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  • Writer's pictureKoorosh Nejad

Is Signia Integrated Xperience (IX) hearing aid better than Oticon REAL and Phonak Lumity?

Updated: 6 days ago

After 3 years Signia opened its hands and introduced its leading-edge technology this week, Signia Integrated Xperience (IX). Read through this article to learn about the upgrades the IX brings to AX, and if Signia IX is better than Oticon REAL and Phonak Lumity.

As a deaf audiologist, I try all and every new hearing aid that comes to the market so I can have a real, first-hand experience that allows me to give better advice to my patients. I'll provide an update to this article when I get my hands on a pair of Signia IX hearing aids.

The company, Signia used to be the hearing aids division of Siemens until a few years ago they joined with Widex and Rexton to form WS Audiology.

What do Signia IX and Signia AX have in common?

Signia IX inherit all the good features that Signia AX introduced to the market in 2020, including:

  • Dual processor - Signia Pure AX and now Signia Pure IX are the only hearing aids in the market that have 2 processors on board. The hearing aid strips off the speech signal from the sound received in front of the wearer and processes the rest of the soundscape separately. One processor reshapes the speech and makes it more hearable, while the second processor reduces the background noise based on the type and intensity of the background noise. At the end, another module reconstructs the sound and sends it to the amplifier and then to the little speaker that goes in your ear canal. This technique is very unique and proved effective in improving the signal-to-noise ratio for the wearer of the hearing aid.

  • Motion sensor - Signia Pure IX also carries a motion sensor that is there in the AX model. The sensor feeds into the algorithm and the sound processor unit to focus better on the speech when the wearer is on the move e.g. walking in a park.

  • Soundscape analysis - In both models, an AI algorithm determines the type of soundscape you are in e.g. the level of signal-to-noise ratio, determines this is you talking or others talking, if you are standing still or moving, etc.

  • Own voice processing - The way that our brain perceives our own voice is the basis for the quality of our hearing. When we use hearing aids for the first time we hear our own voice differently. It is because the acoustics of our ear canal have been altered with the presence of the speaker of the hearing aid in our ear. Signia IX and Signia AX is the only hearing aid with their own voice sound processing. Your audiologist will be able to run a quick algorithm on Signi's fitting software to let your Signi hearing aid learn your voice so it can strip it off from the processing channels. The result is that you'll hear your own voice less.

  • Smallest rechargeable RIC - Signia AX and Signia IX are the smallest rechargeable hearing aids in the market.

  • Slick charger - The desktop and the portable power pack charger unit have not changed and still are some of the coolest charger units for a hearing aid in the market based on the patients I have attended.

  • Sleeve domes - Both Signia IX and Signia AX keep using the unique sleeve domes that since their merger with Widex they have been using. The sleeve domes prove to provide better retention and comfort to the wearer.

What is new in Signia IX?

The speech understanding in Signia AX was good, but Signia IX has taken it to the next level (see below). Unlike Signia AX which can focus on the speech in front of the wearer, Signia IX can lock into several speech streaming from around the wearer. Thanks to Alexa-type speech recognition the hearing aid is able to determine human speech patterns around the wearer, and then lock into them. The aid is also able to trace them when the source of the speech is moving e.g. hearing in a group of friends at a party, or the wearer turns their head.

Signia IX Integrated Xperience hearing aids review on hearingnow uk

Unlike the Signia Pure AX, the Signia Pure IX has only 3 different technology levels 7IX, 5IX and 3IX. The full features of the hearing aid can be felt in the top model which is Signia Pure 7 IX.

Please note that:

  • The SpatialFocus feature is only available on Signia Pure 5 IX and 7 IX. Also, Conversation Dynamics Analyser and Focus Streams work best at the 7IX model.

  • The motion sensor is available in all Signia Pure IX models.

  • The Echoshield is only available to 5IX and 7IX models. People working in high ceiling and reverberant environments such as museums, showrooms and so on would find his feature very useful.

See the tech-level comparison of Signia Pure IX below.

signia pure IX tech levels on hearingnow uk

Does Signia IX come in a CIC or IIC version?

Yes, Signia also introduced the very first rechargeable CIC hearing aids in September 2023. The Signia Silk IX rechargeable CIC is an invisible CIC hearing aid that has a uni microphone speech beam focus technique as well as the multi-speech streaming capability of the Signia Integrated Xperience platform. Read more about Signia Silk IX here.

So, how does Signia Pure IX stand against Oticon REAL and Phonak Lumity?

The choice of choosing a pair of premium hearing aids can be tricky (more in here). Just like any purchase it is done to your specific needs and wants. Besides the technology, the hearing test and fitting of the aid are also critical in your hearing, especially in the presence of background noise.

Please see a comparison between Signia Pure IX, Phonak Lumity and Oticon Real in different aspects of a hearing aid.

  • Signia Pure IX is smaller in size than Phonak Lumity and Oticon Real

  • Signia Pure IX holds the longest battery run life than Oticon Real and Phonak Lumity. This might be a selection criteria for people who listen to a lot of music or podcasts with their hearing aids.

  • The Oticon Real charging system is an induction charging system whereas the Phonak Lumity and Signia Pure IX are contact-base charging systems that can give a bit of difficulty to the user if the aids are not placed in contact with the charger contact points. Induction charging has proven to be easier for elderly patients and those with dexterity or issues with motor skills.

  • Oticon REAL is available in battery-powered and rechargeable while Signia Pure IX and Phonak Lumity only come in rechargeable models.

  • The rechargeable battery in Oticon Real can be replaced by your hearing care professional but cannot be replaced by Phonak Lumity or Signia Pure IX (need to be sent out to the manufacturer to be replaced)

  • You could expect a better high-frequency response from Oticon Real than any hearing aid on the market. This simply interprets more details in the sound perceived by the user especially when there is a substantial loss in the high frequency range.

  • Bluetooth connectivity is superior in Phonak Lumity as by design Phonak uses standard Bluetooth connectivity protocol to connect to your smartphone, your laptop and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Oticon Real and Signia Pure IX use a low-energy Bluetooth protocol that gives you lower battery consumption at the cost of the quality of the streaming sound. Also, Phonak hearing aids are the only hearing aids in the market that can connect to 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time while the rest of the hearing aids in the market can connect to only one device through Bluetooth. Please see our article on the best hearing aids for people working from home.

  • Wind noise control in Oticon Real is superior to that in Signia Pure IX and in Phonak Lumity. If you work outside and are bothered with wind noise most of the time then Oticon Real would be your best bet.

  • Sound processing of Autosense 5.0 in Phonak Lumity does a better job of scanning the soundscape and automatically adjusting the setting of the hearing aids for a better performance of speech hearing in noisy environments. Besides there are lots of access available for the hearing care professional to adjust the settings in Phonak fitting software. Signia Pure IX and Oticon Real rely on their AI algorithm for optimizing the sound quality in difficult hearing environments. The new multi-streaming speech recognition used in the Signia Pure IX is Signia's attempt to catch up with the competition with rivals and on the surface it seems to be working very nicely.

  • Adjustments, there is a limited number of options for the hearing care professional to adjust the settings in Oticon and Signia fitting software compared to Phonak fitting software. But then again besides the technology in each of these hearing aids, there is the skill and experience of your hearing care professional that helps get the best out of each of these hearing aids especially when it comes to hearing speech in a noisy environment.

  • Phonak Lumity and Starkey Evolve Ai are the only hearing aid models in the market with a tab control. It means that you can stop and start streaming or answer and finish a phone call by a gentle tab on the hearing aids, a futuristic cool feature for busy/active users.

  • Remote support is fully doable on all 3 hearing aids.

  • The hearing aid app is more customizable in Phonak Lumity as you are able to fine-tune the settings and save them as a custom setting for future use. Such a feature does not exist in the Oticon or Signia app. The Signia app on the other hand has an AI self-service system that through questions and answers provides an automated adjustment to your Signia hearing aids. According to Signia, about 80% of the users who used this feature got an adjustment that helped them to hear better in that particular soundscape. Phonak app on the other hand may feel a bit slow in connecting to the hearing aids. The Oticon Companion app has a feature that uses the microphone on your smartphone as a remote microphone. This feature does not exist on the Phonak or Signia app.

I have a pair of Signia Pure Charge and Go IX hearing aids, how do I insure my hearing aids?

Please see this link for more guidance on hearing aid insurance.

On a budget? Take a look at our NHS+ hearing aids collection.

invisible NHS hearing aids ob hearingnow uk

Have a question about premium hearing aids? Talk to our audiologist over a Zoom meeting.

Update February 2024

  • I am pleased to let you know that Signia Pure Charge & Go 7IX has been picked as the best hearing aid of 2024 by Dr Cliff. Read through the full article here.



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