Make the most of your day with the advanced technology of Cellion hearing aids from Signia.
Let me start this off by thanking Signia for allowing me to test out a pair of their Cellion Hearing Aids. You don’t understand how much you miss when you have hearing loss until you can hear it again. The Cellion hearing aids from Signia are a work of medical technology art. They are so incredibly advanced that you would be hard-pressed to find a set of hearing aids that are able to do more for your hearing health.
Some of the main features of the Cellion hearing aids include:
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion Power Cell with Inductive Charging – The Cellion hearing aids are the world’s first Lithium-ion Rechargeable hearing aids with inductive charging capabilities. Signia labels the hearing aids as “battery-free” as they have a power cell instead. A fully charged power cell should give you about 24 hours of regular use.
- Inductive Charging Base – The charging base for the hearing aids uses ‘smart’ technology like many mobile device chargers. It has LED indicators that display the charging status of the power cells within the hearing aids. This charging base also acts as a dehumidifier to add to the longevity of the devices. The base is incredibly efficient as it only takes 4 hours to complete a full charge — and you can ‘top off’ your power cell within about 30 minutes. The charging base plugs into power using a Micro USB cable and is compatible with most portable power solutions so you can continue charging even when you aren’t near a wall outlet.
- Speech Master & EchoShield – These two technologies work to ensure you have the best possible listening experience in any environment. The Speech Master function automatically adjusts the hearing aids by analyzing the soundscape and then balancing the noise reduction, directionality, and amplification. EchoShield is designed to help decrease the user’s listening efforts so that it’s easier for them to understand the sounds being heard by the hearing aids. It works by detecting, and softening, the reflected sounds coming into the hearing aids.
- TwinPhone – This function is designed to help the user be able to use the phone with the hearing aids being used. The hearing on the phone ear detects the presence of the telephone and then streams the signal to the non-phone ear. This allows the user to hear the phone call coming through both ears.
- Directional Microphones – This helps you to be able to recognize and understand sound coming from any direction. With the aid of the Signia app, you can actually filter out directions so that you can focus on one specific area of sound.
- Wireless Connectivity – The Signia Cellion hearing aids are completely compatible with wireless connectivity. With this feature, you can connect to the Signia mobile app for adjustments and you can also use the mobile accessories like EasyTek, which essentially turns your hearing aids into headphones.
- IP-68 Rated – The Cellion hearing aids are resistant to sweat, dust, and dirt.
Hearing Test & Exam
My Signia Cellion journey starts with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, which is about a 2.5-hour drive (one-way) for me. Typically, hearing aids are sold to consumers through hearing healthcare professionals. The benefit to this method of sales is that a hearing health professional — such as an audiologist — can perform and hearing test and exam on you prior to recommending a set of hearing aids to you. They will assess a person’s ability to hear sounds and understand others with and without a hearing aid(s), and select and fit a hearing aid(s) to the person’s individual communication needs. This is why I was sent to Nashville — to visit Brentwood Hearing Center. They offer the Signia hearing aids as hearing solutions to their patents — not all audiologists do.
When I arrived at Brentwood, I was introduced to Anne Boling, their audiologist and Leanne Powers the Signia sales rep and also an audiologist. The two of them proceeded to discuss the benefits of hearing aids in general and then what makes the Signia brand and the Cellion model different from others in the market. During this talk, Anne asked me a series of questions to help determine what kind of hearing loss I might be experiencing. As we talked, Anne got more and more excited because she had been under the impression that I didn’t have hearing loss at all — that I would just be testing out the hearing aids to write about them. I assured her that wasn’t the case and that sounds like bird song and car seatbelt alarms were something that I hadn’t heard without assistance in years.
The first thing she did was to physically examine my ear canal using an otoscope. This was a painless process and after she could clearly see that my ears were clean, we moved to the sound booth where she could administer the hearing test.
The sound booth is essentially a soundproofed closet. No sound can get in or out once the door is closed. The audiologist will have you wear a special set of headphones and will play a series of tones and words to see how well you hear and understand them. She will then make notes in her system to indicate when you have noted a sound. After the test was completed — it only took about 10 minutes — she analyzed the results and showed how poor my hearing was — especially with high pitched tones like birds or whistles. Not being able to experience this level of the sound spectrum has really made me unhappy for a long time. It makes it difficult to not only enjoy the environment I’m in, but it also makes it hard to socialize. When I’m in crowded restaurants, I can’t distinguish what one person is saying from another. My brain just doesn’t filter sound the same way that someone with good hearing would.
You can see a visual representation of the hearing test results in the chart below.
Fitting & Programming
Once it was established that my hearing was indeed bad, Anne proceeded to fit me with the Signia Cellion hearing aids that I would be testing. She was very excited for me because she knew that people with my level of hearing loss truly benefitted from having this particular model of hearing device. She knew that my life was going to be enriched by using the hearing aids even just for a short while.
The ‘fitting’ part of this process was very simple. Basically, the audiologist you are working with will take a look at the shape of your ear and determine what length of connecting tubing and what size ear mold will best fit you. This is much different from choosing an ear gel for a pair of Bluetooth headphones so don’t try to do it on your own. Anne quickly chose the pieces that would best fit my ear shape and size and then set them on my ears. The Cellion hearing aids are extremely light and you don’t even notice you are wearing them after a few minutes. They are comfortable and practically invisible unless you are really looking for them.
The most impressive feature of this hearing aid to me is how it gets programmed. After your hearing test results are inputted into the Signia/Siemens online system, the audiologist will place a wireless receiver device that is used for programming the hearing aids specifically for your ears. This device will hang around you neck for about 5 minutes while the Signia system sends data to it to sync through to the hearing aids. This process will make it possible for someone to hear in a more normal range. I was amazed at how well the programming step worked because I’ve sat through hearing aid fittings before where the salesman would simply turn them on and hand them to me. This is another reason why you should go through a hearing health professional for hearing aids.
After the initial programming step, Anne let me know that we could do some fine tuning with the system so that they were really in tune with what my ears needed help with. Another great feature of the Signia hearing aids is their ability to be remotely programmed. Since I live 2 hours away from the Brentwood Hearing Center, it’s not very easy to have to physically take them into Anne’s office for a ‘tune-up’. Signia saw this as a problem too and made it possible for users to send messages to their hearing health care professional so that they could in turn, remotely send updates to the hearing aids. It’s basically the same type of technology that mobile phone operating systems use to update. You used to have to plug an iPhone directly into a computer to complete an update. Now, you can do it wirelessly. That is the same principle used to update the Cellion hearing aids when they need adjustments.
As the user, you can also make adjustments to the volume level and EQ settings through the Signia app on your phone. This was something that I really valued while testing because some environments are just too overwhelming when you are surrounded by them. For example, I tested out a set of low-cost hearing aids. These are great for people who just want to be able to hear better. They are rechargeable but don’t utilize inductive charging and they can’t be updated. You have three basic settings that can be adjusted by a button on the side of the unit and a volume control. That’s it. There is no fine tuning available. As hearing aids, they do work and are better than nothing at all, but they don’t give you the same type of freedom that you have with an advanced model like the Cellion hearing aids.
When I went to a restaurant with the other hearing devices, I was completely overwhelmed. The three settings available didn’t really help when it came to filtering out particularly loud noises and I still had trouble with conversations. The experience was so bad that I ended up completely removing the devices during that restaurant visit. With the Cellion hearing aids, I walked into a restaurant, pointed the microphones forward though the iOS app so that I could hear the people across the table from me, and I filtered out all of the unnecessary noises. When the volume was too much, I could simply turn it down using the app. I could also tune down the treble or the bass to make the sound experience pleasant. I’ve never once had to remove the Cellion hearing aids because the sound was too overwhelming. This is in large part due to the connectivity ability of the hearing aids, but it’s also because they were properly fitted and programmed by a hearing healthcare professional.
My Sound Experiences with Cellion
One of the things you will learn as you try to correct your hearing problems is that your brain has to re-learn what it has learned. Sounds will feel foreign to you until your brain wakes up and started recognizing it again. When the Cellion hearing aids were turned on for me, I had a learning curve at first. I had to give my brain a chance to understand what sounds were again. The hearing loss I experience is primarily in the high-frequency range. So, high pitched sounds and nuances in that range are lost to me. It’s a lot like if you are listening to music and turn down the treble on the EQ so that all you get is bass. For a good example of what my hearing loss is like, check out our video review of the Cellion hearing aids on YouTube. It’s linked to in this article and about halfway through the video, I give a demonstration of what some tropical birds sound like with the hearing aids and then without them. It’s truly and eye-opening experience for someone who doesn’t live with it daily. My fiancé had tears in her eyes when I told her that was what days were like for me.
The Cellion hearing aids are remarkable in how well they direct the sound around you and how easy they are to use. In the month that I’ve been using them, I’ve not experienced any major issues with them. There was one time when I messaged Anne via the iOS app to make an adjustment for me and she completed it within 24 hours.
I can’t tell you how much joy has been brought to my life over the past month just by being able to hear using the Cellion hearing aids. If you or someone you know experiences any sort of hearing loss, take a look at the Cellion hearing aids from Signia. They are hassle-free and are designed to enhance your life while not intruding on it.