What AreCROS& BiCROS System?
Although it is common to lose hearing in both ears as we age, for some, completely losing hearing in one ear while retaining only a small percentage of hearing in the other presents some unique challenges that have been met with Contralateral Routing of Signals, or the CROS Series.
Several different brands have their own version of CROS, but all follow the same basic design structure. In cases where a patient has complete hearing loss in one ear, and partial hearing in the other, a small microphone is used to capture sound from the bad side and rerouted to the ear with partial hearing giving the wear a boost in audio signal.
The CROS hearing aid system is the first choice for single-sided hearing loss patients. But, what is the difference between the two, and who makes the best system?
CROS or BiCROS?
For quick reference, a standard CROS hearing system is designed to help people who have normal hearing in one ear, and no to poor hearing in the other.
By comparison, the BiCROS systems are geared towards wearers who have suffered mild to moderate hearing loss in their best hearing ear, while having limited, or no hearing in the other.
These systems have been around since the early 70’s, but analogue technology being used at the time required many large parts to function. This made the unit less desirable to the average consumer.
Since the advent of digital processors and powerful computer chips, this type of hearing aid more popular with patients dealing with this type of hearing loss.
These days, the CROS systems have adapted to current technologies and become the number one choice for people with severe hearing loss in one ear only.
Wireless integration allows the signal to be sent from the bad ear to the good without the addition of unsightly wires, or the over-sized glasses that were once used to conceal them.
Not only has this made CROS style hearing aids easier to wear, they are now available as in-ear, and over- the-ear models.
Benefits of a CROS Hearing Aid System
When examining the pros and cons of the CROS hearing aid unit, one must not forget to consider that you are essentially buying one hearing aid with a microphone, so the cost can be less.
The recommendation, however, is to take the savings and invest in the best technology you can afford to get the best hearing aid possible for you condition.The Benefits of CROS Systems:
- Precision speech detection never lets you miss a word, making conversations an enjoyable experience.
- Improved ability to analyze and filter environmental noise.
- High frequency squeals, and feedback are minimized for peak hearing performance.
- Wireless Connectivity
- Improved phone listening experience utilizing built-in streaming.
- Multi-Flex Tinnitus Technology in every unit, simplifies dealing with the issues arising from of tinnitus.
Who Has the Best CROS System?
It is difficult to say who makes the better CROS system, as individual needs vary from patient to patient. The best advice is to partner with your professional audiologist, or doctor and discuss the finer points of the available brands, and the benefits one has over the other.
Two popular manufacturers, Starkey and Phonak have released a successful line of CROS style hearing devices. Each focuses on different elements of hearing improvement while delivering the best sound quality possible.
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