Written by Paul Harrison
The Starkey Halo i90 and the starkey halo i110 hearing aid are part of a new range of hearing aids made for the iPhone. Launched in March 2014, the Halo is based on Starkey’s successful BluWave 3.0 operating system which is used in many of their other products. The Halo allows you to stream the sound from your Apple devices directly to your hearing aids, without the need for extra wires or hardware such as Bluetooth neck loops or phone clips.
This effectively turns your Halo hearing aids into wireless headphones, so that you can listen to phone calls, music, films and much more, directly from your iPhone, iPod or iPad, thanks to the hearing aids integrated Bluetooth 4.0 technology. To answer a phone call, simply touch the screen on your iPhone and the caller’s voice will be sent directly to your hearing aids.
To listen to music simply set your iPod or music player on your iPhone to your favourite tracks and keep it in your pocket whilst you listen wirelessly. To switch from music and phone calls to listening to sounds around you simply swipe your touch screen.
Along with music and facetime streaming, the Trulink app turns your Apple device into a remote control. This allows you to change the programs and volume settings as well as the sound quality easily and discretely, giving you control over your hearing in every situation. A visual indicator bar shows you your current listening settings and lets you adjust the bass, treble and volume to suit you. The Soundspace tool in the Trulink app lets you make these changes with a tap of your touch screen.
You can create Trulink Memories by adjusting your hearing aids to your ideal setting and saving them in the SoundSpace program. You can create and save up to 20 Trulink memories with your favourite settings for different hearing situations, so you can alter your hearing aids quickly and easily.
You can also use this app to geotag your location. This clever app uses the GPS built into your phone to recall your location and link it with your hearing aid settings. It will then change the settings on your hearing aids automatically the next time you are in the same place. This means there will be no need to manually change your program settings when you arrive at work or at your favourite restaurant or coffee shop. Your program memories are easy to adjust and change using the visual indicator bar on your iPhone.
The geotagging facility will also help you to find your hearing aids if you misplace them. Simply choose the ‘find my hearing aids’ option and your iPhone will guide you to them.
The hearing aids contain directional microphones and advanced noise reduction technology to help to clarify speech sounds in noisy and challenging environments. The specialist technology also helps to bring higher frequency sounds, such as children’s voices, within your hearing range using sound replication. Sound compression is used to help you to separate soft and loud speech sounds. This is ideal in noisy environments or where a few people are all talking at once. The feedback canceller ensures that you are free from annoying whistling or feedback if you accidentally touch your aids or if you hug someone.
You can turn your iPhone into a microphone to help you listen to people in more demanding listening situations. Simply turn on the microphone and place your iPhone in front of the person speaking, or at the centre of the table if you are in a group. Your phone will stream the speaker’s voice directly to your hearing aids just as it does with music and phone calls, whilst cutting down the background noise.
Other useful programs include the ‘car mode’ which is designed to reduce the background car noise and allow you to hear the conversation or music when you travel.
Starkey’s Trulink App is designed for the iOS 7.1 platform and compatible with the iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, the iPad mini, the iPad mini with retina display and iPad Air as well as the 4th generation iPad and 5th generation iPod Touch.
Suitable for mild to severe hearing loss, these Receiver In The Ear (RITE) hearing aids are available in a variety of colours so it’s easy to find one to suit you. The small and discrete box which fits behind the ear doesn’t contain any fiddly buttons or dials, you can change the settings easily using your Apple device. The specially designed HydraShield nano coating will repel both wax and water, so there is less chance of your hearing aids needing repairs, and you don’t have to panic if you are caught out in the rain.
Price for one - £1295 | Price for a pair - £2495
Launched in March 2014, the Halo i90 became the second from top hearing instrument of the Starkey portfolio. Now superseded by Halo 2