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Ultimate Hearing Aid Guide.
Founded in the Danish city of Lynge in 1956, Widex has risen from humble roots to become the sixth largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world. The company was started in the 1950s by a pair of local engineers, who had come up with one of the world's first pocket hearing aids - the Widex 561. After that, the company developed steadily, without breaking through to become the global player it now is. This would have to wait until the 1980s and 1990s, when Widex exploited new technology before other manufacturers.
Their key innovation came in 1995, with the Widex Senso. The Senso was the first hearing aid anywhere in the world to combine an in-the-ear design with digital technology. This built on decades of research and development into creating earmolds that were comfortable, tailored to individual needs, and able to house electronic components without risking damage. Senso was the fruit of that research, and it took hearing aids to another level.
Senso was followed by other trail-blazing devices, including the highly adaptable Inteo in 2005, the absolutely tiny Passion RIC device, which measures just 21mm across, and the Clear440 - which Widex claims is the very first totally wireless hearing aid. So, as you can see, it's a company with its finger on the technological pulse, and one which focuses strongly on innovation in all of its products.
Currently, Widex operates across the world, with a major presence in the US market, where you'll commonly find models like their BTE Fashion devices, RITE Fusion devices, and ITE XP hearing aids. With models spread across all of the most common hearing aid styles, Widex lets you choose a style which fits your preferences precisely.
It's not too hard to get to grips with the Widex collection. There are three main brand families: Beyond, Unique, and Dream. Each brand family includes a range of levels which offer different degrees of technological sophistication and power. These levels are identified by three digit numbers. So, for example, the most basic BTE hearing aid would be a Unique 110.
The most popular model in the Widex collection is probably the Unique, due to their impressive variety of features and relatively affordable price level. Even at the lowest level of complexity, Unique's BTE, RITE, IIC, ITE, and CIC hearing aids deliver wind noise reduction, directional noise detection with excellent range, and settings which adapt automatically to changing environments - all features you would normally associate with premium hearing aids.
Moving up a level, the Widex Beyond range has been developed specifically with smartphone users in mind, and is among the most advanced products available. They boast superior sound quality, making them appealing for music fans, have capable wireless streaming features, consume relatively little power for such a complex device, and hook up to Widex's Dex range of hearing aid accessories. These include handy tools like Com-Dex, which helps to hear specific noise sources in noisy settings, and the Uni-Dex, which is worn around the neck and connects Beyond hearing aids to smartphones in an instant.
It's also worth noting that Widex manufacture specialist hearing aids for specific users. For example, their Super collection is tailored to those with profound hearing loss, and their Baby range is, as the name suggests, designed mainly for younger users. They also offer a range of CROS/BiCROS hearing aids for those with differential hearing loss, so almost all auditory needs are catered for somewhere in their product portfolio.
But are Widex hearing aids the products for you? Well, they are certainly a premium brand, which may put them out of some users' price range. Then again, their 110 or 220 varieties are significantly cheaper than their top of the line versions, and may not be out of the question. They also cater well for tinnitus sufferers via a system called Zen, which delivers therapeutic tones and helps to sooth ringing in the ears. And their specialist hearing aids are an excellent option for infants or those suffering from serious hearing loss.
Brands like ReSound, Widex have fully embraced the potential offered by digital technology, and you can expect high-quality streaming and user-friendly apps. Their products are also intelligently designed in cosmetic terms, and benefit from Widex's decades of experience in creating comfortable earmolds, so they should be a joy to use.
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