Widex Evoke Hearing Aid Review | First Hearing Aid with Machine Learning. Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, reviews the Widex Evoke Hearing Aid.
In terms of looks, the Widex Evoke has the same form factor that Widex has had for a while. This review is of the Widex Evoke Fusion 2 which is the Bluetooth version of the Evoke. They fit like a standard receiver-in-canal hearing aid, very slim behind the ear, and very comfortable. The evoke also comes in the smaller Passion model, the Fusion without bluetooth, the Fusion 2 which also includes a rechargeable model, a Fashion Mini BTE, Fashion traditional BTE, and a Power Version of the Evoke.
The Evoke is best known for being the first hearing aid to utilize Machine Learning Technology. However, lets take a look at some other features that I like about the Evoke.
1. Telecoil – Widex didn’t sacrifice the telecoil to use Bluetooth. A telecoil can tap into an induction loop in a public venue like a theater, conference center, or a church. I can also stream audio directly from a telecoil enabled telephone.
2. The 113 dB SPL Linear Input Range – Having a high input range is critical for hearing well in a noisy environment and for better music appreciation. The higher the input range, the better. It prevents the incoming signal from needing to be compressed. Combine the high input range with 4 Analog to Digital converters and you have a hearing aid that can better preserve the integrity of sound, allowing for a cleaner listening environment in nearly every situation.
3. The Sound Classifier – I love when a hearing aid can automatically determine which program settings are best. This means that the hearing aids are constantly surveying the environment to determine which settings are best so you don’t have to. The Premium 440 level Evoke has 11 sound classifiers which helps to ensure you are always in the exact right settings for the environment.
4. The Zen Tinnitus Program – Widex is the only company who uses Fractal tones to mask tinnitus and reduce your annoyance level. The most popular Zen tone is “Aqua”. You can use these Zen programs by themselves or in combination with another program.
5. Machine Learning – The Widex Evoke hearing aids have the ability to utilize Machine learning to help the hearing aids understand how you like to hear sound. By using SoundSense Learn and SoundSense Adapt, you teach the app which settings you prefer in each environment. You do this by picking between an A & B option while listening to your current environment. You do this until you get the settings exactly right. The adjustments that you make allow the Evoke to learn your preferences, and allow for better updates in the future.
These hearing aids are truly revolutionary, but there are some things about the EVOKE that I’m not a huge fan of.
1. Rechargeability – The Evoke hearing aids use ZPower Silver-Zinc rechargeable technology. I currently prefer lithium batteries for their reliability.
2. Only 15 adjustment handles – When programming hearing aids, the more adjustment handles the better. This allows me to program the hearing aids more precisely to a prescription. In a premium level device, I prefer to see 20 adjustment handles.
3. Connectivity – While the connectivity is good with an Apple device, you can’t stream directly from an Android device. You can use the App and its features with Android, but if you want to stream audio, you will need a streaming device.
Considering what these hearing aids are capable of, the potential negatives seem relatively minor. However, as with any hearing aid, you will only experience the full capabilities of the Evoke hearing aids if you have been fit and programmed correctly. This includes Real Ear Measurement. If you don’t know what Real Ear Measurement is, I highly recommend you watch my video: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
The Widex Evoke Hearing aid is truly an impressive device that is one of a kind. So, if you are looking for a hearing aid that allows you to make specific customizations on the fly, with the ability to become smarter over time, you may want to consider the Evoke for your next set of devices.