Unitron hearing aids are an esteemed brand of the Sonova Group, which holds the distinguished position of being the largest hearing aid manufacturer globally. Within the Sonova umbrella, Unitron is joined by brands like Phonak and Lyric hearing aids. Additionally, Unitron collaborates with United Healthcare, providing a private label brand called “Relate” to cater to their diverse clientele.
With a strong global presence in over 70 countries, Unitron has established itself as a trusted name in the hearing aid industry. While their Canadian base serves as the foundation, their U.S. headquarters, nestled in Minnesota, further bolsters their influence in the North American and European markets.
A Brief Overview of Unitron Hearing Aids
Unitron offers various product families, ranging from entry-level to premium hearing aids for all levels of hearing loss. Unitron hearing aids are programmed by an audiologist or other hearing health professional based on the results of a hearing test.
Similar to other manufacturers, the higher performance levels boast more sophisticated features and are accompanied by a higher retail price. The leveraged its parent company’s R&D expertise to facilitate the delivery of high-performance hearing aids, particularly those that provide universal wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
The nomenclature of Unitron’s hearing aid models is based on the technology platform used and style of the device. For instance, a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is named differently than an in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid, although they may, in some cases, share the same processor.
Many of these models are compatible with Unitron’s Remote Plus app, enabling convenient control through your smartphone. Furthermore, they can be used with any Bluetooth-compatible hands-free feature, facilitating direct streaming of phone calls to the hearing aids.
Four Technology Platforms:
- Blu (2021)
- Discover Next (2020)
- Tempus™ (2017)
- Shine™ Rev+ (2020)
Four Hearing Aid Styles
- Moxi: This range comprises receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) models, including Moxi V-R, V-RT, B-312, B-R, B-RT, Move, Jump R T, and Shine Rev+ RIC. These instruments cater to various sizes and provide slightly different features to accommodate different degrees of hearing loss and personal preferences.
- Stride: These products are available in behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid models with different power levels and features. However, none of these models are rechargeable.
- Max: Like the Stride devices, these products are also available in behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid models with different power levels and features. These devices, however, are based on the Tempus Technology platform. As such, some are rechargeable.
- Insera: Unitron’s in-the-ear (ITE) product line encompassing a comprehensive range of sizes, from full shell to invisible in the ear.
The diverse product lineup from Unitron meets the varying needs and preferences of individuals seeking reliable hearing aids.
Unit and its Sonova-owned sister company, Phonak, are pioneers in the field of true Bluetooth hearing aids. They were the first manufacturers to introduce a universal wireless solution that enables seamless streaming of stereo audio to and from any standard Bluetooth-enabled audio device. Additionally, these advanced hearing aids serve as wireless headsets, allowing for hands-free calling. Notably, their Bluetooth compatibility extends to Android phones, which hold a significant market share globally and in the United States. It is worth mentioning that Sonova’s latest high-end products eliminate the need for an intermediary audio streamer when connecting with Android phones, a differentiator from some other hearing aid manufacturers.
Unitron’s latest Bluetooth hearing aids on the Blu platform enable two active connections and pairing with up to eight devices. Additionally, the company offers various Bluetooth hearing aid models with different technology and power levels, such as the Moxi Receiver-In-Canal (RIC), Stride Behind-The-Ear (BTE), and select Insera custom products.
Unitron Key Features
Furthermore, Unitron’s product line encompasses a diverse array of features across its extensive portfolio. The specific features may differ based on the technology platform and tier, but let us delve into some notable characteristics of Unitron products.
Unitron’s latest sound processing technology in their Blu instruments is known as AutoFocus 360. By leveraging the wireless connectivity between the binaural hearing aids, which are fitted in both ears with Blu hearing aids, this advanced processing strategy analyzes input from the 4 microphones. It intelligently adjusts directionality and noise reduction to optimize speech understanding and enhance listening comfort in challenging acoustic environments.
This feature is a recent addition to Unitron but has been previously offered in Phonak products. Tap control provides functionalities like starting/stopping streaming, accepting/rejecting phone calls, and accessing digital mobile assistants such as Siri by simply double-tapping the top of your ear. The feature can be enabled by your hearing care provider in the programming software or by yourself through the Remote Plus smartphone app. Notably, the tap feature sets itself apart as most manufacturers typically require the initiation/termination of streaming from the connected audio device.
Unitron provides lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids across three technology platforms, although options within the Tempus line are somewhat limited. Depending on the chosen style of hearing aid, two different chargers are available. Regrettably, a portable charger is not currently offered, but users of Moxi style products can utilize a portable power-pack for charging without the need for a power outlet. It is worth noting that rechargeable products are not available in the custom product lines, but alternative manufacturers do provide such options.
Individuals with tinnitus often experience symptom relief by using properly fitted hearing aids. However, some individuals may still encounter bothersome tinnitus despite wearing hearing aids. Unitron offers the capability for hearing care providers to incorporate supplementary masking noise into personalized amplification across their platforms and technology levels. It is worth noting that not all hearing aid manufacturers offer this feature.
Unitron’s hearing aids incorporate the Remote Plus app, empowering users to personalize sound settings. They also feature an innovative feature called Flex: Trial offers an interactive try-before-you-buy experience, ideal for first-time hearing aid wearers. The Flex program also facilitates seamless technology upgrades and enables wearers to share real-time feedback with their hearing healthcare professional via a smartphone app. This comprehensive service enhances providers’ ability to cater to individual preferences effectively.
Assistive listening devices
Similar to other hearing aid manufacturers, Unitron also provides a wide range of accessories and assistive listening devices that complement their hearing aids. These accessories aim to enhance the listening experience and optimize hearing performance in specific situations. They encompass a phone app, TV connector, remote control, streamer, as well as a wearable microphone, among other products.
Unitron Blu Hearing Aids
In 2021, Unitron unveiled its latest hearing aid technology platform called Blu. This innovative platform incorporates the cutting-edge Sonova PRISM™ chipset for real-time intelligent sound management, in addition to the Integra OS signal processing. With this launch, the company introduced three new RIC styles and two power BTE instruments. While Unitron Blu is presently limited to BTE and RIC styles, it is suitable for addressing various levels of hearing loss.
Unitron Blu Styles
The Blu hearing aid is available in 3 BTE, 2 RIC, and 3 ITE styles. Customized products are currently unavailable; nevertheless, these devices can accommodate any degree of hearing loss.
- Moxi B-R = their smallest lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid
- Moxi B-RT = their smallest rechargeable RIC with a telecoil
- Moxi B-312 = their smallest RIC utilizing a standard disposable battery (size 312)
- Stride B-UP = their new thinner power BTE with a disposable battery (675)
- Stride B-PR = their new thinner power BTE with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- Insera B-312 = A wireless ITE model with direct connectivity
- Insera B-312 NW O = A non-wireless omni ITE with a telecoil
- Insera B-10 NW O = An even smaller non-wireless omni ITE with a telecoil
All of the aforementioned options are available in various color selections. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to choose from different technology levels based on your specific lifestyle and listening requirements. The highest tier, known as Blu 9, represents premium technology, incorporating all available features.
For more budget-conscious options, we offer the 5 (standard) and 3 (essential) levels. It is worth noting that Unitron provides the FLEX system, allowing you to experiment with different technology levels and upgrade as per your evolving listening preferences and needs.
Unitron Discover Next Hearing Aids:
The Discover Next hearing aids, introduced in 2020, comprise a range of advanced models. These encompass three distinct Moxi RIC hearing aids, two Stride power BTEs, and three Insera custom styles. While the Moxi and Stride BTEs offer rechargeable options, the custom styles exclusively operate on conventional hearing aid batteries. Furthermore, the Discover Next hearing aids feature various connectivity capabilities, including universal Bluetooth streaming for phone calls and hands-free access to digital media from mobile devices, ensuring an impeccable audio experience for both ears.
The Discover hearing aids offer a range of features akin to the Blu platform, encompassing connectivity and rechargeable options. Noteworthy attributes of Discover Next comprise noise reduction, environmental classification, soft speech lift, and Unitron’s SoundCore processing software. This software adeptly identifies and classifies diverse acoustic environments, including quiet settings, noisy areas with limited conversation, and various group settings like music.
However, Discover Next does not feature some of Unitron’s latest technological advancements, including AutoFocus360, tap control, and the capability to connect with more than 2 devices. It is important to note that while Blu can connect with 2 devices and pair up to 8 devices, Discover Next products are limited to pairing only 2 devices while maintaining an active connection with one.
One of the advantages of Discover Next products is their availability in customizable options, which are currently unavailable in the Blu product platform.
Both Blu and Discover Next hearing aids are compatible with the Remote Plus smartphone app. This application not only facilitates simple adjustments like volume control but also enables you to personalize your hearing experience.
Discover Next Styles
Discover Next technology is available in various styles and power levels, offering a range of options to suit different preferences and needs:
- Moxi Fit: A small RIC with a standard 312 battery.
- Moxi Move R: A small RIC with a rechargeable battery.
- Moxi Jump RT: A small RIC with a rechargeable battery and telecoil.
- Stride M: A traditional BTE with a standard 312 battery and telecoil.
- Stride PR: A power BTE with a rechargeable battery.
- Insera W 312: A directional ITE (in-the-ear) with MFA connectivity and a traditional battery.
- Insera 312 Omni: An ITE with a traditional battery.
- Insera 10A Omni: The smallest ITE on the Discover Next platform with a traditional battery.
It is important to note that Bluetooth connectivity is available in all Discover Next BTEs and RICs, but not in the custom Insera products. Both Moxi and Stride products come in a variety of 8 different colors, while the custom Insera products are available in 4 different color options.
You can choose from four different technology levels: 9 (Premium), 7 (Advanced), 5 (Standard), and 3 (Essential). It’s important to note that as you move down the technology tiers, certain features, such as the number of programmable channels and classification environments, will be gradually reduced. However, the cost of the instruments also decreases with technology tiers. Additionally, Unitron provides the advantage of the FLEX:UPGRADE program (refer to the details below).
Unitron Tempus Hearing Aids:
Unitron’s Tempus Moxi RIC family of hearing aids offers a comprehensive range of solutions for various levels of hearing loss. This platform also features a wide selection of connectivity and color options.
While Unitron’s newer Blu and Discover Next platforms outperform the older Tempus technology, the Tempus product line continues to excel in meeting a wide range of hearing needs. Tempus hearing aids are available in RIC, BTE, and custom models, offering a fundamental level of technology while retaining various conveniences such as environmental classification, noise reduction, automatic and adaptive directionality, and telecoil support for hearing loops.
Similar to Discover Next, Tempus is offered in an IIC custom instrument and boasts a smaller form factor compared to other custom styles. This design allows for a deeper fit into the ear canal and ensures a heightened level of cosmetic appeal. As the product is discreetly positioned within the opening of your ear canal, onboard controls such as a push button are not feasible. Nonetheless, an IIC remote control is available for convenient volume and program adjustments.
In contrast to the Blu and Discover Next hearing aids, Unitron’s Tempus hearing aids necessitate an intermediary streaming accessory for connectivity with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, music players, and other devices. Nevertheless, this accessory offers binaural streaming, delivering sound to both ears simultaneously.
Tempus products are available in a diverse range of styles and power levels, encompassing:
- Moxi Now: A Small RIC with a standard 10a battery
- Moxi Fit: A Small RIC with a standard 312 battery
- Max SP: A Traditional power BTE with a standard 13 battery
- Max Up: A Traditional super power BTE with a standard 675 battery
- Insera: Custom products spanning from IIC to ITE
Furthermore, Moxi offers a selection of 10 different colors, while the Max power BTEs present 6 color choices. The custom Insera products come in 4 different color options. Additionally, customers can choose from 5 technology levels, including T Pro (premium), T800, T700, T600, and T500. Unitron extends the FLEX ecosystem to this line as well.
Other notable features comprise frequency compression, tinnitus masking, the FLEX ecosystem, and compatibility with Unitron’s uControl™ app (available on iOS and Android). Notably, Tempus Moxi Fit incorporates Unitron’s high-performance SoundCore sound processing, which automatically adjusts for diverse listening experiences and acoustic environments.
In contrast to the Discover hearing aids, Unitron’s Tempus hearing aids necessitate an intermediary streaming accessory for seamless connectivity with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, music players, and other devices.
Additional models of Tempus Moxi RIC hearing aids encompass Tempus Moxi Now, Tempus Moxi Kiss, Tempus Moxi Dura, and Tempus Moxi All.
Unitron Shine Rev+ Hearing Aids:
In 2020, Unitron unveiled their latest entry-level hearing aids, Shine Rev+. These devices embrace a solid foundation of technology at an affordable price point, ensuring durability. While they may not encompass connectivity options, rechargeability, or advanced sound processing capabilities, they do encompass crucial features like automatic, adaptive directional microphones, noise reduction, feedback control, telecoil, and tinnitus masker availability. Moreover, they also boast a “duo link” feature, allowing for effortless control of both instruments using just one device.
Shine products are designed to offer fundamental technology, meaning they are not available in varying levels of complexity. However, you do have the flexibility to choose from a range of colors. For custom products, there are four options available, two options for Shine Rev+ Up, and three choices for both the M and P models.
Shine Rev+ Styles
Shine Rev+ products are designed to accommodate varying degrees of hearing loss, offering a range of styles to choose from:
- Shine Rev+ RIC: discreet RIC with telephone coil and standard 312 battery
- Shine Rev+ M: small BTE with telephone coil and standard 312 battery
- Shine Rev+ P: power BTE with telephone coil and standard 13 battery
- Shine Rev S & HPm: durable BTE with a 13 battery size, volume control, and program push button
- Shine Rev+ Up & HP: ultra power BTE with telephone coil and standard 675 battery
- Shine Rev+ Custom: Custom hearing instruments available in CIC to full shell ITEs. Telecoil is an option depending on the size of the instrument.
These options provide individuals with personalized solutions to help address their specific hearing needs.
Unitron Hearing Aids Conclusion
Unitron offers an extensive range of products and technology, similar to its sister company, Phonak. Both companies have pioneered wireless connectivity options and offer treatment options such as tinnitus maskers and remote microphones.
Unitron provides the added advantage of the FLEX program, allowing flexibility in selecting different technology levels or adapting to changing listening requirements over time. Despite offering similar features, Unitron products are often priced at a lower cost point compared to Phonak products and they have won several awards for excellent products.
We recommend consulting a hearing care professional to determine the most suitable products and brands for your specific hearing loss and listening needs, ensuring optimal outcomes.
In addition to being the Founder and Editor-in Chief at HearingPeople.com, Luis Zuluaga is the founder and CEO of Florida Hearing Institute, an innovative hearing health enterprise in South Florida, focused on bringing high-tech hearing devices at affordable prices to people with hearing loss. Before his latest hearing healthcare endeavors, Luis served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zounds Hearing Inc., a US-based hearing aid manufacturer that introduced many technical innovations to the hearing aid market.