Extending the Blu line of hearing devices, Unitron announces the official launch of its Stride™ Blu BTE (Behind-The-Ear) hearing aids. Offering comfort combined with powerful hearing technology, the new Stride B-PR and Stride B-UP BTE form factors provide easy personalization and performance to support everyday life. A smaller, sleeker design than its predecessor, the Stride B-UP features an easy-to-find multi-function button for easier control and is Unitron’s first Ultra Power device to offer Made For All direct connectivity. The rechargeable Stride B-PR offers tap control and provides a full day of listening on a single charge, so wearers can remain engaged in their daily activities without pausing to recharge.
- Latest generation of automatic sound processing
- 2x memory capability of previous chipset (Discover)
- AutoFocus 360 with dynamic noise reduction (not available on all technology levels)
- 2 active Bluetooth connections with pairing up to 8 different devices
- New tap control for connecting to devices
- New personalization features within the Remote Plus app
- Slimmer case for wearing comfort and improved cosmetics
- New connection alerts
- Improved on-board control button for better tactile input
Stride Blu is offered in 4 different technology levels, the Blu 9 (premium), 7 (advanced), 5 (standard) and 3 (essential). The total number of available programming channels, classification environments and other features such as Dynamic Noise Reduction will vary by technology level as will price. Generally speaking, the higher the technology level and the richer the feature set, the higher the price point. For example, the level 3 or essential technology does not include as many environmental classification scenes, AutoFocus 360, soft speech enhancement or spatial awareness.
• AutoFocus 360 – A new sound processing strategy that takes advantage of the binaural (requires a binaural fit which means wearing two devices) connection between instruments, analyzing input across the 4 microphones to adjust directionality and noise reduction to optimize speech in challenging environments. This works when the hearing aid determines that speech is coming from the front. The intent is to improve your speech understanding and listening comfort in noisy listening situations.
• Soft Speech Lift — New with Integra OS, this feature will add gain (volume) of up to 4 dB to soft speech in quieter listening environments (below 55 dB SPL) with the intent of making soft speech clearer.
• Spatial Awareness – Also new with Integra OS, this algorithm utilizes the 4-microphone input (again a binaural fitting is required) to provide targeted directionality that can be asymmetrical across ears. The intent is to overcome missing acoustic cues that the natural ear provides.
• Connectivity/Streaming – Along with their sister company, Phonak, Moxi Blu offers true hands-free streaming to either your Apple or Android smart phone; it may even work with an older style flip-phone that is Bluetooth enabled. The advantage of this feature for you is that you are no longer tied to your phone. That is, you can take the call and walk away from your phone as your hearing aids deliver both the caller’s voice to your ears as well as pick up and transmit your voice via the hearing aids. This feature is somewhat unique in the hearing aid industry as currently only Sonova products (Phonak, Unitron and Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand) and some select Starkey products offer this feature. Also new is the ability to be actively connected to two devices and pair up to 8 devices. This is advantageous, for example, if you utilize multiple smart phones, perhaps, one for work and one for personal use. Previously, only 1 phone could be connected at a time. This allows you to stay connected to both phones without the hassle of connecting and disconnecting the Bluetooth link.
• Tap Control – This feature is new to Unitron but previously available within Phonak products. Tap control allows you to start/stop streaming, accept or reject phone calls and even access digital mobile assistants such as Siri by double-tapping the top of your ear. The feature is enabled by your hearing care professional within the programming software or by you in the Remote Plus app. It should be noted that there have been complaints of this feature not working consistently.
• Personalization – Moxi Blu offers new levels of personalization via the Remote Plus app. Within the automatic program you choose to change not just volume or low/high frequencies, but you can also choose to improve comfort or clarity within that program. When choosing “Comfort” or “Clarity” within the app, programming changes are made behind the scenes. For example, if you chose “Comfort” there is a slight reduction in volume and the strength of speech enhancement is minimized. These changes/preferences can also be reviewed by your hearing care professional on your next visit and help further fine tune your instruments. You can also rate your satisfaction with your listening experience within that program. The thinking behind these additional controls is that your hearing is unique as are your preferences and listening environments and that the changes you make can further improve the overall fitting of the instruments. The app also has the ability to provide ongoing support via imbedded instructional videos and the possibility of remote care with your hearing care professional.
Unitron Stride™ Blu BTE Hearing Aid
Unitron Stride™ Blu BTE hearing aids are traditonal BTE's that require a custom-made earmold. An impression of the outer ear and ear canal should be taken using quick-drying silicone material. This impression is sent to a lab, and a customised earmold is created.
Earmolds, which can be made of hard or soft materials, and are usually clear or pinkish in colour, but brightly coloured or decorative ear moulds are also manufactured on request. A hole (bore) is drilled through the ear mould and an earmold tubing inserted. The tubing then attaches to an ear hook on the BTE.