ReSound’s latest flagship product is here, and it’s…tiny. I’ve been wearing ReSound for about four years. My first pair was ReSound ONE, later replaced by ReSound OMNIA and now ReSound NEXIA.
ReSound is the 4th largest hearing aid brand globally and is known as an innovator. In 2013, the brand was the first to ink a deal with Apple to bring Bluetooth streaming to their hearing aids. Of course, today, Bluetooth streaming is standard fare for top-tier products, but ReSound continues to push the envelope in other ways.
In 2020, the brand introduced its M&RIE receiver, which added an additional microphone inside the ear (other brands only place mics behind the ear). The move gave ReSound more background noise capacity and reduced handling noise (that sound you get when you touch your hearing aids).
In 2022 ReSound released OMNIA which boasted better beam-forming and background noise management. I tried that product at Sofi stadium in a croud of 100,000 (read more about that here).
ReSound Nexia Review
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So, what are my thoughts on NEXIA?
The first thing to know is that nothing about the sound processing in these hearing aids has changed. The algorithms, noise management, and sound processing are the same. The ReSound 3D app is also unchanged (our full app review here). On both fronts, I’m glad things are staying the same. ReSound’s sound processing and app are two of my favorite features from the brand.
The size is the most noticeable difference between my new NEXIA’s and my older OMNIA’s. ReSound shaved off 25% of the total volume. These new devices feel light and discreet behind my ears, leaving lots of room for glasses.
NEXIA is the smallest receiver in canal hearing aid I’ve ever put behind my ears. The fact that they’ve kept 30 hours of battery life inside this tiny device is impressive.
The push buttons on the back of NEXIA can be programmed to trigger volume changes, activate streaming, or change programs. I use mine for volume changes and to start the “hear in noise” program. You can work with your audiologist to program the buttons for different purposes.
One thing that I especially love about ReSound’s devices is their reduced handling noise (the sound of glasses and hair touching your device). I try a lot of hearing aids, and ReSound is the only device that keeps noise from my hair or glasses brushing against the microphones to a minimum. They do this using their M&RIE receiver that sits away from those common disruptions.
Are there any NEXIA drawbacks?
ReSound NEXIA is impressive by most measures but there are a couple of drawbacks to consider.
ReSound’s larger M&RIE receiver is innovative but sometimes less comfortable. The receiver is a bit larger than other manufacturers, which takes a little time to get used to in the ear canal. The slightly larger size is worth the tradeoff for most since that feeling becomes familiar quickly.
Sound Quality Notes
ReSound is among the best at separating speech and noise in a background situation. Our lead audiologist recently put NEXIA in a test box and found the hearing aids could consistently provide up to 8-10 dB of background noise reduction.
Every hearing aid has a slightly different sound flavor. Personally, I find the ReSound sound quality brighter and sharper, while Phonak and Oticon tend to be smoother and more relaxed. If a sense of clarity is what you are after, the ReSound sound flavor is tough to beat.
Does the new Bluetooth connection make a difference?
One other substantial upgrade between NEXIA and previous ReSound generations is the new Bluetooth LE 5.2 capability.
This change doesn’t shift anything about the user experience at the moment. Hearing aid wearers will still connect to their iPhones and Android devices in the same way as previous versions. So what’s the big deal?
NEXIA’s new capabilities offer two promises. The first is pretty simple: Bluetooth connections through Bluetooth LE 5.2 could be more stable and easier to manage in the future. That change relies on device makers like Apple to adopt Bluetooth LE connection models instead of their existing MFI framework. Those changes are probably a year or two away, but if you have your hearing aids for 4-5 years, having a Bluetooth LE-enabled hearing aid improves your chances of accessing new features as they roll out.
The second promise of Bluetooth LE is more exciting. NEXIA’s Bluetooth LE capability allows Auracast streaming in public places. If you aren’t familiar with Auracast, check out our guide to the topic here. Auracast is not widely available yet but could come to airports and houses of worship in the next couple of years.
Should you upgrade?
If you are a current ReSound OMNIA wearer, I’d say hang tight for now. OMNIA is only a year old, and the sound processing inside NEXIA is identical.
If you have an older model of hearing aids, NEXIA could be an excellent choice for better background noise management, smaller size, and updated Bluetooth tech.
Regardless of where you sit on your purchase cycle, it’s clear that NEXIA is one of the best hearing aids on the market as of late 2023.