by Hung Mai, AuD
While the Widex Moment is already a very capable instrument on it's own, there's a new accessory that can take it up a notch: The Widex Sound Assist.
Here are 4 key benefits of the Widex Sound Assist and why it is worthwhile to consider:
BENEFIT #1 - Better Speech Understanding in Noisy Places and at a Distance
The Sound Assist has two remote microphone modes to help improve speech understanding in both group and one-on-one conversations. There's a limit to how much any hearing aid alone can do to actually help with hearing conversations in the noisiest paces. That's where there remote microphones can be helpful.
The Sound Assist will automatically adjust itself based on it’s orientation. If the device is placed flat or horizontally on a table, the microphones will automatically switch to Table Microphone mode to pick up sounds all around the table; which is ideal for group conversations.
If the device is picked up in a vertical position, it will automatically switch to Partner Microphone mode to focus in one direction, which is ideal for one on one conversations. The Sound Assist can be clipped onto your partner’s shirt or worn around the neck with an included lanyard (must be less than a feet away from the mouth). If your partner does not want to wear the device, the Sound Assist can also be locked in the focus mode by simply holding down the center button for two seconds. The device can then be placed on the table in front of your partner.
Either way, the remote microphone will pick up the speech sound and send directly into the Widex Moment hearing aids to increase the speech signal over the background noise.
NOTE: The maximum distance the microphone will pick up speech sounds effectively in the all around mode is 1.5m or 5 feet. So this feature works better with smaller groups around a small to medium size table. In the partner mic mode for one-on-one conversations, the maximum distance that the partner that's wearing the Sound Assist can be away from you is approximately 24 feet.
BENEFIT #2 - Hands-Free Phone Calls
The Sound Assist can connect to any cell phone with Bluetooth for convenient hands-free phone calls, no matter if it’s a smartphone or a basic flip phone.
If you have a smart phone such as an Apple iPhone or one of the many Androids, the Voice Assistant can be activated by holding down the center button for 3 seconds and then giving a command such as:
- Call Joe Smith.
- What is weather today?
- Send a text message to Jane.
- Where's the closest gas station?
BENEFIT #3 - Remote Control
There’s buttons on the side to easily adjust the volume and sound programs of your Widex Moment hearing aids, so you don’t have to go into the phone app or reach behind your ears. Handy for those with limited dexterity in the fingers.
BENEFIT #4 - Telecoil
While the rechargeable Widex Moment hearing instruments do not have telecoils in them, the Sound Assist does. If you go anywhere that is looped or set up for telecoil, you can easily switch to the Telecoil mode to hear the person on the microphone easier with less background noise. Places that might be looped are large public facilities such as airports, auditorium, places of worships, theaters, etc. While most places are not set up for telecoil yet, there are a few places that do. You would have to confirm by asking someone who works at that venue or by looking for a blue sign that has an ear and the letter “T”, indicating that it’s set up for telecoil. Ultimately, it is a nice feature to have just in case you happen to go to a place that can use it.
IS IT WORTH IT?
The Widex Sound Assist is a nifty gadget. Jack of all trades. Kudos to Widex for packing so many functions into a compact body. Not only is it functional, but it also has a nice, sleek design.
The remote microphones improve hearing in probably the most challenging situation for most people, the dreaded noisy places. The ability to take hands-free phone calls with any phone with Bluetooth is convenient, especially for those who use flip phones and cannot utilize the smartphone app. The remote control feature is probably the quickest and easiest way to adjust the hearing aids. The telecoil feature is a bonus for the occasional situations that it may come in handy for.
Saying all of that, there’s quite of a bit of learning curve to use it efficiently since there’s so many features. The Bluetooth connection can also be a bit choppy every now and then, but honestly I've learned to lower my expectations when it comes Bluetooth connection with hearing aids (at least for now). Once you get the hang of using it and get past the occasional Bluetooth hiccups, I believe it’s a worthwhile accessory to enhance your experience with the Widex Moment.
So overall, I would have to give a thumbs up to Widex for the Sound Assist and recommend it to new and current Widex Moment users.
TRY OUT THE WIDEX SOUND ASSIST AND THE WIDEX MOMENT SHEER
To celebrate Ample Hearing's anniversary in January, we are offering a FREE Sound Assist ($400 value) with a purchase of a set of Widex Moment hearing instruments (premium, advanced, or standard level). Offer expires Feb 10th, 2023. We believe the pairing of the natural sounding Widex Moment Sheer along the handy Sound Assist will provide one of the best hearing experience for most hearing losses.
To learn more about the Widex Moment Sheer, click here.
If you're near the Kenner area and would like to test out Widex technology or any of other major hearing aid brands, call (504) 375-3075 for an appointment. After a proper hearing evaluation to confirm your hearing level, you'll be able to explore your options.