Whether you’ve recently found out that your hearing has deteriorated or you’ve been using hearing aids for years, it’s worth being aware of the popular technologies on the market.
Hearing aid technology has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years, and one of the biggest developments in the industry as of late is the BAHA hearing aid.
BAHA is an acronym that stands for Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid, also sometimes referred to as BAHS (Bone-Anchored Hearing System). There are several BAHA hearing aids on the market now, but the original BAHA was created by Cochlear and is a brand in its own right.
There are many reasons for choosing BAHA systems over traditional hearing aids. A Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid, as its name implies, is a hearing aid designed to be attached to a skull implant. Sound vibrations are then transmitted from the skull to the eardrum.
For people who can’t wear traditional hearing aids due to ear structure or other factors, BAHA technology is a life-changing invention.In today’s article, we will be reviewing the Cochlear BAHA 6 with the aim of helping you to determine whether this hearing aid is right for you.
- Up to 55 decibel SNHL - For mild to moderate hearing loss
- BAHA Smart App - Manual control and location services
- Xidium platform - Wide frequency range
- SmartSound Technology - Cuts down background noise
- LED alert lights - Allows for parental monitoring
- Audio streaming - Streams phone calls and media directly
- IP68 water resistance - Survives submersion
- Comes in 6 colors - Compatible with various styles
- Not for severe hearing loss - 55-decibel maximum
BAHA Hearing Aid Buying Guide
In this section, we’ll be going in-depth into the Cochlear BAHA 6, feature by feature, to help you understand how it works and why it might be a good match for your hearing needs.
One of the most important factors in a BAHA hearing aid is size.
In general, it’s best for hearing aids to be as small as possible so that they don’t feel irritating or cumbersome, and BAHAs are no exception.
The Cochlear BAHA 6 measures 26 mm from top to bottom, so it’s very compact and discreet. Although using a hearing aid is, of course, nothing to be embarrassed about, many wearers prefer to keep their hearing aids inconspicuous for various reasons, and the BAHA 6 makes this easy.
It’s also quite streamlined, meaning that it doesn’t protrude too far from the surface of the skull. It’s advised that you remove your processor before any activity that could disturb it, including sleeping and sports, it’s still helpful to know that the design of the Cochlear BAHA 6 makes catching your processor accidentally quite unlikely.
Moving away from the external construction and appearance of the Cochlear BAHA 6, let’s take a look at how it works when it comes to hearing enhancement.
The key feature that makes the BAHA 6 such an effective hearing aid is its output, which is powerful enough to rectify hearing loss of up to 55 decibels. This is the upper limit of moderate hearing loss, and it’s a pretty impressive output considering the BAHA 6’s tiny size.
So, in effect, while the Cochlear BAHA 6 will not provide sufficient support for people with severe hearing loss (71 decibels or higher), it’s the ideal solution for mild to moderate hearing loss.
It’s not just the volume of the Cochlear BAHA 6’s output that makes this hearing aid stand out.
The Xidium platform provides increased bandwidth which, in turn, expands the frequency range that can be picked up by the hearing aid.
This especially applies to higher frequencies, which is particularly useful for those experiencing high-frequency hearing loss.
The BAHA 6 from Cochlear is made with SmartSound iQ technology. This technology works in conjunction with the Xidium platform and the hearing aid’s powerful output to help you hear clearly and accurately.
One of the major interferences with hearing aids in daily life is background noise.
Many hearing aids don’t have enough technology in place to deal with this problem, which means that road noise and background conversation are frequently amplified in addition to the source of the wearer’s focus.
With the BAHA 6, however, this isn’t the case. That’s because the SmartSound Technology used in the internal construction of the hearing aid automatically detects and lowers background noise levels.
So, you can have an easy conversation with your friend in a crowded coffee shop without having to rely on lip-reading or manual hearing aid adjustments.
The amazing features and functions of the Cochlear BAHA 6 aren’t limited to the physical hearing aid itself!
Once you get your BAHA 6 hearing aid, you’ll be able to use it in conjunction with the BAHA Smart App.
The BAHA Smart App is available for iOS devices, including the Apple Watch, and it’s free to download from the iOS app store.
This app can be paired with one or two BAHA 6 units in a matter of seconds, and it’s easy to get the hang of using it thanks to the Demo function, which walks you through all of the features and how to use them.
Using the BAHA Smart App, you can manually adjust the volume of your hearing aid(s), get help with the operating process, or even locate a lost hearing aid.
Sometimes, even with a high-quality hearing aid such as the BAHA 6, watching and listening to media can be a challenge. This is especially true if you’re in a loud or crowded area.
Luckily, Cochlear has anticipated this problem and created the perfect solution.
The Cochlear BAHA 6 has a function that allows for external audio to be streamed directly to the hearing aid, minimizing the potential for background noise interference.
You can stream audio from recently updated iOS or Android devices, which means that you can use this function to make calls or catch up on your favorite shows!
It’s only natural, when wearing a hearing aid implant, to worry about external factors and contaminants interfering with or damaging your hearing aid. However, you don’t need to worry about this with the BAHA 6.
The BAHA 6 is resistant to both water and dust, which are two of the main threats to the continued functionality of most hearing aids.
The water-resistance rating is IP68, which means that the BAHA 6 could, in theory, be submerged in 1.5 meters of water for a period of half an hour without sustaining damage. Of course, this definitely isn’t something that we’d recommend, but it’s nice to know that there’s a good level of protection in place in case of an accident.
If you’re a parent and are considering the potential benefits of a BAHA hearing aid for your child, you’ll be pleased to hear about the LED alert system built into the BAHA 6.
As a parent of a child with hearing loss, it’s important for you to be aware of what your child can and can’t hear at all times. This is vital for communication and sometimes even safety purposes.
The BAHA 6 has an LED lighting system that provides a visual indicator of when the BAHA 6 is in operation and whether it’s currently streaming. This way, you can easily tell if your child’s hearing aid is on or off, and if it’s on, you’ll be able to see whether it’s streaming. Using this feature, you’ll know the best way to communicate with your child at any given moment.
Finally, it’s also worth noting the fact that the BAHA 6 comes in a range of 6 colors. You can choose from black, brown, beige, gray, taupe, or duck egg blue to match your personal preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use a BAHA hearing aid?
If you can’t wear a traditional hearing aid in your ear for whatever reason (including the shape and size of your ear canal or chronic issues with ear infections or ear wax), a BAHA hearing aid might be the better choice for you.
You should consult your primary care provider if you think a BAHA hearing aid may be the solution to your hearing loss.
Will I need surgery for a BAHA hearing aid implant?
Yes, having a BAHA hearing aid implant requires surgery. However, it’s only a minor procedure that involves implanting the fixture behind the ear(s) affected by hearing loss.
This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day, barring complications. It’s usually done under a general anesthetic, but local anesthetic may be used in certain cases.
If you deal with mild to moderate hearing loss in your daily life and can’t wear in-ear hearing aids for any reason, the Cochlear BAHA 6 is a great choice.
Although the implant requires minor surgery, the BAHA 6 will make your life easier with its advanced features such as automatic background noise reduction, wide frequency range, and a high level of water resistance.
If you think the BAHA 6 could improve your life, speak to your healthcare provider today.