Bernafon introduced the Zerena 9|7|5 product family with DECS™ technology and Oasisnxt fitting software in May 2017, followed more recently by the rechargeable Zerena miniRITE and the SoundClip-A. Now, we have a new firmware version and the Bernafon Firmware Updater for our Zerena hearing aids.
What is firmware?
Firmware is the software embedded within a hearing instrument that controls how the device functions. New firmware often contains product improvements and new features as upgrades. The firmware cannot be modified without using a specific program, a firmware updater. When a new firmware version is available, then it should always be updated so that the hearing aids can feature new functionalities and your clients can benefit from these improvements.
For Bernafon’s newest firmware for Zerena hearing aids, the HCP doesn’t need to return the hearing aids to get them updated. Instead, the firmware updater is now available together with the latest version of the fitting software, in this case Oasisnxt 2017.2. Hearing care professionals will be able to update Zerena hearing aids from Firmware 1.0 to 2.0 only after having installed the latest version of Oasisnxt. This was the subject of a recent blog post "Oasis NXT Installation: A Good Practice Checklist"
Firmware 2.0 is not mandatory but it is highly recommended. In fact, there are 3 good reasons to update your Zerena hearing aids with the new firmware version:
- it will provide the communication protocols for the new SoundClip-A and access to settings that can be personalized
(if you are not yet familiar with the SoundClip-A, our last blog post was all about why everyone needs a SoundClip-A);
- it allows for the possibility to perform in situ audiometry with Oasisnxt; and
- it will provide an improved connection and better streaming quality with wireless accessories.
You will always be providing the best product and service possible with the most up-to-date firmware.
Oasisnxt 17.2 will automatically indicate if the connected hearing aids have an older firmware version and will offer you the update. The Firmware Updater can also be accessed via Tools > Oasis Firmware Updater (Figure 1) or via the Updater icon in top right hand corner of the software (Figure 2). The Bernafon Firmware Updater can also be accessed outside Oasisnxt under the Bernafon apps in the "All apps" list on your computer.
You must have a cabled (not wireless) connection to the hearing aids! Use EXPRESSLink 3, HI-PRO 2, or HI-PRO USB. Wireless programming interfaces do NOT support firmware updates.
Before updating, make sure that the hearing aids are not on the client's ears as they will go back to factory settings. Make sure that you have a saved session so that you can go back to/restore the client’s settings.
How long will it take?
The total time that the update takes will depend on whether the hearing aids are updated simultaneously (when using HI-PRO 2) or separately (when using EXPRESSlink). Once the firmware update has been started, it cannot be stopped or interrupted.
What are the benefits?
Spend a little time today updating your hearing aids and enjoy the benefits. For you, the benefits are the additional possibilities with SoundClip-A and in situ audiomety. For your customers, the benefit is that they will always have the best possible product and service.
Where can I find more information?
If Oasisnxt 2017.2 is already installed on your PC, you can find detailed advice in the software help file for updating the firmware. Or, contact your Bernafon representative for further advice.