14th January 2021
Our latest testimonial comes from Sally Jackson, a hearing care professional, who reviews her demo pair of ReSound ONE hearing aids. Thank you for your feedback Sally!
Look and feel
The aids themselves are not quite the smallest on the market but they look and feel slick. All the materials used in the packaging, charger, receivers and the aids themselves are of a high quality, with a pleasing feel and a reassuring weight to them which compare favourably to their competitors. This is something you would feel good about passing over when a customer has spent a large sum of money. The new design of the ONE means it sits further down behind the pinna than many competitors, which is a pleasant surprise when using glasses. The square edges of the RIC design are a departure from the more recent rounded trends and as a young (41!) user I welcome something that looks slightly more trendy, especially in the sleek black of the demos I received, which blend well with brunette hair and glasses frames while looking as far from ‘medical’ as possible. The weight of the aid is not a negative, it is simply that you can tell you have it on when you pause to think about it, and you notice when the glasses or your headgear moves them – this is a good point if customers are worried about losing aids, especially with masks set to be in use for some time to come. ReSound mention the low centre of gravity during their training on the ONE and it is obvious that a lot of thought has gone into design. The new receivers are tricky to attach and remove but I am sure that with practice they will become second nature, and there is no tool required to remove or replace them once you have the hang of the fingernail grip technique.
Sound quality in general is very similar to ReSound’s previous RICs of the same standard. I wore the LiNX² (level 9) daily for several years and trialled the Quattro for a week last year. The ONE provides the same bright, clear, sharp sound quality which is ReSound’s signature. Hearing aids to me always have a signature sound quality and ReSound is very much one of the best 2 or 3 in it’s class. The proprietary rationale gives a great balance between soft and loud sounds so you miss very little in the environment without being overwhelmed. While other manufacturers seem to have an ‘is it on?’ response, ReSound ONE offers sound stimulation around the home and a reassuring connection to the environment. I still have excellent low frequency hearing and am aware of circuit noise with one or two of the big manufacturers – that background ssshhhh noise that is there all the time the hearing aid is on – and I am happy to report that it is not evident with this latest hearing aid. Music is rich and pleasing, and the detail of the quieter instruments on one of my favourite tracks was audible and balanced in the normal auto setting (i.e. not a specific music setting). Really enjoyed the lyric definition in the music – as a rock fan I often find this is lacking with hearing aids even when they are good with speech in noise – but the ReSound ONE offered excellent clarity. I personally have cochlear dead regions in the high frequencies and although the frequency lowering did a good job of making sound audible and accessible, there was still familiar and noticeable distortion at high frequencies at high input levels such as loud speech, shouting or alarms. This would not be apparent if I was in the usual category of mild-moderate or even the low end of severe that the vast majority of users are, but is something to consider when picking the right manufacturer for certain users as it is not something I have been able to resolve despite working within the parameters of the receivers. It is far from unusual and I suffer with almost all hearing aids/receivers in the same way.
I use iPhone which offers a really robust connection and a good streaming sound quality. As a dispenser I am also pleased to find the ReSound ONE offers a full (both left and right) Android connection with no intermediary device, this is great flexibility.
Speech in noise and location
I was trialling the 9 level and obviously at this end the user is going to be concerned with speech in noise. I was impressed with the ONE’s handling of speech in noise and also the complex and often ignored location of speech in relation to environmental noise. I found the performance in this category to be very, very impressive and although there is another manufacturer who is equal, I genuinely cannot think of one that is better. Sound location has improved in particular with this latest model, with and even without the M&RIE technology, with eyes closed I was aware of the location and level of the items in my ‘soundscape’. Unless you have experienced the loss of this, I don’t think you can adequately appreciate how lovely it is to get it back. Some hearing aids - even in this premium class - offer a flat reproduction of the environment. Even when you can hear speech well, the sensation of sound sources being balanced and knowing precisely where they are coming from is just a lovely thing. I can imagine a user moving from NHS technology to this would be absolutely delighted. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions I was unable to try these aids out in the pub or a busy restaurant, but one often forgets that in the home there are significant challenges for users. Standing in a kitchen with the kettle and washing machine on in the background while two family members quarrel is about as difficult as it gets in terms of echo and distinction of voices in flat and undulating background noises – I don’t need to leave my home to be unable to hear speech! ReSound ONE is appreciably a very strong competitor on speech-in-noise performance, offering excellent distinction while retaining natural sound quality. I would have no hesitation in recommending them for a customer or friend who needed high performance for speech in noise.
As an audiologist working with the hearing aids, the software is pleasing to work with and has a natural workflow. The ‘plain speech’ translations of the features you are changing is very welcome as although we all try hard to remember our training, at the end of a long, frazzled day switching between manufacturers’ terminology it is so nice to hover the cursor over a feature and make sure it is the right one before you change it and potentially make a mistake! The new dome range provides good amplification in the high frequencies (relative to competitors) without use of hard tips, saving time and money and offering a good demo experience. The option of a remote session for iPhone users with no additional equipment or special training for the user is very well designed and has obvious positive implications for safe working in the pandemic and cost/time saving.
In summary, I am incredibly impressed by the new ReSound ONE and would recommend it wholeheartedly for sound quality, performance in noise, 3D location of sound and excellence in aesthetic design that will appeal to users of all ages.