With so many different hearing aid products out on the market, what's best for you? Today we talk with Chaz Miller with ReSound on Ask The Hearing Doctors.
Hi, I'm Jim Cuddy. And this is Ask The Hearing Doctors. And today I'm joined by Dr. Ana Anzola, doctor of audiology with Hearing Doctors, the Washington DC area's highest rated audiology practice with over 1,500 five-star reviews. Also joining us today is Chaz Miller, a representative with ReSound, a worldwide distributor of innovative hearing solutions. Welcome to you both. Thank you. Great to be here Chaz, before we do anything, let's talk about the history and background of resound.
Yeah, sure. So like you had mentioned earlier in the, um, in the introduction we are innovators of hearing solutions. So we've always seen ourselves as the pioneers of the hearing aid industry. Um, with that we've been first and a lot of things that are now just standardized features and hearing aids today. So, you know, I have a list of things that we can kind of go through just real real briefly is 1992, all the way back down to 1992, we've been around for over 150 years. So, you know, I don't want to get too far in the weeds on everything we've been in, but maybe in the past, you know, 20, 30 years, 1992, uh, we were the first to have a digital sound processor and a hearing aid. So that back in the day used to be all analog. So now with digital, we went digital in 1992, um, 93, we were able to bring feedback suppression into a hearing aid in the past.
Um, before all that, you know, we would get the squealing, if a certain frequency, you know, a certain sound hit a certain frequency. You get that high pitch squealing sound feedback. We were the first to bring digital feedback suppression into a hearing aid. And that was in 93, in 2003, we were able to bring an open fit to a hearing aid. So in the past, before that we would have to plug the ears up to, to keep from getting that feedback. But because of the feedback suppression that we were able to bring in, we will do more open fits. So we can have the patient here without feeling like there's bubble gum in their ears or at that echo of their voice when they are hearing it. So that was in 2003, we brought that in. It was called the air. So I don't know if anybody wants to, if everybody had an error or if they want to research the air.
Um, that was the name of that product back in 2003, where we were able to bring that open fit and we've been doing it ever since, um, 2008, we were able to bring asymmetric directionality into the field. So that's where we could have one ear in what we call Omni, which is kind of a monitor ear where we can go 360 degrees. And then the other ear is more of a echo focus beam. So it can focus in on speech or anything like going at, and it could swipe back and forth whenever you need it to automatically. So it's focus was more on the right. It would switch, focus was more on the left. It would switch. We were the first to bring that back. And that was in 2008. In 2010, we rocked the hearing aid industry with bringing 2.4 Bluetooth, low energy into the, into the mix with the Alara. Um, that was in 2010 where we were actually able to then help the audiologists with programming wirelessly in the past, before that every manufacturer had a wire that they would have to plug in hard to the hearing aid and the other end hard into the computer. And every w every audiologist would have every manufacturer with every model with every wire. So they would, if you'd walk into these offices, you would just see wires hanging on their walls.
So is this any time you need an adjustment of some sort with your hearing aid, that's what you had to do. You had to go physically someplace.
Every manufacturer you'd have to go and have to hardwire before 2010. And then we brought the NOAA link wireless, which is what all the audiologists use. Now it's a little box that sits on their computer. That's wireless. Then now all the manufacturers can now plug in, but we brought that innovation and that technology to the hearing aid industry. Now, when you walk into offices, audiologists, don't have to have wires hanging on their walls anymore. So that's pretty cool.
So you have room for pictures and things like that on your walls, instead of fans everywhere, what are these, what are these technology advancements mean for a doctor of audiology?
It's just easy to fit. It's comfortable. You know, I love the way they look, for example, like this would be a product that we do all the time, um, is rechargeable. Right. Um, what I like about it is that is kind of sexy. They're the sleek, they're, they're easy to program. So we talk about programming. So there's less courts and things interrupting my conversation with the patients about what really matters the most.
You know, what's amazing too, is the, you know, I think of hearing aids from back in a day, and it's the big, bulky thing as you're talking about bubblegum in the year, or maybe the big clunky thing sitting on the back of your, these would be barely noticeable, right? Yeah. And that's gotta be, so that's kind of a win-win forever.
Absolutely. The, the, the technology on the designs of the hearing aids with all manufacturers, not ours, but just all manufacturers, the sleekness of the hearing aids have really progressed over over the, over the years and decades.
Talk more about some of the other innovative technologies that that resound has, has kind of broken into.
Absolutely. So with the 2.4 gigahertz technology, which is that low energy Bluetooth in 2010, the next one that we were able to do was in 2013, we were the first to collaborate with Apple to be able to connect hearing aids to an Apple iPhone. And that was in 2013. So now pretty much every hearing aid now you can connect to the hearing is we started at seven years ago.
Wow. What is it an issue depending upon the older folks tend to not be as techno, technologically advanced? Correct. Do you run into that as an issue with some, and you have to then say, all right, well, maybe this product is better than that product, that kind of thing, or this type of hearing aid is better than that type of hearing aid. Yeah.
I mean, I, I think so that's part of the conversation that we have with our patients, you know, what can you handle? What do you want to handle, you know, the applications that are made today, not just by Rosanne, but other manufacturers there, they can, as sophisticated as you want it to be advanced, or just more simple, or even baby steps. And we go, okay, so we're only going to do this today in a month. We'll see how you're doing. We'll be able to monitor. We can go in and it has data logging, so we can monitor, you know, what type of environments they have visited, um, how much, um, how many hours they've been wearing it. Um, the type of environment presents the programs. Um, were you more involved in quiet settings or noisy environments? Were you exposed to music? Um, you know, that sort of thing. And so we learn more about patients' likes dislikes behaviors. It's fun.
Yeah. You can program, you can, uh, you know, with the hearing aids these days, you can really adapt, you know, the hearing aids can really adapt to the patient's lifestyle, you know, so, and so whether they only go to quiet or maybe they don't go to restaurants course, how many people are going to restaurants now these days, but still, um, but you know, you can adjust these hearing aids accordingly to these patients' lives.
And that's something we've talked about in the past, Anna, where, where it depends on what that individual is looking for, what they need and very individualized and customized these days to the patient, a lot different from say 50, 60 years ago. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you've got a, a relatively newer product. I understand.
Exactly. So, you know, uh, one of the first that we were able to do in the industry, it was just recently in September was we were able to launch the new resound one. And with the one, we were able to bring a microphone and receiver an ear receiver, and it's the first we call it the Murray, um, it's the Murray receiver, and we can bring that microphone in the receiver. And we don't have to worry about feedback. We don't have to worry about reducing, you know, volume or what we call gain to the patient. And they don't have to feel like they have that bubblegum sensation in their ear with those, with that enclosed feeling. Um, so now with the Murray, you're able to bring six microphones to that patient. Whereas with some manufacturers, they might only have two or even four. Now we're able to bring six microphones in that one. And that six, that third microphone on each side, um, is in the ear collecting sound the way the ear is intended to do. We were all born with ears. And the function of that year is to collect sound and also localized sound. The Murray brings that, let that next level to that hearing aid experience.
What does that mean for me as a consumer when I come to my audiologist?
Well, so is the way that the ear is designed, right? So when we take a Murray, for example, and we put it in somebody's ear, so I'll just do it on mine. So we'll put it like this, it's that open feeling that you get, right? And we talk about the pinna effect. We talk about this part of the ear, you know, what we were actually born with, and it's just amazing, um, patient effect. It's dope.
The pen effect is the w the way that your body or the way that your ear collects sound. So using the, your ear for what it's intended to do, which is to collect sound localized sound, and, and protect that sound and, and, and get the, in collect all the sound that you can possibly get. And it doesn't get lost from behind. Whereas with other hearing aids , even ours, you know, the microphone's on top of the year. So if you think about it for a minute, if your, if your brain is a computer, which it kind of is what would be the best way for it to collect sound in the ear, or on top of that year,
I'm going to have to say in the year.
So that's what resound is. That's the philosophy that resound is bringing to the table with the new resound. One is that we feel that that's the best way that an individual can hear, and we can bring that, that most natural experience to the patient, um, on an everyday basis. And let them hear the way that they're supposed to hear as well as like you and I, and Anna, where we don't wear hearing aids . We can, we can hear naturally we know where sounds are coming from, you know, with typical hearing aid. Whereas sometimes they lose that localization or what we call spatial sense or anything like that, where you lose that way. Like, where's that sound coming from? You know, they hear a dog and they're like, where's it coming from you? And I, we would hear it. And we would know it. So to the right, or we know it's to the left, the Marine brings that to the patient in a 10% better performance.
Yeah. It's just natural. So it's natural sound, right? So, right. So the pit effect, so these are the folds and the richness that we all have, and they're responsible for collecting the sound and funneling that in, into the ear cavity. So making things in volume, in speech, more comfortable, more natural than ever
Talk about some of the features that's that some of these products offer to people.
So the resound one, so the resale one is a whole new platform from what we had with our links platform. So our links was the original, uh, hearing it'd be able to go to the iPhone that we had just talked about. So we had links, links, squared links, 3d, and then Leah, the links Quatro, this whole one in is a whole new platform, new chip, new design, new colors, new directionality, new programs, new receivers, the Murray there's so much, that's new to this platform. That's that we, um, that our, our research and development team did such a good job over the past eight to 10 years in developing this product. Um, that's really bringing a whole new experience to the hearing KW and care where we can now, you know, you know, deliver that complete individualized and personalized, natural sound experience to the patient. So there's a lot of features, you know, you just name which one you want to talk about. We can talk all day.
Well, you know what I'm curious, does this, does this automatically then just make a lot of these other hearing aids from the past obsolete? Or do they still serve a purpose for some people? No, I don't. I don't think so
Necessarily. I mean, um, you know, as a 2019, 2018 car, just as good as a 2020, some would say yes, some would say no, but for those people that say no, or say, um, yes. So you got to have something for those individuals, and if it was good in 2018, 2019, why was it not be still good in 2020? But if you have somebody who wants the latest and greatest and is really interested in hearing the most natural way, then yeah. Maybe they need to get that, that [inaudible],
They're more, perhaps they need that extra, that extra boost that they've been missing. Correct.
Yeah. And there's obviously going to be that fitting protocol, right. So if you have a severe to profound, this is not appropriate. So we would not recommend every sound one. We need something a little bit more powerful. So depending on the hearing loss, your cavity, your needs, do you even have an ear to hang something over? Right. Um, so there there's a lot more that goes into it, but it just makes a fun to have all this new offerings and it's not boring. Yeah.
Hearing, I, I, um, I've, uh, I've been with resound for two and a half years and, um, I find that the hearing aid technology world is very similar to car technologies in that way. So it's like you always have new, new technology coming out and you have that same question. Well, is the other one just as good as the last one? Is this one better? Should I go with this one? Should I go with that should spend the extra money to get this one. Um, it's, it's, it's pretty, it's a pretty cool, you know, scenarios,
You know, it's funny when you were talking earlier about hooking up to an Apple phone, and I started thinking, well, gosh, you know, music and movies and all these different things all through my hearing aid, you know, that kind of thing. It was just, it was just sort of, it's amazing to think
Phone calls, you know, navigation, um, anything that you're doing on your phone, YouTube videos, you know, watching the Facebook videos, you know, when you're scrolling through there, all of that stuff is streaming directly to both of your ears, not just one, but both to give you that stereo feeling
All right. From a consumer standpoint, some things that I'd be interested in rechargeability
Sure, absolutely. Um, so resound, um, we were not the first on this one for, you know, lithium rechargeable, and we were not first in that one. However, when we did come out with the lithium ion with the Quatro, with the last one, we really did have a very comprehensive rechargeability solution for our patients. Um, our aids , um, in general, we're getting 30 hours of battery life on a full charge. If they were streaming 50% of the time, they were getting 24 hours of battery life. Again, this is all going back to that 2.4 gigahertz, low energy Bluetooth that we were mentioning that we started back in 2010 and the industry that helps preserve the battery, not just on a daily basis, but longevity of the hearing aid as well. So that's something to keep in mind for. Rechargeability, you know, as a, as a consumer is what kind of Bluetooth are you guys using?
You know, cause that could, that could factor into the battery life. Um, the charger itself. Um, we had a, I have a charger that can hold a charge up to three full charges, which is about 90 hours of charge. So, and we can't overcharge our hearing aids . So if you think about it, if a patient wears it for 10 hours a day, probably more but Tanzania number to work with. Um, they work 10 hours a day. At the end of the day, they put the chart, the aids in the charger, it's going to charge up for those 10 hours and stuff. Whereas like our cell phones and stuff, they overcharged, right? So after year one first year, your battery life's really good. Second, third, fourth year, you start seeing your battery life going down because you're overcharging. We can't, we don't overcharge. So we stop.
So if we have 90 hours of full charge on that charger, that's a charge on the go. They can go nine days before they have to find an outlet. That's huge. Wow. Now chances are, it's probably going to be closer to five or six because people were probably wearing their hearing aids more than 10, 10 hours a day. But just to give you an idea that you can be with out your charging cord for a weekend or a long weekend, you know, and if you forget your coordinate, a big deal, as long as you left the house on a full charge.
And how many times have you been without your charger when you were, when you had your phone?
Very confident, very confident. So now with the one we were able to bring that same, that same stuff over those same features over to the patient. However, with the charge, with the, with the streaming, whereas with the QUATRA, it was 50% streaming. You could get 24 hours now with the one, if you're streaming a hundred percent of the day, you can get 25 hours.
Wow. So better than a day. Yeah. Something I read on the website about resound assist live assistance.
Exactly. So one of the first that we, I didn't get a chance to talk to a minute ago is back in 2017, we were the first to bring remote, fine tuning to the industry, which was our resound assist. And resound assist is asynchronous, which means that the patient can send a request, say with maybe they're at the restaurant and they're struggling and they need some adjustments or they maybe something's too loud or too soft or too muffled or whatever the case may be. They can go to the app and tell their hearing care professional what's going on and they can send it to her. And then at that hearing care professionals leisure, they can open it up on their computer, see that they have a request because everything works through the cloud. They see, they have the request, they open it up, they see exactly what the patient's sent.
They make their professional changes. What they feel in their professional opinion should be done. They send those settings back to the patient. Patient gets a notification on their phone, just like an, like a text message. And they open it up and they download the new settings. They're good to go. So that's the reason that says that's asynchronous. And then in February, we came out with live assistance, which is a synchronous conversation. So that's where we can kind of use like a FaceTime. So the hearing care professional can on the software, the fitting software can request a fitting assistance or a fitting, you know, schedule, um, or appointment with the patient, calls the patient on their phone, patient answers it. They can see each other, they can have that conversation about what's going on. She can make the changes in the software, just like if the patient was sitting right in the office, do all the things that they would ever be able to do and send their settings to the phone and then your appointments.
All right. So Chaz, what other sorts of wireless accessories are available?
Yeah, so we have an array of success, some phone clip to, um, to a remote control for somebody who doesn't have a phone, but still needs to be able to change their programs. And they don't have the dexterity to touch the buttons on the back of the hearing aid. We have remote controls to help help with that. Um, our two most popular is our multi Mike and our TV streamer. So the multimedia I have here. So this is for, you know, people maybe go to restaurants. We were talking about a restaurant in Minnesota, so we'll stay with that example. So maybe you're at a restaurant and maybe the it's just so loud and you're just having that, maybe that one-on-one conversation, or maybe even a group of people. So the way this multi mic works. So if it's laying, you can lay this on the middle of the table and it will pick up the sound of everybody that's at that table.
Right. And it will directly stream to that. Person's hearing aids and they can hear it. And it's usually about an 18 to 22 DB of a boost signal to noise ratio. So that's huge. It also has a distance of 80 to a hundred feet. So where that comes into play is if I put this on my jacket and you're wearing hearing aids and you and I are out to dinner, I can, you're my voice is now being picked up in your hearing aids . And you can hear me with an 18 to 22 more DB of boost in that. Now think about that in a noisy situation, how, how great of an experience now you'll be having in, instead of struggling to hear and wear yourself out and being tired after dinner that you know, the other good thing is, um, with this multimedia we can stream, we can pair up to we've, we've done up to a hundred hearing aids and stopped. So it's not like if you have a hearing aids and your wife has hearing aids , you both have to have one. You guys could share the same one. So maybe if you're out to dinner with your, with your kids, you can give this to your kids and say, Hey, can you put this on? And now both of you guys can hear your son or daughter talking without having the son or daughter having two of these
Or three or four nice shoes and somebody else at the table to put it on, but I get your point. Yeah, no, that is, I mean, that is amazing though. And I can see the benefit. Absolutely. When you're sitting, especially in a restaurant situation, as we've been talking about. I mean, because that's so impossible for so many people,
For example, how many times has the, um, has a as a S as a spouse been in one room and the other spouse being in another room and they might have their back to them and they're talking and they think that they're talking loud enough for the person to hear. And they're like, I can't hear what they're saying. This might be a good, a good option for that type of a scenario where the patient gets a person could have their back to them, still talking in a normal volume volume, and you can still understand them 180, 200 feet away. Wow. Depending on how many walls you have in between you as well. It,
Well, we have talked about this problem many times on this podcast because that's, that's a huge issue for folks. Um, I don't wear hearing aids . My wife and I have this issue.
You get to just one here at age, just because you want that. I'm really liking this.
And the other thing too, it's not obtrusive. It's not, you know, it's, it's
Handout it hides and you don't have to have it on 24 hours a day. You know, it's just, you know, there's times where you're really struggling or you want to really have, like, if you're in a group, like right now, like Thanksgiving and Christmas going on, right. Family dinners, you know, you might be sitting on one in the table and you want to make sure you hear what's going on the other end, the table, you put this down there and next to them, and you can still have that conversation. And you can hear the people near you. You can hear the people far from you.
I mean that multi mic, that's just, it's phenomenal. Um, something else you mentioned though, when I asked you about accessories, the TV streamer.
Yeah. So the TV streamer is probably our most popular accessory. If you were to ask any other reps of our, of our company, we'd probably say the TV streamer is the most popular. We call it the, um, the marriage saver. So, so what we can do is this gets put next to the TV and it gets hardwired into the TV. And then it's paired wirelessly to your hearing aids . And that the patient, um, has controlled through the app that they can control the volume of the TV as well as the volume of their surrounding Mike. So if they want to maybe increase the volume of the TV and their hearing aids , but also increase the volume of the conversation that might be going on around them. They can adjust that independently and find that balance, um, so that they can hear the TV and they can still be part of the conversation. Or if they just want to say, I don't want to hear anybody else. I just want to hear the TV. They can do that too. So, um,
When they turn out that audio, is that just to them,
It's just to them, this is why we call it the marriage saver. So the wife can address, can adjust. Cause how many times does your spouse or somebody say, you're two, TV's too loud. All right, turn it down. Right. So they can turn it up and she can turn it down. Or vice versa.
Chaz has been listening to a lot of our conversations, obviously because we have this conversation for almost every week. Um, this is really great stuff. And I mean, it's amazing the, the advancements and, and, and, and from so far back to today, but Anna question for you, I see ads on TV. I hear ads on the radio all the time about hearing aids and all these big box stores. Why can't I just do that?
You, you sure can. So they are hearing aids and they're over the counter amplifier amplifiers, or, you know, so there's there, we're not talking about apples to apples, you know, and, you know, Chaz spend a lot of time reviewing where they've been as a company and organization from way back when to now, if you want up-to-date digital technology, that's going to make it difference in your life. It's not a product that, you know, the big boxes are gonna have. They're only interested in older technology because it meets that price point, you know, but all the other different features like tele-health, or if you really value our service, which we do value, you know, we'd rather, we'd rather your opinion, um, as to what do you want to do with this? You know, it's very much personalized it, but if you want that, then you're going to come to us the best hearing health care providers out there that we want the most up-to-date technology available to you today, you come in with a problem, we'll have a new one, you know, overnight it to you. That's that's value. Um, if you want access to us, we have, you know, uh, appointments and sessions available where there's tele-health, especially during COVID time, right. Uh, is very important. Um, so I don't need to take you out of your home environment, your safe environment to come see us. Um, if you prefer to have like maybe a curbside, then we do that too. So there's a lot of other features that you're not going to get at this big boxes, but you are going to get it here.
So it's, it's, it's not just the product, it's everything else that comes with the product, the service and the tele-health is huge, especially right now,
Really the ones that's going to make a difference in, in, in how it's programmed or personalized.
Yeah, that's great. All right. Before we let you go, obviously you've got a lot of clients in the DC area. Um, what's your take on hearing doctors and really no pressure?
No. So, um, I do, like you said, I do have a lot of clients in the DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland market. Um, all of them are very unique in their own little ways. Um, um, I got, I've had a chance to work with, with Anna for about a little over a year now. And I've been with the company for two and a half years now. That's not to say that she hasn't never done resound. Um, but I just got a chance to really start working with her in the past a year or so. Um, and I can say with her and her team, they are very, um, very detail oriented. Their offices are amazing. Like every one of their offices you go in, um, it, it makes you feel like you're like you're being, it's a concierge service, like you're being taken care of. Um, they're very knowledgeable. Um, they use the up-to-date technology. Um, they're doing the, the 3d ear scans. Now they're doing the real ear. So they're, they're taking a very strong approach to all the service aspects that come to, um, hearing care solutions.
I've enjoyed the conversation today. Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. Ana, thank you. Thank you. If you're in the Washington metropolitan area and you'd like to schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors, click the link in the description or visit HearingDoctors.com.