The Phonak Virto Paradise is the most recent hearing aid to join the Paradise platform. In August 2020, Paradise (P) was released for receiver in canal (RIC) wearers with the Audéo hearing aid. A year later, people with single sided deafness were able to get CROS P. Now there’s the Virto P.
The Virto P product line includes:
The biggest difference with the Virto P 312 from other in-the-ear hearing aids on the market is that it has made for all (MFA) connectivity with two active pairings. It is actually the only MFA hearing aid currently available on the market. This means it offers hands-free communication.
“It is actually the only ‘Made for All’ hearing aid currently available on the market.”
“If your personal phone is an Android and your work device is iOS, you’re covered,” said Whitney Spagnola, Phonak U.S. Marketing Manager. “If you have a smart TV, Bluetooth compatible computer, an older flip phone, etc., any of these Bluetooth capable electronics can pair to your hearing aids. It may sound simple. But for hearing aid manufacturers, it’s not. The real estate of your ear is really small. As a result, it takes quite a bit of development time and forethought to provide MFA in hearing aids.”
Now with the Virto P, you can put your phone down on your kitchen island while cooking dinner and go about your various tasks all while still on the phone call. And it will be clear on both ends.
Audiologists use special software from Phonak to program hearing aids. Hearing aids are programmed by audiologists to fit the hearing loss of each individual, as everyone’s hearing is unique. Virto P brings additional customization at your fingertips via the myPhonak app, which allows you to make your own adjustments based on the fitting provided by your audiologist. But until now, every Phonak Paradise hearing aid was built the same way and looks the same. Virto is different.
Virto P hearing aids are custom-built using special software that takes into account the patient’s individual ear anatomy. It extracts over 1,600 unique data points from the ear.
“We use this to refine the way the directional algorithms in the hearing aid help you hear,” Spagnola explained. “Each ear is unique. Look at your Grandpa’s, your nephew’s, your neighbor’s. They’re all different. The inside and outside are all there to help you hear better. And with the ear impression information, our Rapid Shell Modeling Software can actually extract your anatomical structure to change the way the device performs.”
Read more: MyPhonak lets me pretend I’m an audiologist
This is a fully-connected in-the-ear (ITE) hearing device that resembles a modern earbud. It can distinguish between streamed speech and music. The Virto M Black was first unveiled at CES 2020 (Consumer Electronics Show), where it received multiple awards and accolades for its “stigma-busting design that blurred the lines between a hearing aid and a hearable,” according to the Phonak press release. This is the second generation version. It comes in several colors, including the highly anticipated color of black.
Read more: Is an in-the-ear hearing aid right for me?
The Virto P-Titanium is a third generation aid, and the smallest custom-made Phonak hearing aid available on the Paradise platform. It is also the world’s only hearing aid made from medical grade titanium.
“It is also the world’s only hearing aid made from medical grade titanium.”
“Titanium makes Virto truly unique,” Spagnola said. “Normal custom hearing aids are made out of plastic acrylic shells. In order for them to be strong enough, they have to have a certain thickness. Instead of using acrylic, Phonak can build titanium shells. This allows us to make the shells 50 percent thinner with the strength of a metal shell. They’re 15 times stronger than acrylic. This makes it possible for us to have more room inside for larger or stronger receivers or more room for vents to improve the sound quality for those with milder-high frequency losses.”
Virto Paradise hearing aids come in a variety of colors, accessories, and user options. They are now available in the U.S. Select markets worldwide will have them in the coming months.
Watch how a Virto P hearing aid is made (Note: this is meant for audiologists, so don’t fear the jargon!)