ReSound Alera Hearing Aids Review

The ReSound Alera hearing aids come in three models and each model has the option of wireless technology. The three models are the Alera 9, Alera 7, and the Alera 5.

The standard Alera models operate on a size 10A battery. The wireless Alera models operate with a size 312 hearing aid battery.

The Alera hearing instrument is only available in a receiver-in-canal (RIC) or also known as a mini bte (behind-the-ear) hearing aid.



Listed below are the key features of the ReSound Alera 9, Alera 7, and Alera 5 hearing aids. Scroll down the page to get more information on each feature. I realize that a lot of these terms are very technical in nature. And to make it more difficult to understand every manufacturer invents their own names for sometimes standard features or options. I will try to define or standardize the terms to make them easier to understand.

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Alera 9

The Alera 9 hearing aid is the top of the line in this series. It is rated as a Premium digital hearing aid in the 2011 Consumer's Guide to Hearing Aids.

Alera 9 has 17 Warp™ compressions bands and 9 Gain handles to deliver the most natural sound quality in various listening environments.

Key Features of Alera 9

• 17 band Warp™ Compression and 9 Gain handles

• Surround sound processor with integrated wind noise suppression

• Premium DFS Ultra ™with built-in WhistleControl™

• Premium NoiseTracker™ II with personalized noise reduction
• Environmental Optimizer™ II

• Onboard Analyzer™ II

• Natural Directionality II

• Autoscope™ Adaptive Directionality

• SoftSwitching™

• Fixed Directionality

• iSolate™nanotech with protective filters

• 4 programs or listening memories

• SmartStart™

• PhoneNow™ with auto-phone

• Wireless connectivity in the ReSound Alera 61 model with 312 hearing aid battery

Alera 7

The Alera 7 is the mid-level hearing aid in the series. The 2011 Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids rates it as an Advanced digital hearing aid. The ReSound Alera 7 has 17 Warp™ compression bands like the Alera 9 but has only 7 Gain handles.

Key Features of Alera 7

• 17 Band Warp™ compression and 7 Gain handles

• Surround sound processor with integrated wind noise suppression

• Advanced DFS Ultra with built-in WhistleControl™

• Advanced Noise Tracker™ II

• Onboard Analyzer™ II

• MultiScope™ Adaptive Directionality

• SoftSwitching™

• Fixed Directionality

• iSolate™ nanotech with protective filters

• 4 programs or listening memories

• SmartStart™

• PhoneNow™ with auto-phone

• Wireless connectivity in the ReSound Alera 61 model with 312 hearing aid batteries





Alera 5

The ReSound Alera 5 is considered to be a Basic Digital Hearing Aid by the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids but still many of the advanced technologies offered with its bigger brothers; the Alera 7 and Alera 9.

Key Features of Alera 5• 9 Band Warp™ compression and 6 gain handles

• Surround sound processor with integrated wind noise suppression

• Standard DFS Ultra with built-in WhistleControl™

• Standard Noise Tracker™ II

• Onboard Analyzer™ II

• Adaptive Directionality

• SoftSwitching™

• Fixed Directionality

• iSolate™ nanotech with protective filters

• 4 programs or listening memories

• SmartStart™

• PhoneNow™ with auto-phone

• Wireless connectivity in the ReSound Alera 61 model with 312 battery

WARP™ Sound Processing

This is GN ReSound’s sound processor. ReSound says that the Warp™ sound processing is mapped to critical bands in the cochlea to mimic the human ear that provides a more natural sound quality.

The Gain handles are used by your hearing specialist to adjust or “tune” your hearing aid. If you need more or less amplification in certain frequencies, your specialist can adjust a particular frequency or band to give you more natural sound quality.

The Alera 9 and Alera 7 have 17 compression bands and and the Alera 5 has 9 compression bands.

Surround Sound Processor

The Surround sound processor works in conjunction with the Warp™ technology to mimic the way the unaided ear processes sound. It treats low and high frequencies differently to improve understanding, awareness of surroundings and to preserve rich sound.

This feature is provided in all three ReSound Alera models.

DFS Ultra™ with built-in WhistleControl™

The DFS Ultra™ with built-in WhistleControl™ is simply a feedback cancellation system. The feedback cancellation system prevents unwanted feedback or whistling that you might get if something gets too close to your ear like a telephone.

This feature is included with all three ReSound Alera models.

NoiseTracker II

NoiseTracker II is probably just what you thought it was. It is a noise reduction or noise management system. One of the biggest problems for hearing aid wearers is background noise. Noise Tracker II is a very sophisticated noise management system in the Alera hearing aid.

NoiseTracker II is a feature in all three ReSound Alera models but varies by model.

The Alera 9 comes with the Premium NoiseTracker II. It has four noise management settings that are set by your hearing aid specialist when programming the Alera. He or she can program it for Mild, Moderate, Considerable, or Strong background noise situations. These settings can also be applied to different listening environments. For example, the NoiseTracker II could be set to “Mild” for listening to speech in relatively quiet environments. Or it they could set it to “Strong” for noisy situations like a sporting event.

The Alera 9 comes with the Advanced NoiseTracker II. It has three noise management settings. Your hearing aid specialist can program it for Mild, Moderate, or Considerable background noise situations.

The Alera 5 comes with the Standard NoiseTracker II. It only has two settings for noise management. It can be programmed to either Mild or Moderate background noise environments.

Onboard Analyzer II

The Onboard Analyzer is a data logging feature that provides information to your hearing aid specialist about your hearing. When your hearing aid specialist connects your hearing aid to the computer they can tell how long you’re wearing the aid and about listening environments you are exposed to.

This feature is present on all three ReSound Alera models.

Natural Directionality II

Natural Directionality II is ReSound’s most sophisticated directional microphone system. The benefits of this directional microphone system are environmental sound awareness with improved speech understanding to the front. So in other words, you will be able to hear a speaker in front of you clearly without sacrificing awareness of “what’s going on around you”.

The directional microphones actually use separate systems at the same time by designating one hearing aid as the “focus” ear and the other hearing aid as the “monitor” ear.

The focus ear directs the microphones to the front of the listener so that you hear someone talking in front or to the side of you.

The monitor ear operates in an omni-directional pattern so the listener can hear someone walking up behind them.

This feature is only available in the ReSound Alera 9 hearing aid.

MultiScope™ and AutoScope™ Adaptive Directionality

ReSound’s Multiscope Adaptive Directional microphone system adjusts the focus of the microphes from the listener based on the intensity and direction of the noise source. So the hearing instruments can be set for a wider or a narrow beam in front of them. Different memories can be set for different listening environments. These settings are programmed by your hearing specialist.

MultiScope with AutoScope Adaptive directional microphones automatically adjust the beamwidth based on relative levels of noise. As noise becomes more intense to the front of the hearing aid, the scope narrows. As noise becomes less intense to the front of the hearing aid, the scope broadens.

MultiScope with AutoScope Adaptive directional microphone feature comes only with the Alera 9. The Alera 7 comes with Multiscope Adaptive directional microphones.

SoftSwitching

SoftSwitching also uses knowledge about directional preferences along with acoustic analysis of the listening environment to control whether the hearing instrument processes sound in an omni-directional or directional mode. Like MultiScope adaptive directionality, SottSwitching uses sound level and speech detection to decide how to use the directional microphones.

The SoftSwitching mode differs from MultiScope adaptive directionality in that it uses slower transitions between the directional settings. It does this so the hearing instrument is not constantly switching from one setting to another. This makes the listening environment much more comfortable for the listener.

SoftSwitching is a feature on the ReSound Alera 9, Alera 7, and Alera 5 models.

Fixed Directionality

This is a basic directional microphone system. Each Alera hearing instrument uses a directional microphone system as explained above.

iSolate Nanotech

iSolate nanotech is an innovative nanotechnology that coats the Alera hearing instruments with an extremely water repellent polymer coating that is 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. Now that’s pretty thin! It is applied to the hearing aids in a vacuum chamber.

This will obviously help protect the hearing aid from moisture and earwax to make it last longer.

All ReSound Alera models are coated with iSolate nanotech.


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