* This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer. At HearingDirect.com you will find an unbeatable range of affordable hearing aids to help you effectively manage hearing loss.
The Siemens Life 101 is a mini BTE (behind the ear) product which uses flexible thin tubes and a soft silicone dome system to deliver sound from the device which sits behind the ear into your ear canal. There are many advantages to this mechanism of both sound processing and sound delivery. The main electronics sit outside of your ear which is a hostile environment for electronics so there is an improvement in reliability over the in the ear style of products as well as comfort and the space for a larger battery and more sophisticated sound processing. We would have no issue in recommending that this particular product format would be suitable for all but the most severe of hearing loss.
The area that one must investigate is whether the entry level of the Siemens Life range has been so de-featured as to render it too limited for the majority of users or whether in spite of a degree of de-featuring there is still sufficient residual functionality to make it a value for money product that delivers tangible hearing benefit.
The Life 101 uses a 6 channel processor which does provide enough channels for your specific hearing loss although more channels are obviously better to provide a more closely matched outcome.
Its limitation is in the number and complexity of the sound processing algorithms that it runs. There is nothing under Siemens’ "Natural Sound" category and only the most basic under the "Sound Comfort" category. It does have a feedback management system, a noise reduction algorithm and a wind noise softener but that is about it.
Siemens themselves recognise this and have classified the product as only really suitable for those either with quite a sedentary lifestyle of perhaps who only intend to use the product in certain situations. In their view, the Life 101 is aimed at one to one conversations and home use; quite limited.
In summary, the basic technology of the Life 101 is good as one would expect from a large and reputable business like Siemens but we feel that the knife has been wielded over the scope of technology that is available and left a quite simplistic model. Unless you have quite limited ambition for you hearing instrument we recommend that you discuss with a hearing aid professional what incremental benefits may be available from the Life 301.