Price for one - £1395 | Price for a pair - £2595
The Siemens Binax 7 used to be the premium model from Siemens when it was launched at the end of 2014 but has now been superseded by the Primax 7.
Update (April 2016) - The whole Binax range has now been superseded by the new Siemens Primax range.
Update - As of August 2015 the Binax 7 now has the option of getting it in the invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) style called the "Insio". If you're looking into purchasing a Binax 7 then you will know that there a few different places you can buy them from. Skip to the bottom of the page if you want to see how Which? Magazine rate the choices.
The Siemens Binax 7 is the highest level of technology in the Binax range. It contains 48 processing channels for improving sound quality and a greater number of features than the Binax 5 which enable it to be more refined and fine tuned for your needs. The full range of models are available from the smallest "in the ear" to full size "behind the ear" models and all are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.
Of the three RIC (Receiver in canal) models available, the larger two, the Carat and the Pure have a rechargeable battery option and contain more features than the Ace, which is significantly smaller and more discrete.
Lots and lots of channels
The Binax 7 has a whopping 48 channels. This is a lot more than any other hearing aid in existence. Most top end aids have either 17 or 18 channels. Audiologists are undecided at the moment as to whether all these extra channels provide additional benefit or not as the human cochlear only contains 20 natural channels, around 17 or 18 of which are used in a practical way. Either way, if you are looking for the hearing aid with the most channels, this is it.
Binaxfocus including spatial speech focus
If you go into a noisy environment, the hearing aids will automatically track the levels of background noise and work out where the speech sounds near to you are coming from. The hearing aids then work together by communicating wirelessly so that they can focus the hearing aids towards the speech sounds so that you can hear the person you are talking to rather than the background noise around you. If you want to focus on a specific speaker, you can manually focus your hearing in that direction using your remote control (for example, focus hearing to your right if you are sat on the end in a restaurant and want to hear the person next to you whilst still facing forward)
BinaxSound gives the hearing aids HD (High Definition) sound quality. Both hearing aids share the sound between the microphones which creates a virtual network of eight microphones to pick up the sounds around you. An example of how this works is that if speech sounds coming in from your left are being picked up by your left aid more clearly, it will transfer the sound to both ears so that you can hear them in stereo rather than from just that one side.
BinaxGuide lets you manually change the direction of the microphones are focusing in to either front, back, left or right. This can be useful for car journeys if you need to face forwards but the passenger is to your side. To home in on their voice, you can use your remote control to tell the aids to listen in that direction.
Siemens e2e Wireless technology (e2e stands for ear to ear) allows your left and right aids to collect sound and send it to each other. This enables all of the above features to function.
This program cuts down the effect of wind noise on the hearing aids when you are outside. If you have two aids, they work together so that if the wind is affecting one side, the other side is made clearer to compensate.
Basically if you're in the kitchen and someone drops a plate on the floor you are less likely to jump out of your skin as the hearing aid reacts immediately to loud and unexpected sounds and softens them.
Tinnitus masking program
The audiologist can run some tests to find the frequency of your tinnitus and a personalised program of sounds can be set up to help to lessen the effects of your tinnitus.
The screeching sound that you get from your hearing aid when your ear gets too near to the side of your chair or you hug someone? This feature gets rid of that before it happens.
This enables Bluetooth streaming using the easyTek sound streamer and your remote control. Stream sounds directly from your phone or TV.
Using the app you can download on your Android or Apple smartphone you can have full control over your hearing aid. You can control the volume as well as individually altering bass and treble. The program can be changed, your hearing can be focused in a particular direction and you can fine tune each program's settings easily and discretely.
Siemens hearing aids have significantly improved over the last year or two and the Binax 7 has been fairly well received. Historically the other hearing aid manufacturers who only focus on hearing aids have always been considered superior to Siemens who are better known for their other products from telecoms to transport (and my toaster), but they are now beginning to catch up. If you are interested in this technology but your budget won't stretch to this model then you might also want to consider the Binax 5 or Binax 3.
When buying a hearing aid, the audiologist you choose is often as important as the hearing aid itself. Which? magazine kindly gave us permission to show you the information below (You can click here for the full article) and as you can see the customers rate independent audiologists significantly higher than the big national suppliers.