Review of the Resound Enzo2
The Resound Enzo2 was launched March 2016 and has built the reputation as being one of the leading Superpower hearing aids on the market. It is designed for individuals with severe to profound hearing impairment and features the ‘made for iphone’ technology Resound have become famous for.
I was working for a hearing aid manufacturer when the first Enzo hearing aid came out and word quickly got around the office that this new hearing aid may be a threat to their severe-profound market. Resound had managed to put together a hearing aid that delivers up to 145dBSPL output without distorting or creating unacceptable feedback. It was a very good product and now Resound have launched their second generation of the Enzo and I am not disappointed.
The Enzo2 is a very stylish hearing aid and is small for a superpower product. It has a range of colours to choose from but they are mostly the usual 50 shades of beige you would expect from a hearing aid which is a shame as Resound have some exciting colours available in the Linx2. The controls are very tactile and the hearing aid feels solid and robust. As I have mentioned previously Resound certainly know how to design a good looking hearing aid. They tend to be more modern and eye pleasing than most manufacturers and this always helps when choosing the device that is right for you.
The Enzo2 features wireless connectivity to a range of Resound accessories including their new multi mic. As well as this, it has a bass boost feature for those historically needing additional amplification in the low frequencies and the ability to attach integrated Direct Audio Input and FM shoes.
Quite often the biggest issue with power products is the feedback that occurs but with DFS Ultra II they have offered a solution that has proven effective. Previously, Resound haven’t exactly been market leaders in the field of feedback suppression, having to often compromise on high frequency gain for stability in the feedback pathway but they seem to have improved this with their latest model. For the sake of being thorough I will mention that I have had one or two individuals that have had some degree of feedback but I feel that this would have been the case with any manufacturer due to the anatomy of the ears in question and I was also putting in considerably more gain than their previous hearing aid was capable of.
The Loop/Telecoil setting tends to be utilised more by those with severe-profound hearing impairment and so getting it right is paramount to the success of a superpower hearing aid. Patient feedback has been very positive about the loop setting and I have had no complaints regarding its application. It is more common that those with severe-profound hearing impairment have additional health difficulties such as problems with dexterity, or tactile/visual impairments. As such, being able to transition in to the loop setting using the iPhone is a bonus.
Resound Smart App
The iPhone has many accessibility features for those with additional needs and being able to visually adjust the program rather than relying on an audible beep from a button press on the hearing aid helps make it more functional. Resound also has, in my opinion, the most developed iPhone app, which is very intuitive and so this adds to the ease of transition. The Resound Smart app allows you to change program, connect to streaming devices, adjust volume, find a lost hearing aid, monitor battery consumption, and you can even use the iphone as a remote microphone (although this only available through the settings menu of the iPhone as Resound obviously want you to purchase their accessories). The only problem about the app is that you do need to own one of the latest iPhones/Androids which isn’t the case for many of the population accessing the service.
The Enzo2 comes in a size 13 or 675 battery and in three technology levels: 9, 7 and 5 with 9 being the premium. I would always recommend using the 675 battery over the size 13 to increase battery life, especially when using the demanding wireless streaming features. It does increase the size of the hearing aid somewhat but is a small price to pay for the increased functionality. The choice of technology level often comes down to budget and the differences between the three levels seem to be fairly in line with other manufacturers by mostly compromising on speech in noise functionality:
Enzo2 9 (Premium): All features fully enabled
Enzo2 7 (Advanced): Reduced functionality of ear-to-ear communication: including no binaural directionality (assists with ability to hear speech in noise), and no spatial sense (assists with locating a sound source), reduced noise reduction features such as windguard and adaptive directionality.
Enzo25 (Basic): Same as the 7 but noise reduction features such as directionality, adaptive directionality, windguard, and noise tracker are further compromised. The automatic environmental optimizer and softswitching are also restricted in this model.
Note: The ‘made for iphone’ technology is available in all models.
It comes in an array of lovely colours, but unfortunately it only comes in the standard BTE format. It would have been nice to see a receiver in the canal version of this hearing aid like the Phonak Naida V but unfortunately this isn’t an option at present.
In Summary, the Enzo2 has proven itself as a contender for one of the best superpower hearing aids on the market. The pearl white is my favourite in terms of colours along with the gloss black and I would always opt for the size 675 battery to increase functionality and battery life. It will be interesting to see how they improve on this with the third generation Enzo but as long as they keep this ethos, they can’t go far wrong.