I have to admit that as time goes by, wearing high tech smart hearing aids has become just a part of me. I imagine this must be how natural hearing sounds, if that makes sense!
GN hearing’s assistive technology over the past 3 years has sort of become a part of my DNA, a real part of me, something I wouldn’t want to think about changing and for this very reason it’s almost trickier to begin talking about it. Nevertheless I am going to try and share my recent experiences with the latest GN Hearing re-chargeable additions “LiNXQuattro”.
About a month ago when I was fitted with them https://youtu.be/I7oXcSy9EEA
I was not just excited to be receiving GN’s latest and most innovative smart hearing aids but also excited and curious that the hearing aids I was being fitted with would be the rechargeable version, I know to many excitement wouldn’t be a way of describing “rechargeable hearing aids,” maybe useful or maybe practical but for me being deafblind I was excited - no more fiddly tiny batteries, easily lost, often resulting in no hearing until battery found or shop found to buy spares! As organised as I’d be I’m a girl, I change handbags regularly, have all sorts of things to carry and on occasion that spare pack of batteries I’ve fumbled around for in my bag have had all dead batteries! Leading to frustration, anxiety, sometimes even panic when I’m in an unfamiliar area and “virtually completely deaf” quite frightening.
No more having to pack spare batteries or worrying I’d lose sound whilst out and about - it really is the little things!
Wearing two dead hearing aids would make me feel more deaf than I am without hearing aids at all so I’d even take one aid out to use the tiny bit of residual hearing in an exhausting effort to keep my baby toe in with reality - of course this was ridiculously unreliable because lets face it, I am severely deaf and registered blind I need and totally rely on my hearing aids day in, day out and I can say without question that since being fitted with GN LiNX2 followed by LiNX3D and now LiNXQuattro this incredible technology has compensated in a positive way for my deafblindness more than anything. I’ve said it over and over and cannot stress the importance of this assistive technology it really is the “gamechanger”.
I’m going to begin by comparing my experience of having hearing aids with batteries and moving to rechargeable ones - shoutout to all hearing aid users : You know when you can tell your week is up and the sound quality starts to fade and you hear those beeps indicating you’re in need of a battery change?
That feeling when you change the batteries, that fresh feeling, almost feels like your hearing has improved a kind of ‘fresher!’ hearing (I personally loved a good new pair of batteries, no hearing person could understand that satisfaction but WOW new hearing aid batteries!)
Well, with rechargeable hearing aids, a full, new battery every single day - “fresh,” “clean” just like new hearing aid batteries every day, what a great start. A simple charge takes a relatively short time, I recharge overnight and throughout my waking hours use/stream without a care in the world. I have got into the habit of taking the little charging unit with me but am yet to need it - better safe than sorry until I know exactly what these aids are capable of.
If you’re hearing I can imagine you might be struggling to empathise with this however I just had to mention that it’s a very noticeable improvement with these new babies and a perfect start!
Like previous models these “made for iPhone” smart hearing aids still have the ability to connect the dots between all my accessibility tools - the sound quality streaming has improved making listening to music and taking phone calls so much easier and more enjoyable. I’ve experienced a new kind of sound quality, familiar voices have a different sound, I guess I’d describe as more of a richness, I’m picking up on things like expression of sound, sarcasm, exaggeration, pitch, those sort of things, things I’d never really realised I’d missed!
I love music, all sorts of music and since wearing LiNXQuattro I’ve begun listening more carefully and can pick out different instruments rather than just listening to words - before GN hearing aids I couldn’t decipher either. I used to make up the words and think what I heard was how it was, WRONG. Actually hearing was hard work and I’d rely on visual clues like lip reading and gestures, those days long gone along with my sight, how grateful I am to GN Hearing that I’m more than coping without visual clues.
I tend to use FaceTime to communicate with my friends, they seem to prefer it, not that they are deaf or deafblind, they just seem to be enjoy it more. I can still just about make out their faces, but that said most important to me is the direct stream of sound whilst doing other things (I’ll often rest my phone against something while I’m busy) I can walk around the room and keep busy and talk with my friends as if they are in the room - I’ve never been so productive whilst on the phone before!
The quality and clarity of sound has meant I don’t mishear very often, as a result I feel very confident in conversation not just with friends but with clients on the phone. I can still hear things around me like kettle, the microwave, the toaster - whilst on the phone.
I have often rung my Mum for instructions on something or the other and put the phone down while concentrating on those. The hearing aids feel like an extension of me, they allow me to do more than ever before.
I continue to enjoy the independence to swap and change settings in the changing environments I find myself in. Also to save hearing aid settings for places I visit regularly, it’s also pretty cool that the hearing aids remember settings for saved places.
I’m enjoying life with my rechargeable LiNXQuattro, that “Fresh Battery” feel, the rich way I’m experiencing sound, the seamless direct streaming is priceless, totally enabling.
My work involves lots of speaking and lots of listening at Q&A time which at one time I’d feel a little anxious about but not any more, my ability to access sound and to feel inclusive has had a massive impact on my everyday life, I’m anything but that poor deafblind girl sat in the corner.
My confidence and independence is at an all time high and yes, I rely totally on assistive technology to live my life and of course, rely on my Guidedog for keeping me safe but it has to be said my smart hearing aids are without a doubt the “LiNX to everything”
I’d like to comment on the remote hearing aid repair but accept to say it’s an amazing as my LiNXQuattro are yet to let me down and judging by my previous GN smart hearing aids besides the odd tweak in the early days completely problem free, perfect performance.