A Complete Review of the Sonic Hearing AidPublished On: 18th January 2019
Last Updated On: 19th January 2019
A Complete Review of the Sonic Hearing Aid
Did you know as many as three out of 1,000 children have some sort of hearing loss in one or both ears upon birth?
In fact, the rate of prevalence of hearing loss shoots up to 15% for Americans aged 18 years old and above.
This is why a hearing aid is important. It enables these people to live normal lives when the impairment becomes incapacitating. The good news is that there are many brands and models out there to help the Hard of Hearing.
One known brand is the Sonic, which released the Bliss model in 2013. What is this Sonic hearing aid and is it good?
Let’s find out if it works and if it might work for you by reviewing its offerings. Read on to learn about its features, technologies, as well as its pros and cons.
What’s the Sonic Bliss Hearing Aid
The Bliss hearing aid is a legacy model that Sonic has since discontinued, along with Flip, Ion, and others. Still, many have an interest in this model, so we’ll discuss its features and technologies used.
The Bliss uses multiple of Sonic’s technologies to deliver clear and high-quality sounds. It reduces noise in a way that won’t interfere with the clarity of important sounds, such as speech.
It also mimics other functions of a healthy cochlea, making for rich and natural sounds. Bliss makes conversations clear and comfortable. At the same time, it allows users to focus on important sounds in dynamic environments.
There’s a lot to learn about these technologies. Read more about them in the next section.
Another important feature of the Bliss is its connectivity options. With the SoundGate accessory, you can link it to digital devices, such as your smartphone. With a TV adapter, you can transmit your favorite shows through it. The phone adapter, meanwhile, connects it to landline phones.
You have several options for Bliss as well. The right choice for you would depend on your lifestyle and hearing needs.
The Sonic Bliss has a miniBTE (Behind the Ear) model, which has a large program button despite its size. It has a long-lasting size 13 battery that can go up to 292 hours. It comes in Earhook or Thin Tube options.
Then we have the Completely-in-Canal (CIC) and Completely-in-Canal Power models. Both have a size 10 battery, lasting up to 133 and 97 hours.
It also has an In-the-Canal Directional (ITCD) model with a size 312 battery with up to 188 hours of juice. Another variant is the In-the-Canal Power Directional Wireless (ICTPDW) model.
Then we also have the In-the-Ear Directional (ITED) model. There’s also an In-the-Ear Power Directional Wireless (ITEPDW) models. Both have size 14 batteries, with the former lasting up to 323 hours while latter going up to 274 hours.
According to the Sonic website, all Bliss models have two technology levels: 80 and 100.
Pros and Cons
With that said, it may still be hard to decide whether to purchase the Bliss or not. After all, companies promise one thing and deliver another. To help you better decide, here are the pros and cons at a glance.
- It delivers natural sounds and clear speech.
- You have several options.
- There are several accessories for connectivity.
- The battery is long-lasting, regardless of model.
- It still uses Sonic’s premium technology.
- As Bliss arrived some time ago, some features may be out-of-date.
- It can be hard to get.
- The design is old-fashioned.
Looking at these, the Sonic Bliss hearing aid is worth to buy. The only remaining factors would be your preferences and budget. These will determine whether it’s the right model for you.
The Technology in a Sonic Hearing Aid
Although Bliss is a legacy model, it still features new technologies. These make it an excellent hearing companion even today. Learn more about them and how they can enrich your modern lives below.
Noise Reduction System
A hearing aid helps in hearing, but it may also process unwanted noise. This can be annoying and distracting, which is why Sonic developed a system to reduce such sounds. This will then also help the users better hear and understand speech.
What’s great about their technology is that it doesn’t only reduce sounds for comfort. Their Noise Reduction Technologies also improve the intelligibility of human speech. Not all systems used by hearing aids can achieve this, meaning that Sonic’s is one of a kind.
The way it works is that it monitors incoming sounds at all times. It keeps the sounds with high modulation or varying high and low sounds. At the same time, it reduces sounds with low modulation.
A human speech will likely have high modulation, while noises like the hum of a fan don’t. This is why this type of process works.
The hearing aids also have impulse noise reduction, which suppresses sudden sounds. This technology identifies such sounds by checking if it’s unexpected, quick, and loud.
Apart from that, a hearing aid may also feature soft and wind noise reduction. These reduce the noises or quiet but distracting sounds while amplifying speech.
Sonic hearing aids may feature one or more of these technologies. Bliss has multiple of these technologies, including Sonic’s premium Speech Priority Noise Reduction.
Sounds come from different directions. It’s a hearing aid’s job to determine whether to amplify sounds coming from a direction or not. Bliss allows users to focus on the ones that matter – the ones in front of you, in particular.
With Fixed Directionality, the hearing aids focus on amplifying the sounds coming from a specific direction. It’s usually the one you’re facing, which means that it reduces the sounds coming from behind you.
This is helpful in situations like at a party. During which, you’d want to focus on the discussion among your group rather than the ones behind you.
Apart from that, Sonic also has other directional systems. These are the as Adaptive Directionality and Hybrid Adaptive Directionality. The former is a more advanced technology that adapts to the direction of the sound.
It identifies important sounds and determines their location. It then adjusts the amplification of the loudest sounds.
This works according to the different frequency region. At the same time, it still keeps the distracting sounds at bay.
The Hybrid Adaptive Technology is the closest technology to how a human ear canal works. It keeps the speech sounds clear while managing different conditions, like an echo.
It’s called hybrid because it combines Adaptive and Omni Directionality. The latter refers to the amplification of sounds from all directions when there’s no particular source.
Combined, the Hybrid Adaptive technology is able to maintain the important sounds. This is also while reducing reverberating sounds at the same time.
Speech Variable Processing
Bliss also has a technology that emphasizes speech clarity, preserving its nuances. It’s the Speech Variable Processing feature, which processes sounds at an incredible speed.
It uses a Wide Dynamic Range Compression (WDRC) system. This analyzes and adjusts incoming sounds at a rate of thousands of times per second. This allows the hearing aid to create a natural sound.
Adjusting according to the contrast between the frequencies is what leads to clarity. This is what a normal, healthy cochlea does, which is something people with hearing loss don’t get to enjoy.
Here’s an example from Sonic: try saying “Everyday sounds better.” You’ll notice that the “s” at the end of “sounds” is quieter than the “b” in “better.”
A normal cochlea will account for this and then adjust for clarity. This is what the Speech Variable Processing does. It measures and compensates for the changes in sound.
It’s a good thing that Sonic’s hearing aids have this kind of technology. This is especially important since the other models use a different process. Some may process sounds in a way that amplifies them in an equal way, reducing the contrast.
Speech Variable Processing works by measuring and adjusting individual frequency regions. It then applies gain to the appropriate ranges. This preserves the frequency contrast of the natural sound.
Adaptive Feedback Canceller
The Sonic Bliss also has an Adaptive Feedback Canceller. This feature stops feedback before it even starts. This means no more squeals and whistles.
To give you a better idea of how important this technology is, let’s understand what feedback is first. It’s when the process of receiving and amplifying sounds becomes an audio loop. This happens when a sound that the hearing aid already processed enters the mic again.
This results in a screeching sound. Hearing aid users will have experienced this unpleasant sensation at some point.
With the canceller, the hearing aid eliminates the feedback before you even hear it. How?
This feature monitors the presence of feedback signals. Because the signals build up before they become audible, the system can detect it right away.
It’s then able to identify the oscillation characteristics of a feedback. When it does, it sends a counter signal.
It also monitors whether an amplified sound has re-entered the microphone within 5 ms. The system is able to recognize when this happens and then identifies it as feedback.
With these processes, you can be sure that the aid will attack the feedback before you can perceive them. The devices with this technology are then unlikely to generate high-frequency noises.
Should You Buy It?
These technologies are useful even when there are many new technologies that have arrived. Still, Bliss can deliver high-quality, natural sounds and useful features.
If you can get your hands on one, getting it might be a life-changing decision. You can also browse other products that the company is still manufacturing today. If budget is an issue, you can look into their entry-level product lines.
To better help you arrive at the right decision, learn more about the company itself.
The Company Behind the Hearing Aid
Sonic is a company specializing in hearing aids, developing fresh technologies for the Hard of Hearing. It has been in this industry since 1998, making them now two decades old.
This is a great indicator of their presence in the industry. This may also mean that they know what they’re doing to have lasted this long. They have six current models today: Enchant, Celebrate, Cheer, Journey, Charm, and Pep.
This product selection size is quite small compared to other companies. However, this only means that they focus on making each product memorable. They have premium devices that can be expensive yet ultra-functional, but they also have affordable, high-quality options.
All their hearing aids come in a variety of styles, including BTE and ITE. The newer models have newer technologies, but that doesn’t mean that their previous ones have archaic ones.
The technologies they developed before are still useful even by modern standards. The other features they have today are Learning Capability, SoundDNA, Binaural Coordination, Universal Environment, Frequency Transfer, and more.
Sonic deals with professionals, meaning they don’t usually have transactions with consumers. They do have a set of questions for consumers, though, which determines whether they should consult a specialist instead.
With that said, you may ask retailers or your hearing specialist about their products. Some retailers may also offer a free trial for Sonic devices.
On their website, you’ll see some more information about their devices and instructional videos. You’ll also get some downloadable files there, including user guides.
Sonic prides itself in offering value for money products. The Sonic hearing aid prices can be as low as $1,850 or as high as $3,500 per unit. Some units can go higher or lower, depending on the model you purchase.
Buy the Right Hearing Aid for You
A Sonic hearing aid has worked for many people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. Study about its features more, check with your budget, and if possible, test it out first to see if it will work for you, too.
If you want to learn more about hearing aids, visit our blog today. Learn the different types of hearing aids and get to know more about hearing loss itself.