Starkey Z Series i110 ITE - only one MEMS mic?

Hi all,

I am testing for a couple of weeks these aids, along with the new Surflink Mobile.
I know many audis wouldn’t even let me test ITEs due to my profound loss, but I also tested some RICs (Widex Super, Dream) and BTEs (Naida UP) before and wasn’t satisfied. Speech comprehension wasn’t better than now, although it could be better with these ITEs too.

In my understanding in order to achieve the always highlighted Binaural Spatial Mapping feature there should be two mics on each side.
My aids have only one mic per side, albeit it has the new MEMS technology.
I have read Starkey’s MEMS White Paper written last november, that still comfirms:
Directional processing in hearing aids is achieved
by leveraging phase relationships between two
microphones that are separated by a few
millimeters and aligned along the horizontal plane.

Also, pictures on the Starkey website show always two mics per side. However, as described in another white paper, Starkey implemented already 2006 in its Destiny aid family an “acoustic directional microphone”, with two ports (rear port, front port).
My audi seems not to be sure about this issue, but he assumes the devices still have Binaural Spatial Mapping.
In the fitting software, there is still a functioning page for Binaural features, for softening some noise categories (wind, machine noise, etc.).

Is anybody up to date here, is this MEMS mic really a directional microphone?
Could it not be that Starkey simply forgot to bring on a second mic, or there was not enough place on the ITE for the second mic?

Also, the aid’s shell has become surprisingly short and sits quite loose, I can easily drag it out, hence there is no cord on it, neither. I told the audi already when he took the impressions that I would prefer deep-canal fitting, because then sound quality could be better. Maybe it’s a naive comparison, but the sound of loosely sitting headphones is always better, more natural when I press them onto my ear. The sound of these aids is for me often not natural, similar to headphones that are not sitting tightly on the ears.
Also, wind noise is now loud when I bike (even after this noise type was softened in the fitting software), because the mic is well far over the ear’s aperture.
The audi assumed initially also that a deeper sitting shell could help a lot, but he’s now sceptical and says that the device has enough power reserves for me, hence we should not risk that the shell gets too long and leads to pain when touching bones.
What is the experience of readers here, is a deeper sitting shell helpful?
Also, the faceplate is positioned well before the aperture, it’s supposed not to fit into the aperture or the canal. Is this really so, or could we squeeze it towards the canal, so that the mic is protected better against wind?

How are the empirical values for malfunctions, can we assume that defects of such new aids don’t happen often?
My audi proposes an assurance for four more years since defects are covered only in the first year by warranty.

Thanks for any answer, or other experience reports on the Z Series!

Freq L R
0125 20 20
0250 35 30
0500 45 45
1000 60 50
2000 65 100
3000 90 85
4000 90 80
6000 80 90
8000 65 70

The Binaural Spatial Mapping feature works with wind noise reduction, machine noise reduction, and directionality. You can access the first two even if you don’t have directional microphones on your ITE aids. MEMS is a newer type of microphone that’s replacing traditional electret microphones, but you still need two mics for directionality. They’re available as an extra-cost option on the ITE. For protection against wind noise, a deeper-fitting CIC might be a better choice, plus you get more natural directionality.

Thanks for your answer, Rasmus.
I suppose it’s quite difficult to estimate the usefulness of this gain in directionality.
The white paper written about Acuity Directionality state it would once again reduce noise.
Also, they seem to suggest that MEMS mics are superior to the elder type especially when there are two mics on each side, because they minimize drift between these two mics (although also between the two sides).
I wonder if dual-microphone is an extra-cost option for other producers, too.
Perhaps two mics can also generate more feedback than a single one, or are there some other reasons for preferring to have only one?

Does the faceplate not have a big, fixed size, could it be formed so that it fits into the channel (at present it sits far above the channel’s output)?

Again, it would be nice to “hear” from other people that use or fit the Z Series, too :slight_smile: