Everyone can “have an ear for the wind,” including that portion of sea enthusiasts who suffer from hearing disorders. Widex Italy, a branch of the leading Danish hearing aid company, has launched Unique, the first hearing aid suitable for the needs of sailors.
THE SOUND OF THE WIND
In addition to being suitable for both the high seas and drifts, thanks to a highly sophisticated software technology, Unique picks up more sounds and at the best of its class, purifies them of all faint noises, reprocesses them, and returns them without artifacts allowing, even in complex situations, optimal listening benefits. In the development of this device, great attention was paid to wind noise, which, while a kind of pleasant melody for those who enjoy sailing, is the primary disturbing factor for those who wear a hearing aid on board. Thanks to the ARV (Wind Noise Attenuation) function, disturbance due to gusts is reduced by as much as 8.4 dB. By sailing together with Unique, it becomes easier to clearly and cleanly pick up the skipper’s calls, hear the jury’s beeps during a race, and communicate with the rest of the team.
The new device is equipped with wireless technology and can interface with remote controls, TVs, computers, music players, tablets and cell phones that have now become inseparable companions even on boats. Technological innovation has always been the hallmark of Widex, which as early as 1988 brought out the first digital hearing aid that could be programmed with a remote control; in 1996 it created the first digital in-the-ear; and in 2001 it unveiled the first totally wireless CIC (pre-in-the-ear hearing aid). The company’s headquarters itself, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a concentration of green technology: the Widex headquarters is the only one in the industry that produces more than 97 percent of its energy needs from alternative sources (mainly wind power).
HEARING LOSS, A WIDESPREAD PROBLEM
In Italy, hearing loss is an underestimated problem involving heterogeneous targets. According to the “Anovum Euro Trak 2015” study, 11.7 percent of the Italian population has hearing problems of varying degrees. In this catchment area, the majority of individuals (37%) are over 74 years old, but cases of hearing loss in young people between 15 and 24 years old (from 3% in 2012 to 4.2% in 2015) and in intermediate age groups have recently increased. Precisely the latter bands correspond to the profile of practicing sailors in our country.