New From Siemens: Binax Hearing Aids with BestSound Technology

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Binax is the newest addition to the Siemens line of hearing instruments.  Binax is “the world’s first technology that outperforms normal hearing” and is receiving rave reviews from hearing aid wearers.

 

Two studies recently done at the University of Northern Colorado have shown that binax provides better than normal hearing in difficult listening environments, such as a cocktail party situation.  This is great news for people who have long struggled to hear and understand in the presence of background noise.  While the binax cannot completely repair or replace your hearing, it is the most innovative product on the market today!

 

The binax is available in receiver in the canal style instruments, as well as in a version with a tinnitus masker if you suffer from ringing in the ears.  The instruments work together (if you are wearing two of them, of course) and all 8 microphones form a network.  This network is extremely sensitive of the acoustic environment and also works automatically to offer the best binaural listening experience.

 

Binax wearers are encouraged to use Siemens binax app which allows the wearer to adjust the directionality of sound in noise, or to hear speech from all directions.  The app is compatible for both Android and iOs users, so no matter what kind of smartphone you have, binax will work for you!  Even more exciting is that binax is extremely energy efficient so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries as often as you with a competitor’s similar smartphone compatible product.

 

Call today for pricing and to find out more about Siemens new Binax hearing aids!

Tips to improve the lifespan of your hearing aids

We are often asked this question here at Hearing Revolution.  Here’s some helpful hints on how to keep your hearing aid in peak condition!

  • Keep your hearing aid in a case when it’s not in your ear, preferably somewhere cool and dry.
  • Clean your hearing aid each morning before you put it in your ear.  Visibly check for wax in or on the hearing aid and use the tools provided by your hearing healthcare professional to remove it.  If you are unsure as to how to clean the aid, ask for a refresher course!
  • Remove the battery from the hearing aid if you’re not going to be wearing it for an extended period of time.  An old battery can leak into the hearing aid if left long enough and the corrosion will damage the instrument.
  • Keep the hearing aids dry and free of moisture.  Don’t wear the hearing aids to swim, shower, or if you know you are going to be sweating profusely for an extended period of time.
  • Keep the hearing aids free of debris.  Do not spray hairspray or use hair products while wearing the hearing aids; use your products and let them dry before you put in the hearing aids.  Otherwise you run the risk of clogging up your microphone ports and the quality of sound may decline.
  • Invest in a Dry and Store box or device and use it each night.  The desiccant will work to dry out the insides of the hearing aid to prevent corrosion from sweat and moisture.  This is especially important if you live in a humid climate.
  • Never try to “wash” or “clean” your hearing aids with water or household cleaners, like antibacterial wipes and the like.  These chemicals can break down the materials of the hearing aids.
  • Regularly change tubes, domes, and filters.
  • When at your Primary Care Doctor’s office, ask them to check your ears for wax and have them remove it if necessary.
  • See your hearing healthcare professional several times a year to have them perform a thorough cleaning on your instruments.

 

If you’re looking for information specifically about your hearing aid, call Hearing Revolution now!

 

Widex Accessories

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Along with a full product line for all needs, Widex also boasts a wide variety of accessories and devices to make life with hearing aids easier.  The DEX collection of accessories has something for everyone.

 

**DEX devices are compatible with the Widex Dream, the Widex Clear, and the Widex Super hearing aids.

 

widex uni dexUNI-DEX is the new accessory from Widex and is very easy to use.  Simply plug the jack into your mobile phone or favorite audio device (like an iPod or MP3 player, iPad, tablet, or computer), hang UNI-DEX around your neck and you will stream the sound directly into your hearing aids.

The UNI-DEX is available for $115

 

M-DEX connects mobile phones with hearing aids, turning the hearing aids into a wireless headset.

The M-DEX is available for $330widex m dex

 

 

TV-DEX wirelessly connects your hearing aids with the television, transmitting sound from all your favorite shows directly to your hearing aids.

TVDexThe TV-DEX is available for $305

 

 

RC-DEX is a basic wireless remote, allowing you to adjust the volume or program settings on your instruments.

The RC-DEX  is available for $130Widex-RC-Dex

 

 

T-DEX connects with mobile phones like the M-DEX does, but requires that your Widex hearing aid have a telecoil.

The T-DEX is available for $180

 

 

PHONE-DEX is a cordless phone that streams sound directly to your instruments and can also be used as a regular phone.

The PHONE-DEX is available for $305

 

 

Check out these accessories and the new Widex instruments available at Hearing Revolution!

 

 

 

Widex Hearing Aids Now Available!

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After many requests from patients and hearing care professionals alike, Hearing Revolution is proud to offer the Widex line of hearing aids!  Widex offers a full line of high quality instruments to fit a variety of hearing needs.

 

The Widex Dream is the newest and most versatile Widex line of instruments.  Available in all styles from a completely in the canal (CIC) to behind the ear (BTE) to receiver in the canal (RIC), the Dream allows the human voice to come through the instruments to enhance listening in most all environments.  Not only is the Dream available in a multitude of styles, it is also available at four different levels of technology to fit all price points and listening needs.  The Dream line also offer tinnitus masking Zen, so patients who suffer from annoying tinnitus may find some relief from these instruments.  The Dream instruments are wireless and Bluetooth compatible as well.  The Dream instruments start at $995 per instrument.

widex hearing revolution new hearing aids low cost

The Widex Clear is also available in a number of technology levels and styles of instruments.  The previous generation to the Dream, the Clear is the first Widex line to wirelessly communicate between left ear and right ear, which helps the hearing aids to adjust instantly depending on the listening environment.  The tinnitus solution Zen is also available on the Clear line, as are a number of Bluetooth accessories.  Clear is available at three different levels of technology.  The Clear instruments start at $1395 per instrument.

 

The Widex Mind comes in custom styles and also BTE and Open Fit styles.  The first generation of the Zen tinnitus masker, the Mind comes in three different technology levels to suit a variety of hearing losses.  The Mind has a feature called Smart Speak which verbally notifies the wearer to change batteries or to alert him as to which program he is listening.

 

Check back soon for an informative and educational overview about the Widex Bluetooth DEX accessories!

What is a loop system and how does it work?

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A hearing loop system is an assistive listening device that helps people with hearing aids and telecoils to hear the sound from a source (television, microphone, speakers, etc) directly through a magnetic signal that will broadcast to the telecoil in the hearing aids. Many theatres, places of worship, auditoriums, and courtrooms are hardwired with loop systems to make it possible for hard of hearing persons to hear and participate. The loop system technology has been around for over 70 years but has recently made a comeback in the United States after having been popular in Europe for a number of years.

This sign lets you know the facility offers a loop system to help you better hear the actors, music, speakers, production, or movie.

How is this possible? These facilities have the induction loop built into the floor or the walls, so when you sit within the circle or loop and turn your hearing aid to the telecoil program, the sound is magnetically transmitted into your hearing aid giving you a clear sound free of background noise and other interferences from traditional hearing aid microphone pick up. More and more places are using loop systems, including transportation terminals (bus stations, train stations, subways, airports), banquet facilities, auditoriums, reception desks, ticket counters, court rooms, and sports facilities. Loop system technology has made these nearly impossibly difficult listening situations more friendly to the hearing impaired.

Loop systems are not just for the public anymore, though. They can also be purchased for home use to help the hearing impaired more easily enjoy television and music in the comfort of their own homes. We offer a loop system solution for $240 that is very easy to install in your home and provides excellent sound quality. It is small enough to be easily portable, or you can leave it permanently installed at your favorite, most comfortable spot to listen or watch television.

How to care for your hearing aids

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If you are considering purchasing a hearing aid, or you are a new hearing aid wearer, all the information can be daunting and overwhelming! There are a lot of things to remember, but wearing and taking care of a hearing aid does not have to be complicated. That said, there are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for the hearing aid, as well as a few supplies that are helpful to keep on hand.

Cleaning the hearing aid

You will want to clean your hearing aid every morning before you put it into the ear. The reason I recommend cleaning it in the morning versus the night before is that w

hen you take it out of your ear the night before, if there is wax on it or in it, the wax will still be warm and soft and sticky. If you wait to clean it in the morning, the wax will be dried and will flake out much more easily. Your hearing aid should come with a little brush or loop tool similar to the image on the right.

Use the loop end to gently clean the part of the hearing aid that goes down into your ear canal, then use the brush to brush the picked wax off of the aid. Ask your hearing healthcare professional to show you the best way to clean your instrument.

Sanitizing the hearing aid

For those of us who live in hot or humid climates, it can be important to clean and sanitize the instruments regularly. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL OR ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES ON YOUR HEARING AIDS. The chemicals from these products are too harsh and can damage the casing on the aids. You do have the option to purchase some disinfecting wipes such as these. Using our disinfecting wipes made especially for hearing aid material will help keep your hearing aid from developing a musty smell and will also prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Earwax can carry bacteria and diseases, not to mention fungus that can grow in the ear. Using a disinfecting wipe on the aids every day helps prevent the spread of this.

Removing moisture from the hearing aid

One of the biggest culprits of a dead hearing aid is humidity and moisture. Moisture gets into the tubing and the circuitry of the hearing aids and can block sound from getting through or can corrode and damage the innards of the aids. One helpful way to prevent this from occurring is by placing the hearing aids in a dehumidifier at night while you sleep. There are several options out there, as far as dehumidifiers go. We offer a Dehumidifier jar for $10. A desiccant inside the jar can be reheated in a microwave or oven to be reactivated when several months have passed, so this is an economical solution. There are electric dry and store humidifiers that will run you $150-300, but not everyone’s budget can afford that.

While there is a lot to remember about caring for a hearing aid, it can be a relatively simple and easy process. With just a few of the right tools, your hearing aid maintenance will be simple and effective.

Call HR with any questions about the products listed here

Introducing the Oticon Ria and Ria Pro

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New from Oticon is the Ria, an entry level instrument that is built on the same platform as the very popular Oticon Alta line and Nera line.  Ria boasts a number of useful features at an affordable and economical price to the patient.   There is no longer a sacrifice of features for a more appealing price point.

Oticon is pleased to offer Binaural Synchronization on the Ria line, which is advantageous for people in busy, dynamic environments who have difficulty understanding speech in noise.  The binaural feature has long been offered in Oticon’s mid and premium level instruments, and now it is available in the entry level instrument as well!  Binaural synchronization also helps listeners to experience a more balanced sound, which helps with understanding conversations.

Directional microphones are available in the Ria line as well and the addition of Free Focus Essential gives the listener the tools he or she needs to help have better signal to noise ratios in complex listening environments.  Free Focus Essential directs the hearing aids to switch between directionality on the instrument, which helps support listeners in difficult listening environments.

The Ria incorporates Oticon’s terrific Inium feedback processor, so gone are the days of worrying about annoying or embarrassing whistling!  Oticon is at the head of the pack when it comes to feedback reduction; the algorithm in the hearing aid does not sacrifice the fidelity of the signal, so the wearer is able to have a clear, feedback free sound, even in challenging situations.

The Ria is available in a variety of styles, colors, choices, and powers.

 

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IIC, CIC, ITC, Half Shell and Full Shell

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Hearing Revolution offers the Ria Pro for $1475 per aid and the Ria for $1275 per aid.  Call today to schedule your free hearing evaluation!

Guest Blog – FDA’s proposed new PSAP policy draws mixed response, but mostly opposed

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Originally Published on Hearing Health Matters, we wanted to bring you news from around the inernet regarding the FDA proposed new PSAP policy  You can see the original article and read more from David Kirkwood by visiting Hearing News Watch

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By David H. Kirkwood

SILVER SPRING, MD–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has  more than 100, highly diverse, public comments to consider in deciding if it should implement or rethink a proposed new guidance document that it issued on November 7.

The document, drafted by the Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices Branch of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, calls for tightening restrictions on the marketing of non-hearing aid, personal amplifying devices, which the agency categorizes as “personal sound amplification products,” or PSAPs.

As reported here previously, FDA’s intention is to draw a clearer line between hearing aids and PSAPs and, in doing so, prevent PSAPs from being marketed to people to address their hearing loss. That, says the agency, is the domain of hearing aids, which it regulates as medical devices.

During the 90-day period for comments which ended February 5, FDA’s proposed revision of the existing 2009 guidance on PSAPs garnered strong support from the major professional associations of practitioners licensed to fit hearing aids (the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, the International Hearing Society, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), as well as from the Hearing Industries Association, which represents hearing aid manufacturers and related companies.

These organizations, some of whose comments were reported here earlier, commended FDA for trying to provide increased protection to hearing-impaired consumers by steering them toward getting professional help for their condition.

Meanwhile, advocates for PSAPs, including RightToHear.Org, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and the Telecommunications Industry Association, as well as executives from numerous companies that make such devices, criticized FDA’s proposal as unduly restricting consumer access to products that could help them hear better.

For example, the Consumer Electronics Association said that approving FDA’s proposal would prevent PSAP manufacturers from effectively marketing their products. As a result, CEA said, “The millions of Americans who could benefit from affordable and readily accessible hearing solutions will remain unaware of the valuable assistance that PSAPs can provide.”

 

MORE NAYS THAN AYES

While the comments from the four professional associations represented the largest total number of people, FDA’s invitation for public input drew significantly more comments opposing its proposed guidance than favoring it.

As noted here February 5, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) asked the FDA to craft clearer guidance. In her letter, Anna Gilmore Hall, HLAA’s executive director, wrote, “Many people with hearing loss do not obtain hearing aids for reasons of cost or fear of being stigmatized. While HLAA is working to overcome these barriers, we believe that, under current circumstances, some of these individuals could benefit from PSAPs, and there is no reason to erect a barrier to preclude this from happening.”

Richard Goode

Richard Goode

Some of the strongest criticisms of the guidance came from individuals prominent in hearing healthcare. Richard Goode, MD, an otolaryngologist at Stanford Medical Center who was formerly president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and chair of the ENT Advisory Committee to the FDA, wrote that “from my background, it would be suspected I would be strongly in favor of FDA regulation of PSAPs, considering them to be hearing aids.”

However, Goode, who was a founder of GN ReSound, a major hearing aid manufacturer, recommended that FDA withdraw its proposed action. He explained, “I feel it essential that our citizens have choices in devices to help hearing in difficult situations. Hearing aids are now very expensive and many patients cannot afford them. The likelihood that we will miss an undiagnosed tumor or infection is very low. We need to have PSAPs outside of the FDA regulatory mechanism.”

 

 

COMPLETE REVIEW URGED

In a comment submitted jointly, Brenda Battat, former executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (and a cochlear implant wearer), and Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD, an audiologist who is a leading expert on assistive hearing technology, said that the language in FDA’s proposal is “confusing, overly prescriptive, contradictory, and inconsistent.” They stated, “There should be no restriction on the description of situations in which a PSAP can be helpful, as long as it does not state that the product is intended for hearing-impaired persons or to correct hearing loss… The draft guidance fails to accept that listening ability in all situations can be improved with the use of a PSAP because the product improves audibility.”

Instead of FDA’s proposed document, Battat and Compton-Conley said, “Attention must be given to a complete review of FDA hearing aid regulations… This action is necessary to reflect the current status of technology, the health care climate, and the need to dramatically improve access to hearing help for the millions of people in this country with hearing loss.”

 

KOCHKIN: “TIME TO DEREGULATE HEARING AIDS”

One of the harshest criticisms of the FDA document came from Sergei Kochkin, PhD. Kochkin, who was executive director of the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) for eight years until his departure in October 2012, is perhaps the most prominent analyst of the hearing healthcare market.

Kochkin described FDA’s proposed guidance as “so misguided that it should be withdrawn.” He explained, “The majority of people with hearing loss are not candidates for the current medical model form of hearing help intervention. Many have mild or even moderate losses which require situational help at best. They will need consumer electronics and assistive listening devices or smart phones to help them where they have difficulty.”

Sergei Kochkin

Sergei Kochkin

Kochkin, who was director of market development and market research at Knowles Electronics for 15 years, asserted, “One of the greatest barriers to hearing healthcare is cost. Some people can only afford a $300 solution. Consumer electronics can provide improved audibility to some people at a high value. Forcing them into a medical model will result in them getting no help or sneaking around to get a consumer electronic devices that they desperately need.”

He added, “It is time to deregulate hearing aids and allow the consumer to choose the solution they can afford. Give them the choice of seeking a hearing healthcare or consumer electronics solution.”

 

PRACTITIONERS EXPRESS MIXED VIEWS

Several individuals who dispense hearing aids in their practice submitted comments, some endorsing the measure, some not.

Michael Brown, AuD, told FDA, “I support your proposal to more carefully define the distinguishing characteristics of PSAPs and hearing aids. Manufacturers cleverly craft the language of their advertisements to imply that hearing-impaired patients can use PSAPs as inexpensive substitutes for properly fitted hearing aids. Bad experiences with such devices lead patients to conclude that ‘hearing aids’ don’t work.”

Kim Cavitt

Kim Cavitt

On the other hand, Kim Cavitt, AuD, an audiologist in Chicago, wrote, “While I am an advocate of hearing aids as the best form of treatment for the hearing impaired, the fact is that 80% of those currently in need are not being helped. Some of the reasons for failure to pursue amplification are cost, accessibility of services, and stigma.

Cavitt said, “I fear that this current draft policy, to marginalize personal sound amplification products away from the management and treatment of hearing loss, will have a detrimental effect on those who we, in the audiology community, are trying to assist.”

She added, “The optometric community has been able to integrate over-the-counter, non-prescription reading glasses into their patient care process. I would like to see the audiologic, hearing aid, and medical communities reconcile the need for access and cost containment with the need for patient safety as the vision community has been able to accomplish.”

 

SOME COUNSEL A DIFFERENT APPROACH

Several of the comments submitted agreed with FDA on the need to protect consumers with hearing loss from the potential hazards of PSAPs, but suggested a different way to do this.

Richard Usifer, a veteran hearing aid specialist in Connecticut, wrote that PSAPs “must not be sold to consumers in place of hearing aids,” but added, “objective criteria are needed to define what is a hearing aid and what is a PSAP so that companies trying to sell hearing aids masquerading as PSAPs can be held accountable and prevented from doing so.” He suggested setting a limit on the degree of amplification and type of frequency response that a device could provide without becoming subject to regulation as a hearing aid.

Similarly, Earl Johnson, PhD, a VA audiologist in Tennessee, recommended that FDA use the decibel sound pressure level (dB SPL) output capability of PSAPs and hearing aids as “a definitive measure for differentiation. The output capability can address safety concerns of potentially harmful sound exposure levels due to design and manufacturing as well as usage by wearers.”

 

IT’S IN FDA’S HANDS NOW

Faced with a wave of public comments in response to its invitation, the FDA now must consider what weight to give them in deciding what to do with its proposed revision of its PSAP policy. Assuming that the agency is genuinely open to heeding public opinion, it has plenty of ideas and suggestions to draw upon. It could finalize the draft document more or less unchanged; make substantive changes; or, as some have counseled, go back to the drawing board and take a new look at the whole issue of hearing aid regulation.

One who made that recommendation was Gail Gudmundsen, AuD, in a Citizen Petition sent to the FDA. She cited  President Obama’s Executive Order 13563 — Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, in calling upon FDA to undertake a retrospective analysis of its hearing aid regulations to determine if they are “… outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.”

10 Things you should know about hearing aid batteries

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10) If the hearing aid battery door is closed and making contact with the battery contacts, the hearing aid is most likely on and draining the battery.  To help eliminate battery drain and have your batteries last longer, turn off the hearing aid or open the battery door.

nofridgehrpost9)  Keeping your hearing aid batteries in extreme heat or extreme cold (even putting them in the refrigerator) can drain the power of the batteries and shorten their life span.  Room temperature is best.

8)  Hearing aid batteries come with a little sticker or tab on them.  The color of the tabs indicates the size of the battery (for example, yellow tabs are size 10 batteries, brown tabs are size 312 batteries, orange tabs are size 13 batteries, and blue tabs indicate size 675 batteries).

batteries HR post7)  Once you remove the colored tab from the battery, it starts to drain and lose power.  Do not remove the tabs from your batteries until you are ready to insert them into your hearing aids.  The batteries are zinc-air and they are activated by the air.

calendarhrpost6)  Hearing aid batteries usually last from 4 days to 3 weeks…but it greatly depends on the type of hearing aid, the size/type of battery, and the amount of hearing aid use.  To track your hearing aid battery life/use, put the tab from the battery onto your calendar the day you insert the new battery into your hearing aid.  (Be sure to mark it L for left or R for right if you have two hearing aids).  This will give you an accurate picture of how long your batteries last.

5)  Most hearing aids will beep or make a noise to indicate that the battery is about to die or is low on power.  Ask your hearing healthcare professional if your hearing aid signals a low battery so you are aware when you need a new battery.

4)  Exercise caution when purchasing batteries at drug stores or big box stores.  Oftentimes stores will run a “special” or a sale on batteries that are about to expire and the prices are still fairly high.  Expired batteries may still work in your hearing aids, but they will be losing power and will not last as long as a fresh, unexpired battery does.

3)  Hearing aid batteries are toxic to humans and pets, so store accordingly.  Keep them in a drawer or cabinet where they are out of reach of pets and children.  If you or someone you love accidentally ingests a battery, contact your emergency room immediately.  I would also caution you against changing your hearing aid batteries at the same time you take daily pills/medication.  It sounds crazy, but multiple patients have mixed up the two as they are similar in size.  Again, if you accidentally swallow a battery, seek medical attention immediately.

2)  If you are going to not wear your hearing aid for an extended period of time, do not store the hearing aid with the battery inside of it.  The battery can leak acid and corrode the inside of the hearing instrument.

1)  If you are looking for an affordable way to have hearing aid batteries delivered directly to your door, join our battery club today!  We offer high quality batteries at competitive prices and they batteries can be shipped to your home.  Call us now!  877-426-0687

PSAPs now available on Hearing Revolution!

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Apollo Handheld 2Remember our last blog about what a PSAP is?  Now PSAPs are available through Hearing Revolution.  As I mentioned before, PSAPs can be an inexpensive alternative to a hearing aid if your hearing loss is mild and you’re just having difficulty in certain situations, like one on one conversation or hearing the television.  PSAPs are basic amplifiers that have a limiter or governor on them to ensure they do not reach a dangerous loudness level to damage your hearing.

At this time, Hearing Revolution is proud to introduce two Personal Sound Amplification Products: the Comet (available for $295 per instrument) and the Apollo (available for $250 per instrument).  Check back soon for a “Compare and Contrast” Blog that explains the differences between the two devices.

Not sure if a PSAP is right for you or if a hearing aid is a better option?

Here is a quick and easy Frequently Asked Questions guide that may help you determine if you are ready for a PSAP or a Hearing Aid:

What is the difference between this device (PSAP) and a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is programmed specifically for your hearing loss, while a PSAP is a basic amplifier

I’ve been told that I need a hearing aid…will the PSAP help me?

Single Comet 2It may help you in some situations, but it would be better to get a hearing aid if that has been recommended and you can afford to do so.

Can I adjust the sound on this device?

Yes, either by changing the different settings by pressing a button or by adjusting a volume control.

What is the battery life?

Comet: 3-5 days

Apollo: 10 days-2 weeks

What is the warranty?

Comet: 90 day factory warranty

Apollo: 90 day factory warranty

What is the return policy?

Comet: no returns permitted, due to hygiene concerns

Apollo: 30 day money back guarantee