Price for one - £1595 | Price for a pair - £2895
The Bernafon Juna 9 is the premium aid in Bernafon's new range which was launched at the end of 2014.
The Bernafon Juna 9 (pronounced Yuna, but we don't mind how you say it) is the premium hearing aid from Bernafon's latest range. It combines tried and tested technology with new innovations and is at the cutting edge of hearing aid technology. These aids are ideal for those leading an active lifestyle that takes them into difficult hearing environments.
Bernafon's approach is that of "Audio Efficiency" which brings together speech emphasis, comfort, and personal individualisation of the aids to give the customer the best listening experience possible. There are a lot of complex features that go into making this possible, we have just listed the main ones.
How many channels?
No channels, none at all. This can be confusing for current hearing aid wearers that are used to more channels meaning better hearing. The Juna uses Bernafon's "ChannelFree" technology which keeps the signal pure rather than dividing it up into separate processing channels. This preserves the incoming sounds and provides a clear natural sound.
Bernafon have put a lot of effort into making sure that the Juna can be tailored for your specific needs, depending on the type of hearing loss you have. Using a feature called "Speech Cue Priority" the aids can be configured to emphasise different ways of hearing speech for different clients. This is quite complex technologically speaking but essentially for most users with mild to moderate hearing losses the aids will emphasise "phoneme cues" as this is what will help them to hear clearly. For people with more severe losses, this strategy works less well so "envelope speech cues" are prioritised instead to provide the clarity needed.
Intelligent volume control
Volume controls for hearing aids often have limited benefit apart from in simple situations, such as watching television. Typically if you are in a busy noisy environment they don't help at all as turning the volume up also turns up the background noise. This isn't the case with the Juna as it uses I-VC or "intelligent volume control" so that when you turn the aids up it only turns up the frequencies associated with speech. This enables you to turn up the sound of the voices you want to hear without overly affecting the background noise. If you instead turn the volume down, the I-VC knows that you are likely to want the background noise to be lessened rather than the speech sounds, so that is what it does. This is a very clever feature that we frankly wish were in all hearing aids.
Whilst it is important to always emphasise speech sounds, with some hearing aids this can result in a harsh sound quality with background noises sounding tinny or over-emphasised. The Juna aims to maintain client comfort at all times and prevent background sounds from becoming irritating. A new feature to help with this is the Reverb Reduction function. Basically the hearing aids listen out for when they hear the same sound again, slightly after hearing it the first time (in other words an echo or reverberation) and it only amplifies it the first time. This greatly increases comfort in hard surfaced environments as it eliminates echo's before you hear them.
True Directionality and Adaptive Noise Reduction Plus
The Juna always aims to preserve the sounds you want and reduce those that you don't. By focusing your hearing towards nearby speech sounds that it deems to be the ones you wish to hear the aid helps to keep you hearing clearly whilst suppressing the background noises.
Wind noise reduction
The Juna can tell when the wind catches it and it quickly shuts down the processing of the wind sound through the hearing aids.
Transient noise reduction
Some people who wear hearing aids find that certain sounds such as the rustling of newspaper, plastic bags, cutlery etc can sound very harsh through their hearing aids and when you flush the toilet it can sound like Niagara Falls. This can be reduced by turning down the hearing aid but that obviously turns down the speech sounds as well. This isn't a problem for the Juna 9 as it has "Transient noise reduction" which cuts down on these types of sounds without compromising on the volume of speech.
Live music program
The hearing aids can detect that you are listening to music and there is no speech present, they stop treating the music as background noise and take away the limitations they would otherwise impose on the music, for a more natural sound.
The Juna 9 has the usual range of accessories it can connect to for the streaming of TV and phone sounds direct to the hearing aids via the Soundgate 3 Bluetooth device. You can also download the Soundgate App if you have an iPhone with iOS version 7 or later.
The Juna comes in the full range of models from the smallest CIC and RIC models up to the full size power BTE's. Illustrated below with their specific product codes.
Author: David Roberts