• Starkey Livio AI - the healthable hearing aid

    Healthable hearing aid features of the Starkey Livio AI

    Do you have the Starkey AI hearing aids?

    For anyone who already owns the Starkey Livio AI hearing aids, we wanted to remind you about the useful technology that is built into these hearing aids, making them “healthable hearing aids.”

    The Livio AI is a world-first hearing aid that has artificial intelligence which can track brain and body health. Until now there has never been a device that can track and measure physical activity and cognitive health. Most fitness tracking devices use the wrist but research shows that the ear provides far more accurate data. In fact, the ear is the body’s sweet spot for reliable health monitoring and tracking, this is all available in your hearing aids, devices you wear every day.

    Compatible with both Android and Apple smartphones, Livio AI provides a body score, brain score and an overall score, combining the two, using an app called Thrive. The Livio AI is truly a “healthable hearing aid“. 

    What is a healthable hearing aid?

    A healthable hearing aid uses artificial intelligence (AI) and embedded sensors to produce superior sound quality and smart health & wellness benefits too.

    Watch this Starkey video to find out more:


    How to use the Livio AI extra features

    If you’d like to learn more about how to use some of your Livio AI’s features, please get in touch by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579, we’d be happy to help.

    Some of the features of the Livio AI hearing aid are:

    • Tracking your steps, body movement & physical activity
    • Measuring social engagement & active listening
    • Fall detection
    • Foreign language translation
    • Connection to Siri
    • Create geo-tagged memories

    Step and movement tracking


    Healthable hearing technology can do things like track your daily steps and activity levels, motivating you to move more, which can help keep you healthier as you age. Experts agree that the head — and the ear, specifically — is a much more accurate place to measure our physical activity and monitor our body’s “signals” than on the wrist or in a pocket. By including 3D motion sensors like an accelerometer and gyroscope, Livio AI hearing aids are able to detect movement and gestures and give a more reliable readout of your steps and activity. 

    Livio AI hearing aids make it easy to stay on top of both your body and brain health. Paired with the Starkey Thrive Hearing app, Livio AI hearing aids track your physical activity (similar to a FitBit) and measure actions that are good for your brain health, like daily usage of your hearing aids, social engagement, and time spent listening actively. Each day, the Thrive app then combines your body and brain activity to give you a Thrive Wellness Score, which helps you know if you’re meeting your physical and cognitive health goals.

    Fall detection and alerts

    If you’re an older adult — or care for someone who is — falling is likely to be high on your list of worries. And rightfully so, according to Age UK:

    • According to data released by NHS Digital, nearly 100,000 older people (aged 60+) suffered hip fractures in 2017/18
    • Falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75 with over 5,000 older people dying as a result of a fall in 2017, a 70% increase on the numbers in 2010, according to Age UK.

    How fall detection and alerts work

    • The hearing aid wearer selects up to three contacts to be notified if they fall.
    • They (or their hearing professional) can enter contacts easily into the Thrive Hearing app.
    • The auto alert feature automatically sends an alert to the contact(s) if the hearing aid wearer falls.
    • The alert contains the GPS location of the wearer.
    • The contact can then immediately call the wearer back to check on them or otherwise get them help.
    • The manual alert feature allows the wearer to simply tap their hearing aid to send an alert for a fall or non-fall related event.

    Translation tool

    The Livio AI hearing aid translates languages as you hear them – 27 languages are catered for.

    How the translation tool works

    • Select your language and that of the other speaker to engage in a conversation.*
    • When you speak into your iPhone®, the Thrive Hearing app will translate your speech and display it on the screen in the other person’s language. Show them the screen so they can see what you’re saying.
    • When the other person speaks into your phone, the app will translate their speech, display it in your language on the phone, and also stream the translated text to your hearing aids in your language.

    *Choose from these 27 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmal, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish


    Self Check provides a quick, convenient way for you to analyse your hearing aid system’s performance. Your hearing professional sets the feature and establishes a baseline at the initial fitting.

    Self Check is an app-based feature that provides you with a quick and convenient way to find out how your hearing aid system is performing. To get started, your hearing professional sets this feature during the initial fitting and establishes a baseline. Then, at any time, you can run a diagnostic test, using the Thrive™ Hearing Control app.

    After you initiate the test, a diagnostic analysis runs on the main components of your hearing aids – the receiver, microphone, sensor and circuit. If an issue is uncovered, instructions on how to fix it will appear on your smartphone screen. At this point you may wish to make an appointment with your hearing professional depending on what the specific issue is.

    What do users think of the Livio AI?

    Healthable hearing aid – where to find out more

    If you’d like to find out more about how to use these features of your Livio AI hearing aids, please get in touch with us by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579, we’d be happy to help. 

    In summary, the question isn’t “What is hearable health technology?” The question is: “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

    Coronavirus update

    During the Coronavirus lockdown, although we are unable to see patients face to face, we are available by phone and video call and are also operating a drop-off and collect as well as a postal service for any servicing you require for your hearing aids. Please read our Covid-19 update page for more details of how this operates.


  • Phonak Roger Select - excellent speech understanding in noisy situations.

    Phonak Roger Select

    Our hearing is very individual. Some of us like sounds to be loud, some prefer things to be quieter, some prefer listening to music while others prefer listening to bird song. Hearing loss presents individual challenges to each client, depending on where it is most important to be able to hear well. In this article we discuss how the Phonak Roger Select can help with these individual hearing requirements.

    Hearing aids are programmed to each client’s hearing and requirements and can be tailored according to each individual’s feedback about their own unique experiences.

    Today’s hearing aids are very effective in increasing speech and turning down background noise, allowing the wearer to fully participate in conversations with family and friends, but sometimes an extra boost may be required for some listening situations. The boost required is, again, individual and in the past, this may have resulted in the hearing aid wearer requiring 2 or 3 different devices – one for each different situation.

    Phonak Roger Select – providing a boost in challenging situations

    Roger Select is a state-of-the art wireless microphone

    The Phonak Roger Select is a small portable device that is compatible with most hearing aids and it provides that needed boost in challenging listening situations. It is used with a neck loop which transmits the sounds directly into the hearing aids. But what makes Roger Select stand out from the crowd is that one single device adapts to lots of different situations. It is small, light, portable and easy to use.

    Roger Select is an innovative device that can boost phone calls, television, speech in meetings and speech in noisy places. Roger Select is a clever remote microphone that can focus on a specific speaker.

    Phone Calls

    The Phonak Roger Select can connect to Bluetooth phones and act as a hands-free system. The telephone call is sent directly into the hearing aid without the need to hold the phone to the ear.


    Roger Select plugs into the audio output of a television. It sends the TV into the hearing aids via the neck loop. This means that the hearing aid wearer can adjust the volume of the TV, by adjusting the volume of their hearing aids, independent to other people watching the same TV.


    During meetings, Roger Select is placed on the table. It automatically focuses on the person speaking and send the voice straight into the hearing aids via the neck loop.


    Roger Select can also be worn attached to the lapel of a speaker such as a lecturer or passenger in a car. For example, it can be difficult to hear the passenger speaking when you are driving a car, especially because it is not possible to be facing the person speaking. The Roger Select is worn by the passenger either on a cord around the neck or clipped to the lapel. Roger Select focuses on the passenger’s voice which is now heard clearly by the hearing aid wearer.

    Phonak Roger Select – where to find out more

    To have a demonstration of the Phonak Roger Select, please call to book an appointment or fill in our online contact form.


  • Wind noise in hearing aids - is it a thing of the past?

    Wind noise in hearing aids – a thing of the past?

    There’s nothing like being outside on a gloriously sunny day to lift your mood. Whether it’s a walk along the promenade by the sea, strolling through a woodland park or a round of golf with friends, it has been demonstrated that the exercise and social interaction we gain through outdoor activities are good for our overall wellbeing. But for hearing aid wearers, these moments can be made more challenging by the wind. In this article we ask the question: Wind noise in hearing aids – is it a thing of the past?

    Wind noise in hearing aids used to mask out speech

    When wind blows across hearing aid microphones, particularly for models that sit behind the ear, it results in the wearer hearing, unsurprisingly, the wind blowing, but at quite a high level which masks out other sounds including speech. Fluctuating wind noise can be very irritating and many wearers may take their hearing aids out in these conditions.

    Noise management strategies

    Hearing aid manufacturers have built noise management strategies into their hearing aids for many years. These wind noise management features effectively reduced the volume of the wind noise but also reduced the volume of speech too so while this made the sound more comfortable it affected the ability to join in conversations resulting in a trade off between comfort and intelligibility…..but not any more!

    Wind noise is now filtered out

    New advances in processing mean that wind noise can now be effectively managed while still preserving speech information. Unwanted wind noise can be separated from the conversations that we want to hear. Wearers experience good sound quality and clarity, allowing them to continue to participate in conversations without any uncomfortable wind noise and most importantly keep wearing their hearing aids, even in windy situations.

    Wind management algorithm

    Wind noise management is an automatic feature so there is no need to change to a different program or make any adjustments. The hearing aid continually analyses the environment and as soon as it detects wind, it applies its wind management algorithm until the wind stops blowing across the microphones.

    Wind noise in hearing aids – where to find out more

    For a trial of the latest wind management technologies, please contact us for an appointment

    We partner with most of the leading hearing aid manufacturers, find out more on our Hearing Aid Partners page. 

  • What are the different styles of hearing aids available?

    If you’re considering hearing aids, you may find the different types confusing. In this blog post, you can discover more about the different styles of hearing aids available today.

    Totally Invisible Hearing Aid LyricTotally invisible

    The Phonak Lyric is the world’s first 100% invisible hearing aid. It is placed entirely inside your ear canal by a trained audiologist, remaining completely invisible from view. The Lyric requires no daily changing/insertion, no batteries, no filters and is sweat-proof, shower-proof and remains in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months at a time.

    IIC Hearing Aid Phonak Virto B TitaniumInvisible in the canal

    The Invisible In Canal hearing aid (IIC) fits deep in the ear, completely out of view past the second bend of the ear canal, providing an invisible fit. The cosmetic advantages of this hearing aid can appeal to a wide variety of people and cater for mild to moderately severe hearing losses.

    BTE Hearing Aid Starkey Muse wireless miniBTEBehind the ear

    This hearing aid is the most versatile and suits all types of hearing difficulties. It can amplify sounds more than any other kind of digital hearing aid. However, it is the most visible as it hooks over the top of your ear.

    Styletto colour rangeOpen fit

    This is a scaled-down version of the previous hearing aid and thus is a lot smaller in size. Therefore, they tend to be of help to those who have mild to moderate hearing difficulty.

    CIC Hearing Aid Primax Deep RedCompletely in the canal (CIC) hearing aid

    This hearing aid style is one that is actually moulded so that it fits completely inside the individual’s ear canal. A lot of people go for this option as it is the least visible and thus people don’t tend to notice it. A completely in the canal hearing aid tends to be best suited for those who have mild to moderate hearing loss. Because it’s inside the ear it is also easy to use with devices, such as mobile phones. And it is unlikely that you will pick up a lot of environmental noise, such as wind.

    In the canal hearing aids - ITCIn the canal (ITC) hearing aid

    The difference between this hearing aid and the one mentioned previously is the fact that an in the canal hearing aid only fits partially into the ear canal. Nonetheless, it still treats mild to moderate hearing loss, as does a completely in the canal device. The benefit this type of hearing aid has over the one just mentioned is the fact that you can typically benefit from added features, such as volume control.

    In the ear hearing aids - ITEFull shell in the ear (ITE) hearing aid

    This type of device treats a wider range of people as it can help those who have severe hearing loss. Nonetheless, the downside is that the full shell device is a lot more visible than other digital hearing aids. This is because it covers the majority of the ear’s bowl-shaped part. However, you benefit from longer battery life and ease of use. After all, this hearing aid is a lot easier to insert in comparison to the ITC options.

    Half shell hearing aid

    And finally, the difference between this hearing aid and the one previously mentioned is the fact that it only covers the lower part of your ear. Because of this, it only has the scope to treat up to moderate loss of hearing. This is a great option for those who are looking for something in between a full shell and an in the canal device.

    Different styles of hearing aids – where to find out more

    If you think you or a loved one may need hearing assistance, read more on our Hearing Consultation page, where we describe the process involved in having a full audiology assessment at one of our hearing clinics, either in Farnham Common or Marlow, in Buckinghamshire. 

    Or please get in touch to discuss your hearing requirements.

  • Innovations in hearing aid technology

    Innovations in hearing aid technology

    For many people, innovations and hearing aid technology are not phrases that fit naturally together. However, for anyone who uses a hearing aid, it’s comforting to know that the industry is advancing and evolving just as much as any technology sector, bringing about increases in efficiency and offering users additional features. Here are some of the biggest innovations in hearing aid technology that 2018 has brought us so far.

    1. OVP (own voice processing)

    A revolutionary new feature of hearing aids is OVP, which allows the user to hear their own voice differently from everything else. By using a completely separate computer system which is dedicated to adapting and modulating the user’s own voice, it reduces the sound and quality problems that often come with users hearing their own speech. In addition, it means that those hearing aid users who would have traditionally been fitted with open dome aids can now be fitted with closed domes instead, without any auditory occlusion being caused.

    2. Real-time care

    As with everything, hearing aids are moving into the digital world, and a great new innovation is remote assistance and real-time care. For users who are experiencing a problem with their digital hearing aid, some companies provide real-time care through the use of an app, which can be downloaded straight onto a tablet or smartphone. This means that you or your remote audiologist can make changes to the features and settings of your hearing aid via the app, solving the problem quickly and easily, without the need to visit your audiology clinic for a minor adjustment.

    3. Rechargeable hearing aids

    While rechargeable hearing aids have existed previously, their capabilities were limited, with a short battery life. They were also usually only available with certain types of hearing devices, usually a receiver in canal hearing aids. However, this year has brought about a huge increase in the amount of lithium ion rechargeable hearing aids so that most aids now have the rechargeable option. A further development soon scheduled for release is Fuel Cell technology which means that aids will only need to be charged for minutes and yet will last for hours.

    Innovations in hearing aid technology – where to find out more

    Please see our “Hearing Aid Types” page for an idea of how we can help you. For a full hearing assessment or just some advice on solutions that would suit your hearing and your lifestyle, please contact us.

    Attend our Open Days 2021 to find out more 

    We are an Open Week 25th-28th October to showcase the latest launches by all the leading hearing aid manufacturers. Catch up on all the new releases that you may have missed out on during the lockdown. There is a new generation of hearing aids now available. Book an appointment during our dedicated Open Week to find out more. Choose from Paradise by Phonak, More by Oticon and AX Pure Charge and Go by Signia – this is an opportunity to discuss with Wendy, Kevin or Selma if one of the new aids would give you an even better hearing solution and then trial the right one for you!


    Image: nicely dressed woman using her phone in a car by perzonseo licensed under Creative commons 4

  • Evolution of hearing aids

    How hearing aids are evolving

    In the technology boom of the last few years, some of the biggest everyday improvements have been seen in the field of audiology. Only a generation ago, hearing aids could be bulky and difficult to adjust, very unlike the discreet digital devices of today. The hearing aids we use now are capable of filtering and processing sound to deliver clarity and quality across a range of environments with no annoying feedback. They’re fitted to the exact needs of the wearer so that the degree and type of hearing loss is addressed precisely and the hearing aid fits the individual’s lifestyle.

    The rise of wearable technology

    Many hearing aids now use processors like the ones in your phone or computer to assess the type and quality of sound they need to deliver and to work with systems like hearing induction loops. In the future, we can look forward to even more technical advances, with hearing aids offering features that allow them to communicate directly with your phone, household appliances and music player – they may even offer a direct translation service.

    Your hearing aid options

    It’s important that a hearing aid matches the hearing health needs, ear shape and lifestyle of the person using it. For many years, the only hearing aids available were worn on the body or behind the ear. Now, many people prefer a model that’s worn inside the ear, so that it’s out of the way and not easily visible. However, a behind-the-ear model can still be a better choice for children, as it is hard to damage and will not need frequent replacement as the child grows. Some more severe degrees of hearing loss also need to be addressed with a more powerful behind-the-ear device. Though these factors come into play, ultimately, the type of hearing aid you need is determined by your individuality, your hearing health needs and your choice.

    Hearing aids evolution – where to find out more

    Please see our “Hearing Aid Types” page for an idea of how we can help you. For a full hearing assessment or just some advice on solutions that would suit your hearing and your lifestyle, please contact us.

    Attend our technology days – November 2018

    We are holding two technology days to showcase the latest launches by all the leading hearing aid manufacturers. There will be a mini exhibition open to the public to show just how far technology has progressed. See and feel the latest models and find out how they can enhance your hearing better than ever. Combined with this, there will be a series of talks on each day which will give you an insight into future technology that is almost hard to believe. To find out more, see our Technology Days announcement.

  • The Oticon OPN Hearing Aids in Silver

    Oticon OPN Review

    For many years I managed to hear well with one ear. I had battled with Meniere’s Disease, resulting in moderate to severe hearing loss on the left side. I was coping just fine until the day my body decided to let me down. I developed a Cholesteatoma in my “good” ear. The operation to remove the growth was very successful but my hearing was reduced significantly enough to need to now need a hearing aid.

    Post operatively I tried an NHS aid in my Meniere’s nerve damaged ear but the attempt left me feeling very vulnerable and a little scared, as my hearing was very distorted. Eventually my other ear recovered from the operation and I was ready to try a hearing aid on the other side, which worked well enough to enable me to return to work.

    I can now hear in both ears!

    However, last week my hearing was revolutionised! Selma Becker at Help in Hearing has now fitted me with a pair of Oticon OPN Bluetooth hearing aids. A little disconcerting at first because I can now hear in both ears, particularly my own voice which I thought would never be possible. I met with friends over the weekend at a noisy coffee shop and I could actually hear what they were saying. I am now able to differentiate speech from the rest of the hubbub around me. I could even hear my daughter whispering to me in the cinema.

    Oticon OPN hearing aids connect to mobile phone

    My Oticon OPN hearing aids connect direct to my mobile phone and the clarity of “in-the-ear” (ITE) hearing is amazing. Alongside the obvious benefits of being able to hear more clearly, another advantage is the reduction of loud noise. Meniere’s has left me with a condition called Hyperacusis which is an intolerance to loud noise, even at most people’s “normal” thresholds. I dread the smoke alarm, zebra crossing, refuse collection – the ubiquity of the modern beep – it hurts my head so much!

    My new hearing aid has an output limiter which controls uncomfortable loudness threshold levels. It knows not to amplify sound above that threshold so that I don’t perceive it to be “loud” even if it isn’t. How clever is that? It really works, as I discovered when I burnt the toast this morning. We saw a musical at the theatre recently and I sat rather too near the front – who would have thought that it would be my husband instead of me, who came away with sore ears!

    Oticon OPN – where to find out more

    Visit our Oticon Opn hearing aids page to find out more about these hearing aids, including the new ConnectClip, which connects to your smartphone, the Opn rechargeable hearing aid and connecting to Internet devices with your Opns.

    Read a blog article about the Oticon OPN – a remarkable new hearing instrument.

    If you’d like to make an appointment to discuss the Oticon OPN, please get in touch.

  • Paul Burgess of 10cc talks about hearing loss

    Paul Burgess of 10cc talks about the Phonak Belong Rechargeable

    Paul Burgess is an English rock drummer, most famous for being the drummer with the English band 10cc since 1973.

    We recently fitted Paul with the Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids. These are the first hearing aids to feature a specifically designed built-in-lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides 24 hours of hearing with one simple 3-hour charge. If you’re in a rush, you can rely on a short 30-minute charge to give you up to 6 hours of full performance. You don’t have to worry about batteries any more!

    Paul says: “Selma went above and beyond the call of duty. It’s the personal touch that you just wouldn’t find in the high street.”

    Watch the video (has subtitles) to hear Paul talking about his hearing loss and how he is getting on with his Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids.



    Phonak Belong Rechargeable Hearing Aids

    Read more on the Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids page. To make an appointment to discuss your suitability for this type of hearing aid, please give us a call on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form.


    *Photo of Paul Burgess by ChrisPsi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19429633

  • Coloured Hearing Aids have got the Cool Factor!

    An article we read recently about a little girl who wanted pink hearing aids so she could have “fairy ears,” got us thinking about what people want from their hearing aids. In this article we talk about coloured hearing aids.

    Many people like to decorate their hearing aids or experiment with colours and prints. The choice of a bold colour hearing aid gives them uniqueness and, for younger adults, a cool factor that acts as a fashion statement. Showing that hearing aids can be fun and can attract attention can help in situations when the person does not want to wear them or perceives them as old fashioned and boring. Manufacturers around the world have started the trend of offering a wide choice of colours, personal prints, cartoon characters or any other design the wearer demands.

    Hearing aid designs to match the taste of the wearer

    Often children’s hearing aids are adorned with flowers, butterflies, tiger prints or a smiling SpongeBob. The choice is unlimited and every design may be modified to match the taste of the wearer. Regardless of the type – in the ear or behind the ear, the device can be bright pink or turquoise green. Some companies, such as Phonak, even provide different stickers that can be attached to the hearing device to give it a personal touch. After wearing it for a while, you can easily replace with a new one.

    For those who like extravagance, though, there are even braver and more fashionable options such as Swarovski crystals or having a corresponding design of the hearing aid and mobile phone.

    Hearing aids with excitement and personality

    Regardless of the choice of colour, however, discreet or brighter, the important thing is to feel comfortable with your device and have the functions and features that you need. Choosing a colour could add a note of excitement and personality and can transform the hearing aid from an unwanted inconvenience into a cool and attractive accessory.

    You can read the original article that prompted this blog here: “The Secret Deafie: The girl who wanted coloured hearing aids (and wasn’t allowed to have them)

    If you need hearing aids and want to choose something that gives you the cool factor, talk to us about coloured hearing aids. We have a range of aids from leading edge hearing aid manufacturers such as Widex and Phonak and can discuss the options most suitable for you.

  • Study Shows That Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function

    A news item in The Hearing Review caught our attention this week: A recent study at the University of Texas has found that hearing aids improve brain function in people with hearing loss.

    We’ve long known that untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation and diminished quality of life, but Jamie Desjardins, who has conducted this new study, goes further in explaining why this happens.

    “If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes at a cost,” Ms Desjardins said. “You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources – your brain power – in order to figure out that message.” In other words the untreated hearing loss interferes with your cognitive abilities because so much mental effort is diverted towards understanding speech.

    Significant improvement after wearing hearing aids

    The study by the University of Texas looked at groups of individuals in their 50s and 60s with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss who had previously never used hearing aids. After two weeks of hearing aid use, there was an increase in percent scores for recalling words and selective attention tests, plus the processing speed at which participants selected the correct response was faster. By the end of the study, participants had exhibited significant improvement in their cognitive function.

    Ms DesJardins went on to paint a scenario of someone who has hearing loss and is still of working age, but they’re not wearing their hearing aids. They are spending so much of their brain power just focusing on listening they may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder and are more tired at the end of the day.

    Ongoing care and expertise of audiologist ensures best outcome for hearing impaired

    We see many clients who have resisted going to have their hearing checked because they don’t want to admit they have a problem. Or, they’ve received a hearing aid from another source but have not been given the aftercare support to help ensure their hearing aid is performing well for them. Here at Help in Hearing, we focus a little more on the expertise and experience of the audiologist and it is a combination of the commitment and professional relationship with the client that makes the hearing aids achieve the best outcome for the hearing impaired. We spend a great deal of time making sure we propose the right type of hearing aid for your specific type of hearing loss and we offer ongoing care throughout the lifespan of the devices, so the success rate is much higher, meaning you can get on with your job, your family life and your social life without having to spend so much effort on trying to hear what people are saying.

    Read the full article about the University of Texas study.