The Signia Silk hearing aid is a bestseller because of its tiny size in combination with the instant fit design. I personally fitted and tested the different models(Silk X, NX, and PX) and can speak out of my experience and the feedback of my customers about why they buy them and why some of them decide against them.
The best selling point about them is the size. It is really tiny and can be fitted in 80% of the ears. Signia targets people with lower to moderate hearing loss. To an outside observer, it is indeed invisible in most cases. But with the tiny design, a few drawbacks need to be considered.
- no rechargeable batteries
- no Bluetooth
- no directional microphones at lower price ranges
The components are just too tiny to allow for Bluetooth connectivity. For some people, this is and major issue. But not for most people because you still get an app to adjust the volume and more that works with higher-pitched sounds. You will learn more about the app later. Here in the picture below you can see the Signia Silk in my ear.
But first dive into the topic of the different technology levels. Those levels influence the price of the hearing aids.
The Experience Between the Different Technology Levels
Here in the picture below you can see the difference in the technology levels each of the technology levels comes with. This is an actual screenshot of the professional software to fit the hearing aids. As you can see there are differences in speech clarity and other features here listed.
But do the listed features really benefit you when you try the Signia Silk hearing aids in your daily environment?
|YourSound Technology||highest feature performance||highest feature performance||highest feature performance||base feature performance||base feature performance|
|Dynamic Soundscape Processing||highest feature performance||highest feature performance||highest feature performance||base feature performance||base feature performance|
|Signal Processing / Gain & MPO||48/202||32/16||24/12||16/8||16/8|
|eWindScreen||Binaural Auto in Universal program||Binaural manual||Monaural||Monaural|
|Binaural OneMic Directionality 2.0|
|Spatial SpeechFocus||front / back / right / left||front / back / omni|
Frankly spoken do not overthink the features of the Signia Silk too much just try the different levels. I tried them all and the difference between the levels was practically not perceivable to me. Using them in the store when I drove or in a noisy environment did not make a difference to me. But I have customers that also tried out multiple technology levels and some had the same experience I had. Others preferred a certain model like level 7, 5, or 3.
For this article, I asked 10 of my customers that decided to go not base technology level and why they were willing to pay more for there hearing experience. Most of them told me they heard a little better in noisy environments compared to the lower-priced tech levels.
The ones that bought the lowest-priced model had a smaller budget or were not willing to pay more because they could not hear a difference between the tech levels.
Speaking of tech levels this means the software reacts differently. The actual physical components are the same. It is the same microphone, loudspeakers, and chip across all technology levels. But this is common and the hearing aid industry. So the question is what technology level is right for you?
My advice is test it take it home with you for a week and then switch to another tech level. When you really have a hard time deciding between to tech levels just ask the audiologist if you could take two tech levels with you. When you have both ones with you you can switch between them in the same situation like in a sports game.
This way it will get pretty clear for you if a different level makes a difference or not.
What Functionality Comes With the App for the Signia Silk
The app is a great extension to control the hearing aid. You can easily adjust the volume and switch between programs. In addition to the volume control, there is also an option which is called sound balance. Here you can control the amplification of the higher-pitched frequencies.
For the app to work optimally the sound of your mobile phone needs to turn on at approximately 75%. Because when you change a setting your phone will produce a low-key higher-pitched sound which the Signia Silk then picks up to adjust to your wishes.
Depending on the audiologist or acoustician who fitted the hearing aids the handles of the app will lead to a more or less dominant change. What I mean by this the audiologist has decided if you can adjust the volume control a lot lower or higher or if you can change the volume just a little.
If you do not like the idea of using your phone to control your hearing aids you can alternatively go with a little remote control.
Signia Silk Accessories
The only accessory for the Signia Silk is the remote control. You can use it as volume control and switch between the programs. But the adjustments you can make to the hearing aid are a bit more limited compared to the app. Because with the app you have the option to control sound balance which gives you the option to control only the higher-pitched sounds which you can not with the remote control.
Do Signia Silk Hearing Aids Have Bluetooth?
Signia Silk hearing aids do not have Bluetooth. All in the-ear-hearing aids with bluetooth stick a little more out of the ear canal and are a lot more visible. This means streaming is no option with the Signia Silk.
Signia Silk Click Sleeves
In most cases, the tiny Signia Silk hearing aids are seen in commercials first. In the commercials, they usually are shown with darker silicone domes. Those click sleeves/domes are available in different sizes. With different sizes a lot of ears can be instant fitted with the Signia Silk. What most people do not know is the dome also influences influences the following:
- How you perceive your own voice
- How much performance you get out of the power sound spectrum
- How much noise the hearing aids are able to filter out
Depending on where the dome occludes your ear your own voice will be louder or not. This has also something to do with how your hearing loss looks like in the lower frequencies. When the closed dome sits in the softer part of the ear canal your own voice will probably get louder. When the Silk hearing aid can be fitted very deep in the ear canal the dome might only occlude the bony part of the ear canal. Then your own voice sounds more naturally.
With a closed dome, the features of your hearing aid can be used maximally. So you get the full performance out of your hearing aid. When open domes are used your own voice also will sound more natural but the hearing aid then loses a bit of its performance to filter out noise. You may ask why at this time because actually you are using the same hearing aid right?
Think about this example in which you wear the hearing aids with a closed dome. You are in a restaurant and there is noise everywhere and one friend sits in front of you. You have a conversation with your friend and besides the voice of your friend, you also hear how the dishes are done in the kitchen. All this sound reaches the microphone of the Signia Silk it gets amplified filtered and then the sound reaches your eardrum.
This way the hearing aid has the possibility to reduce the noise a little and amplify the voice more. Now you are in the restaurant again but the difference is you have open domes mounted on the Signia Silk. In this scenario, the sound that reaches your ear goes into your ear canal. Your microphones also pick up the sound.
Due to the open dome, the sound reaches your eardrum directly. After a few milliseconds, the hearing aid processed the sound and the sound waves amplified by the hearing aid will reach your eardrum. As you can imagine when the noise in the restaurant reaches your eardrum naturally anyway the Silk hearing aids are less able to filter the noise to make the voice of your friend clearer.
In most cases I do not fit the original click sleeves from Signia. Instead I use the domes from Audio Service which most of my customers like better. In addition to domes it is also possible to fit the Silk with custom ear molds. The differences are shown in the picture below. The drawback of a custom earmold is often the Silk becomes more visible which most buyers of the Signia Silk do not like.
Is the Signia Silk Available With Rechargeable Batteries?
The Signia Silk hearing aid is not available with rechargeable hearing aids. It can only be powered with a replaceable hearing aid battery in size 10.
How to Change the Filter/Waxguard in a Signia Silk?
In order to see the filter, you need to remove the domes first. Just pull them straight off the Silk hearing aids. Then Remove the Wax Guard filter by carefully pushing the free side of the rod into the filter to be changed. Then pull it straight out. The new filter is already sitting on the other side of the tool.
Place it where you removed the old filter. When the new filter is placed correctly you can position the dome back again where it was before. When it sits correctly it makes a little clicking noise. Before inserting the Signia Silk back again into your ear pull a little on the dome to make sure it stays on the hearing aid.
Signia Silk Hearing Aid Troubleshooting
In most cases troubleshooting is very quick and straight forward with the Silk models. I fitted over 100 people with those hearing aids and one of the most common issue are:
- The hearing aids do not work anymore
- The app is not working
- The Signia Silk is whistling
When you can not hear properly with one hearing aid or both chances are high you should change the dome or clean it due to the accumulation of ear wax in the dome and possibly in the filter. This is totally normal and the domes/click-sleeves should always be checked if they look clean before the insertion into your ear.
In some cases the app is not working. The app works with higher pitched sounds. Oftentimes users of the Signia Silk mute their phones without knowing with muting they will shut off the connection to the hearing aids. Turing the volume back on to approximately 75% will make the app work properly again.
Whistling really can get on your nerves. There are different ways to eliminate it. First a bigger dome/clicksleeve can be used or a custom earmold. There is also a feedback manger but it can only be enabled by the hearing aid professional. If this options is used amplification targets oftentimes can not be met anymore. So first always a better earmold should be used.
When you do not have access to a hearing aid specialist try this tips to reduce whistling. First check if the hearing aids sit deep in the ear canal. Then open the app go into the sound balance option. Now move the slider down a little and check if the whistling is still there. Repeat this process if necessary.
When the amplification is too low in the sound balance option understanding of speech may be impaired. So talk to your hearing aid specialist about it. He or she can help you with it. Here I have an extensive article if you want to know more about it and how to prevent it from happening.
Signia Silk and the Tinnitus Options
With three different therapy functions, Signia hearing aids currently offer multiple options to combat tinnitus. In a normal everyday noise environment, Notch Therapy allows the tinnitus to fade into the background without generating additional noise.
This makes it easier for the wearer to concentrate on everyday activities again. In a quiet environment, for example, when reading a book, modular or stationary sounds are an effective distraction. These options can be enabled by your hearing aid specialist only. When he or she enabled tinnitus therapy for you it is adjustable in the Signia app because tinnitus is not always perceived with the same intensity.
The person affected can set both the tinnitus function that suits the situation and the volume of the therapy signals quickly and easily via smartphone using the Signia app (for iOS and Android), which is available free of charge.
Drawbacks of the Signia Silk
Can hearing aids get too little? For some people, they are too tiny indeed. When your motor skills are limited due to Arthritis it might be hard for you to switch batteries or even get it into your ears. But besides that, there are other important points to think about and to compare with other hearing aids. The Signia Silk has just one microphone. Compared to that bigger hearing aids have two microphones.
With two microphones onboard hearing aids can amplify an area in front of you better and suppress the noise from the sides or back more. When you have directional microphone technology in your hearing aids I as an acoustician expect better performance in both localization and speech perception in noise tasks like in this study from Chinnaraj Geetha.
The Signia Silk can also use directional microphone technology in case you use two hearing aids and you bought a 3x technology level or higher. Because then the Signia Silk will work as a system with the second Silk and then of course the software has access to the information of two microphones. This features works like shown in the video below:
This sounds great but the capabilities of this feature are a bit more limited to the bigger hearing aids. This is what my customers told me when they were testing it. And it also was my experience. The difference was not big.
In the picture below you can see an screenshot in the app where you could adjust the area you want to hear better in. This is the option which the Signia Silk does not have. Here you can see three tabs in the lower part of the screen and the Signia Silk only comes with two tabs as you can see in the next screenshot.
But therefore the hearing aids need to be bigger. Because more microphones need to be built into the hearing aid. In practice, I had great results in a noisy environment and others did not like it at all. So try it out. When you try it out you have one option of hardware configuration. With other hearing aids, different battery sizes or the size and performance of the loudspeaker is a matter of configuration. The Silk however just comes in one setting.
The Positive Points
There are not many in-the-ear hearing aids you can try right away and see how they work for you. Most people love the small size of the Signia Silk and most people can be fitted with those hearing aids. So it is very versatile and has a wide price range for people who need to stay on a smaller budget and the very high end.
You can use a facemask or glasses in combination with this hearing aid easily as it does not come into the way of both. When you are a very active person you do not need to worry as much about the hearing aids because they just sit right in your ear. And the best part of course is the aesthetics. As you can see in the first picture of me wearing the Signia Silk it is pretty close to invisible.
I realized my list of the positive things about the Signia Silk is shorter compared to the list with the drawbacks. But do not be discouraged. Just try this hearing aids out and test it in different situations. In regards to the newer Silk X and older molds Silk nx and PX I would definitely choose the newer versions as they tend to have more ability to suppress noise a little better.
I wish you a great day.