Written by David Roberts
Article written, May 2017
The Linx 3D is the latest range of hearing aids from Resound. There are three hearing aids on the Linx 3D platform, the Linx 3D 9, Linx 3D 7 and the Linx 3D 5. The 9 is the top of the range one, the 7 is one step down from that but still very sophisticated and it goes down to the 5 which is the mid range one. There are no "basic" versions of the Linx 3D, if you are looking for a more affordable option and have low hearing requirements then you would be looking at the more basic Resound Enya range.
The Linx 3D hearing aids are available through independents such as ourselves, and also a few of the big national companies, however in an interesting development, we, and other independents are the only ones with access to the complete version of the hearing aid with the full set of features, the non-independents get a restricted version with the "Teleaudiology" feature disabled. We'll go into more details on that further down the page.
What they look like
First of all we need to dispel a popular misconception. What a hearing aid looks like, does not affect its cost. Receiver in canal, full shell, invisible in canal, it doesn't matter. Any of the shapes within a given range (Linx 3D 9 for example) will have the same price.
RIC - Receiver In Canal
You can't always tell from the pictures but the Resound RIC's are particularly small and discreet. Between Resound and a few other manufacturers they they have gotten as competitive as measuring the exact volume of a hearing aid by submerging them in fluid and between the candidates for smallest RIC hearing aid available there are but a few cubic nanometers between them.
The Mini RIC receiver in canal aids are by far the most popular shape as they are comfortable, discreet, and have the full functionality of the Linx 3D platform. The two images below show how they compare in size to a bottle cap and also an IIC aid (see below for more on those) and the other picture shows some colour options. Most people do still go for the beige.
Custom made in-ear models
This is the IIC or "Invisible In (the) Canal" aid. The smallest of the custom in-ear options. This aid is very small and is hidden right down on the second bend of the ear canal where it can't be seen unless someone is looking directly down into your ear. As you can see from the next picture, it is fairly similar to the CIC or "Completely In (the) Canal" version that used to be the smallest option available and is similar in specification but a little bigger. Also worth noting that if you go for aids this small, you miss out on the wireless and Bluetooth functionality.
ITC, better know as "In the Canal" or simply canal aids are bigger and more visible (though still pretty discreet) and they don't need an extraction cord on them to be removed. The big advantage in going for this size or bigger is that you get full functionality with this size, all of the hearing aid features, Bluetooth, dual microphones and directionality are included. There is room to add a push button (illustrated) if desired which can be used to change programs if you don't have a remote control or smartphone. They also take the larger 312 battery which gives them a longer battery life.
The largest of the custom aids is the FS or "full shell". The only reasons to go for this one are if you have a severe to profound loss and need the higher power circuits or if you want to be able to use the larger size 13 battery.
Profound hearing loss?
If you have a profound hearing loss (all readings below the 90dBHL line) then there is nothing here for you. These aids do not cater for that level of hearing loss. You need to look at the Resound Enzo2 aids instead. Here is a link to the top of those models the Resound Enzo2 9
Apps and accessories
First, another clarification. You do not need an iPhone to wear these hearing aids. The Linx 3D hearing aids are very good in their own right, the fact that they are also made for iPhone hearing aids is just the icing on the iced bun.
In addition, all of these accessories are completely optional, most people use the aids without them.
Having said that, if you do have an iPhone (or iPad) then these are the additional features you get access to.
This saves you £100 or so straight away as there is no longer any need to purchase a remote control for your hearing aid, should you want one, as the app on your phone acts like a much cleverer version of a remote control. You can access a wide variety of hearing aid modes and settings, you can change the volume, clarity, background noise reduction, the TV streamer settings, the tinnitus management software. The list goes on. If you want to have a look at it yourself, simply go the app store on your phone and download - for free -the "Resound Smart 3D" app and have a look at it. You don't need the hearing aids to do this.
The Linx3D hearing aids act like wireless headphones. Phone conversations and music can both be sent directly from the phone into your hearing aids. You'll hear phone conversations in stereo without even having the phone up to your ear.
You have Android instead of an iPhone?
All is not lost, the app for Android phones is more basic and you need to buy a "Phone Clip+" to achieve the streaming, but otherwise you still get much of the functionality.
It's called a TV streamer but can also stream the sound from your computer or sound system directly into the hearing aids.
Attach this to someone's clothing (with their permission) and you will hear their voice directly into your hearing aids from upto 80 feet away.
Similar to the Micro Mic but it also doubles as a directional table microphone, point it at whoever you want to hear and their voice streams to your hearing aids.
As promised at the top of the page we have returned to "Teleaudiometry". This is the feature that is only available to independents like us. In a nutshell it gives you greater access to your audiologist. You can at any point use the app to send a message directly to your audiologist with feedback about any problems you are experiencing or any tweaks to your settings you would like to try. This can be very helpful in the fine tuning stages of your hearing aid rehabilitation plan.
You have had the hearing aids for six weeks, the audiologist has just been to see you for your third follow up and has adjusted them up to full prescription now that you have had time to get used to them. The following day you go out in the hearing aids and find that unlike at home, the outside world is still a little too loud for you. You can send a message using your iPhone app to the audiologist along the lines of "the automatic setting works fine at home but when it switches to the "outside with background noise" program, it's a bit loud. The audiologist can then make an adjustment on his computer and then send it directly to the hearing aid to make the correction. This can be done immediately via the internet from wherever the audiologist happens to be.
Hearing aid technology and the differences between the models
We have put this information on the individual pages for each hearing aid. Click on the links (not Linx) below to find out more.
Alternatively if you'd rather just ask us about the differences or anything else, give us a call on 0800 5677621. There's almost always an audiologist here to answer your questions.
Author: David Roberts