent performance, even in the most challenging listening environments, and is available in a variety of styles and options to fit any hearing aid wearer.

The foundation of Z Series is BluWave® 4.0 – Starkey’s breakthrough operating system. This evidence-based, patient-focused operating system’s signal processing power enables Z Series to continually optimize audibility, intelligibility, comfort and sound quality. These advances make it possible to constantly enhance the hearing experience for the individual.

In order to provide consistent performance in the most challenging environments, Starkey created 900sync Technology, a new, robust wireless system that is virtually drop-free within normal user ranges of five meters. 900sync boasts a better than 98 percent link availability, features an increase in streaming range, and makes hearing aids less susceptible to internal and external interference. All of this is accomplished with a new low-energy radio, the first of its kind in the hearing industry.

Z Series wireless performance is also enhanced with Spatial Streaming and Stream Boost. Spatial Streaming provides patients with the best wireless performance in all possible settings while Stream Boost provides patients with an automatic setting that boosts the incoming media stream for enhanced audio performance.

This powerful combination of 900sync technology, along with Spatial Streaming and Stream Boost is designed so patients get a quality, natural sounding hearing experience all accomplished with no intermediary device.

Other exciting features of Z Series include:

-A more natural listening experience: Starkey’s Binaural Spatial Mapping delivers maximum listening comfort for louder sounds while providing a more natural, overall sound.

-Superior Audibility in Noisy Environments: Thanks to Acuity Directionality™, a new approach to directionality, and Starkey’s proprietary Speech ID, speech protection is improved and conversations are prioritized in difficult listening situations.

-Distortion-Free Comfort in Loud Situations: Z Series’ ISO-Clear Compression delivers a more personalized listening experience by making soft speech sounds audible without affecting louder inputs.

-Feedback elimination: Starkey’s best-in-class feedback cancellation system, PureWave Feedback Eliminator has the ability to manipulate how aggressively it performs, so feedback elimination can be personalized to the specific product and patient.

-Customizable tinnitus relief: Multiflex Tinnitus Technology is now available on Starkey’s Z Series micro RIC 312 product.

-Protection from water and wax: HydraShield®2 nanocoating provides unparalleled protection from water, wax and oils.

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ award-winning SurfLink® Mobile has been enhanced to provide a better patient experience with Z Series. Offering an updated user interface and controls, SurfLink Mobile 2 is a cell phone transmitter, assistive listening device, media streamer and hearing aid remote all rolled into one. It also features doubled battery life over the first generation SurfLink Mobile. SurfLink Mobile 2 with Z Series is the only wireless system to offer JustTalk™, enabling hands-free cell phone conversations by turning Z Series hearing aids into the microphone and receiver.

About Starkey Hearing Technologies

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies currently employs more than 3,600 people, operates 21 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide. The company develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aids via four distinct brands – Audibel®, NuEar®, MicroTech™ and its original brand, Starkey. For more information, visit

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Is the Z series the same as the NuEar SDS 2?

SDS II is the NuEar version of the Z Series. NuEar products can only be sold and programmed by a NuEar dispenser.

Ok thank you. I just got a pair of the NuEar SDS 2s this week. They’re my 5th pair of hearing aids (been wearing hearing aids for 16 years). So far I liked the sound quality of the phonak audeo v70s I tried, but the nuears are more comfortable in my ears (have a custom molded receiver).

As I try to get the sound quality dialed in, I’ll report more. So far, the automatic features are MUCH better than my last pair of nuears (CICs from 2012). I had nearly all of the automatic features turned off on my last pair… so far the RIC micro SDS 2s are much better, but the sound quality still isn’t where it needs to be.

I have (the MicroTech version of) the Wi i110. Can their software be upgraded to gain the Z series features? Starkey marketed the Wi series as being open & upgradable, much like they are marketing the Z series.
The Wi series with Surflink mobile also uses the hearing aids mics and receivers for hands free operation, so the Z-series is not the only system to do this.
Thank you for your help. I have not been keepng up on HA news since I got my Wi aids.

The Z Series contains new hardware (a new processing chip and new radio antenna), so there’s no way to upgrade an older hearing aid to be equivalent using only a software update. I haven’t seen any marketing materials from Starkey which says their hearing aids are “open & upgradable”. However, existing 3 Series and Xino Wireless users can go back to their dispenser to be re-fit with the latest version of the software which provides some new pre-calculations to make the device less sensitive to low-level noise, if they’re bothered by that.

I’m curious, why would anyone purchase an off-brand like NuEar or MicroTech knowing the limitations of which dispenser you can go to for service, and knowing that the Starkey brand is available and can be universally programmed by any dispenser essentially anywhere.

I’m currently using the 3 series in a CIC. Can this new Z series fit a 70dB receiver into it?

Also, is the SurfLink II and wireless functionality available in the CIC form factor?



The Z Series CIC is available with a 70 dB gain receiver. All Z Series form factors have wireless capability.


Great thread. I am glad I ran across it. I will be picking up a pair of Halo i70 this weekend. My Audi and I picked it based on my budget,hearing needs and electronic habits. . With that being said, I ran into this thread and have a few questions.

Besides the Halo not needing a remote to communicate with my phone, does the Halo have advantages over the Z series? Does the Z series have advantages over the Halo? I tried to make comparisons online but have difficulties finding actual specs.

I don’t mind carrying a surflink mobile as it will go into my backpack along with my phone, ipad and cane. Did I mention I was also blind? With the Halo, I downloaded the Starky TruLink app and ran it in demo mode. VoiceOver, Siri’s cousin for those not familiar, read all the sliders, buttons and options. It told me what I was adjusting to what level or if I was setting up/saving a geotagged location. Does anyone know if the Surflink Mobile 1 or 2 is blind friendly? Will it let me know what I am adjusting?

Thanks for your thoughts or advice.


Halo’s main advantage is the direct streaming from Apple devices. The SurfLink Mobile uses a proprietary interface, and there are no accessibility features that I’m aware of, so I think the TruLink app with VoiceOver is your best bet.

It’s what my hearing specalist sells from the starkey brands, and he is AWESOME. I don’t need to worry about changing dispensers because Im working with one I don’t want to leave. He is flexible, committed to getting me the best hearing I can, and he really cares. He is also part of a local hearing chain, so if he leaves (unlikely as both he & his wife work with the company), I’ll have 10 other techs to choose from. You know all the stories you read here about lackluster hearing aid techs & salesmen who don’t seem interested in helping their clients get the most out of their hearing aids? This guy is the total opposite of that - I get free service & as many follow up visits for my hearing aids as I want with someone who cares and loves what he does.

the Surflink probably would not work for you. I checked the manual and it doesn’t appear to have any blind friendly options. Sorry.

So my question to you is, (assuming you knew the difference between the brands) that if your guy could have gotten you the actual Starkey branded hearing aids, would you have gotten those or would you have stayed with the off-brand?

It is a bit of a mystery to me in Canada where we have very little off-brands on the market, why anyone would go for that, especially if other clinics would not be able to service that hearing aid should there be a falling out or worse with that dispenser.

This really isn’t a major issue. If necessary, Starkey can provide an unlock code which will allow any dispenser to program the off-brand product.

Is the Z-Series the replacement for the old Wi Series? I have lost track, but want to get tested soon.
Do you have enough experience to determine if there are really significant improvements since the Wi, or just marketing gimmicks?

The 3 Series replaced the Wi Series. Z Series now replaces the 3 Series. You’ll have to try the latest model yourself and see if you notice a difference in sound quality or performance. Everyone hears differently.

When I got my MicroTech aids, Starkey showed 2 dispensers in my area. When I contacted them, neither one sold Starkey. When I called Starkey, they referred me to this one-man dispenser.

With the ClearValue program associated with the Farm Bureau, I was able to save $500 per aid compared with Starkey for the same aid.

I just got back from a hearing test with a local Starkey dispenser. They do not appear to be very familiar with the product and were convinced they could not program my MictoTech Mobility 50 aids. Of course, their sotware would not detect the aids either. Since I think one aid is going bad, I did not press the issue.

BTW, can a failig aid be repaired? i already replaced the receiver, so that is not the issue. There is sometimes static or intermittent distortion.

I guess I need to update my signature. Anyway, I have Z series i110 RIC312s coming in I probably should have got the tinnitus model. Even though I mentioned I have tinnitus, the dispenser was apparently not aware that only certain models have that d=feature. Dies this need to be specifially ordered or is it a programmable feature?

BTW, are these tinnitus features useful or just gimmicks?

You really can’t repair modern hearing aids anymore. The internal components are designed as one unified module, so it’s more practical to give you a new replacement hearing aid. The tinnitus feature is only available on the microRIC 312, not the regular RIC 312.

Thank you.
I thought I read somewhere that Starkey did repairs. I know they replace receivers on custom CIC aids.
Do your patients find the tinnitus feature helpful? My dispenser did not even discuss whether open dome RIC is the best choice for my loss now. What is your opinion now that I have updated my signature?