Resound Quattro Review: The Premium Plus hearing aid
Over the past four months I have had a pair of Resound Quattro’s out on trial for review. I really took my time with this one as it is being marketed as a new premium plus technology level. As most hearing care businesses base their pricing on technology level this is a big deal. It means you could pay more for the Resound Quattro compared to any other product by the big 6 manufacturers (Phonak, Oticon, Resound, Starkey, Sivantos, Widex).
The premium level at present is universally adopted by manufacturers as the best you can buy. I wanted to ensure that Resound live up to their claims of being a ‘Premium Plus’ product to ensure you aren’t paying over the odds.
Resound Quattro Features
Made for iPhone
The Resound Quattro is a 4th generation Bluetooth hearing aid. It has a ‘made for iPhone’ protocol which allows for direct connectivity and streaming with your iPhone. Resound is famous for introducing the first iPhone enabled remote fine tuning. This means your audiologist can make adjustments to your hearing aid without you needing to leave your home or office. This form of care is proving popular and some businesses in other countries have introduced remote only hearing aid purchases which would lower costs as clinic time is reduced. Nobody in the UK has yet to introduce this.
Made for Android
The Resound Quattro will bring you the world’s first ‘made for Android’ connection halfway through 2019. You won’t need to wait to buy your Quattro though as it will be made available through a firmware update with your audiologist or through the app if you are currently using it on an iPhone.
Improved Sound Quality
Resound are making a song and dance about their new and improved sound experience. They are clearly confident that the Resound Quattro is a step up from the Resound Linx 3D. Let’s see what is on offer:
116dB SPL input range
Resound claim to have the highest input range in the industry. This is probably true, even if it is only by 1dB. But what is the value in having a high input range? The main difference is noticed for loud sounds, particularly music. This is because live music is generally louder than speech. To enjoy music through hearing aids, the recommendation is to have an input range higher than 105dB to prevent distortion and so Resound are flying well above this level and the sound quality should be crystal clear.
9.5KHz extended bandwidth
Extended bandwidth is nothing new in hearing aids but it is great Resound are on board with this. It means that high frequency sounds can be sampled more accurately to help you get better clarity from speech, particularly high frequency consonant sounds such as ‘s’. This is achievable with the Resound Quattro because of their new faster processor.
Real world testing
“I’m blown away. For the first time ever, my hearing aid is enhancing my hearing above other people in certain situations”.
This was a quote from a client of mine that trialled the Resound Quattro hearing aids. He was in a hotel and there was a disco in reception. He was talking across the counter to the receptionist. His wife commented that he was hearing better than she could in that situation, and she has normal hearing.
This client has worn nearly every generation of Resound Linx hearing aids. He said that this is the first time he has had this ‘wow’ factor. He has noticed significant improvements in the ability of the hearing aid to supress background noise and the overall quality of the sound coming through the hearing aids has improved as well.
The Resound Quattro hearing aids are rechargeable. They are a little bulkier than the Resound Linx 3D hearing aids but they look and feel more solid. My client reports being able to get a full 2 days of use out of the hearing aids before needing to charge. Resounds official claims are more modest than this because they need to ensure that it will last at least 24 hours for 5 years.
The recharging case has an internal battery which meant that the client didn’t need to plug in to a wall for 5 days. Once again, Resound are more modest in their claims and only states 3 days.
The low battery warning gave my client about 20 minutes notice before the hearing aid completely died. It would be nice if this was a little longer to ensure they have enough time to get access to their charger.
The charger is quite bulky and although it is portable, it isn’t exactly something you can stick in your pocket, unlike the Signia Styletto charger. It uses induction rather than metallic connections which I find is easier to use for individuals that struggle with dexterity.
My client did not notice a significant difference in the streaming quality of the music or phone calls. However, the phone now connects much quicker to the hearing aids through the app. The streaming is still not 100% reliable but better than before. He reports it never drops out on phone calls but more often with podcasts and music.
One of the unique features of the Resound Linx hearing aids is geo tagging. This is the ability for the hearing aids to change their settings based on your location. For example, if you want the noise reduction stronger in work, or want it a little louder, you can set it up so that when you walk in to work the settings change automatically.
In the real world, our client feels that this feature isn’t very functional. This is because the hearing aid doesn’t revert to the original settings when you leave the location. It would stay in ‘work’ mode until you enter a new geofence such as your ‘home’ that you may have set up.
Our client struggled with the time it takes to turn off the device. This is his first rechargeable device and holding the program button down for 5-6 seconds before the Resound Quattro’s would shut down meant that he could no longer just restart his devices when he wanted to reset the volume/program. Although he reported that the fade-out feature was nice, the lack of a ‘turning-off’ jingle meant that sometimes it was unclear if the devices were indeed off.
Resound have clearly made significant improvements on the Resound Linx range with this 4th generation device and has frankly blown my client away with the improvements in background noise reduction.
They have made a bold statement with introducing a new technology level called ‘Premium plus’. This label could mean you pay more for this product compared to other premium hearing aids.
Would it be worth the extra cost?
If we were only comparing the Resound Quattro to other Resound hearing aids, then yes it has made significant leaps in the features and the quality of the build and would justify the premium plus label and additional cost.
If we are comparing it to hearing aids by the big 6 manufacturers, I would say there is no significant difference between the so called ‘Resound Premium Plus’ and everyone else’s ‘Premium’ label and I would hesitate to pay more for the Resound Quattro compared to all other premium products.
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