- Starkey details
Starkey is an American hearing aid company founded in 1967 by Bill Austin, who is still the CEO of the family owned company. Starkey are by far the largest hearing aid company in America and rank amongst the largest in the world. They are widely regarded as having the best feedback (whistling) management systems in the industry and are specialists in miniaturisation, having developed the revolutionary SoundLens in 2010.
They have a unique approach to hearing aid development, and eschew technology that the don’t believe is robust enough for daily use. For this reason their hearing aids are particularly robust, being fitted with their unique Hydrashield, to prevent moisture damage. By far the last large company to embrace multiband, adaptive directional microphone technology (released in 2014 in their new Z-series), they now offer this advanced feature thanks to a revolutionary microphone called MEMS, which is more moisture resistant and reliable than traditional electret microphones employed by most mainstream hearing aid manufacturers.
Starkey are also heavily involved in philanthropic activity through the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which fits over 100,000 hearing aids free of charge to patients in the developing world.
For further details of the special features in Starkey hearing aids, please read on.
Acuity directionality - the newest directional microphone strategy employed by Starkey through the use of MEMS microphones. Acuity directionality is able to follow up to 16 noise sources at any one time, and adjust the microphone to focus away from the noise. Critically, if speech is detected in the same direction as the noise, the hearing aid logic will ensure that the speech is prioritised and will not focus in the opposite direction. Acuity directionality allows the hearing aid to focus in any direction, 360 degrees.
Voice IQ2 - Proprietary noise reduction algorithm offering up to 20dB of noise reduction, whilst maintaining exceptional speech clarity.
Directionality plus - allows the hearing aid to automatically apply maximum available noise reduction, if the microphones enter directional mode.
Acoustic scene analyser - analyses up to 7 unique environments and adapts the noise reduction accordingly at each frequency. More advanced models offer greater noise reduction and tuning possibilities to further enhance your listening experiences.
IQ Boost - A user controlled program that sets maximum noise reduction and a narrow directional focus for use in very noisy environments.
Spectral IQ - A special technology to assist those with severe to profound high frequency hearing loss. Spectral IQ replicates the higher frequency speech signals that you may not be able to hear and replicates them at a lower frequency, where your hearing levels are better. The aim of this feature is to preserve the natural harmonics and features of the incoming speech.
Binaural Spatial Mapping - Uses information from both hearing aids to determine the most suitable noise reduction and microphone strategies for optimum hearing.
SoundPoint - Allows the user to fine tune their hearing aid sound to match their own preferences in a very novel way. Requires the use of a compatible smartphone or tablet.
900SYNC - Starkeys standard wireless technology employed in the Z-series. It uses a 900MHZ signal with good reach, to connect to a variety of external devices for telephone, music, television and media streaming. Unlike most other manufacturers that use a much lower powered frequency, 900SYNC does not require a neck worn device to act as a bluetooth intermediary. The Surflink mobile and Media can be up to 10 meters away from the hearing aids and still communicate with them.
Halo - Starkey’s newest wireless technology that operates on a 2.4GHZ frequency for direct Bluetooth connectivity with selected phones and tablets. As of June 2015 the following devices are compatible (taken from https://starkeypro.com):
“Halo and the TruLink app are compatible with the following Apple devices: iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 3, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation) and Apple Watch. Use of Apple Watch requires iPhone 5 or later.
Halo and the TruLink app are compatible with iOS 8.3, 8.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.2, 8.1.1, 8.1, 8, 7.1.2, 7.1.1 and 7.1.
Users of the iPhone 5 and iPod touch may experience some occasional minor audible artifacts when streaming audio with any 8.x version of iOS.
You may need to re-pair your hearing aids to your iOS device after you update iOS.
Halo Hearing Aids and the TruLink app are compatible with the following Android products: Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One M8 and HTC One M7. It is recommended that Android users use operating system 4.4.4 for Galaxy S5 and S4 phones and operating system 5.0 for Galaxy S6, HTC One M8 and M7 and Note 4 and Note 3. We are constantly evaluating Android products and their compatibility with Halo. Due to the complex nature of the Android platform and many different types of products utilizing this platform, we test each product separately and will provide compatibility information as we complete our rigorous testing. Remember to check this page for updated Android compatibility information.”