Siemens Hearing Instruments is smartening up its product line at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show with new “smart hearing aids” featuring iPhone and Android apps enabling users to control their listening experience through the Siemens EasyTek Bluetooth audio streamer. The new EasyTek streamer hangs from a neck loop and transmits audio from iPhone and Android smartphones directly into the Siemens hearing aids. And with the accompanying EasyTek App, the user’s smartphone can control the hearing aids’ amplification and the direction of the hearing aids’ microphones—front, left, right, or behind—to simultaneously enhance speech and suppress background noise. The span of the microphones’ focus can also be controlled via the app, allowing wearers to select a wide range of focus or a very narrow beam. [Read more…]
ReSound, which was first to market with a Made-for-iPhone hearing aid last year, now is introducing Android smartphone connectivity with a new app that enables Samsung Galaxy S5 users to control their hearing aids with their phones. Introduced at the International CES conference in Las Vegas, the ReSound Smart app™ performs basic tasks such as setting volume levels on ReSound hearing aids, adjusting treble and bass settings, and checking battery levels. The app also connects the hearing aids to the phone’s GPS, enabling the user to activate a “Find My Hearing Aids” function to pinpoint the hearing aids if they’re misplaced, and to geo-tag frequently visited places – such as home, work, or favorite restaurants – to automatically adjust to specific acoustics. [Read more…]
Phonak’s new Audéo V receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid family is powered by the company’s new Venture chip technology that offers twice the processing power while reducing battery consumption up to 30 percent. Available in four new styles and in four performance levels, the Audéo V hearing aids feature a new AutoSense OS feature that automatically adapts the sound-processing program to changing listening environments.
The new hearing aids are also compatible with Phonak’s Wireless Communication Portfolio, which includes:
- Phonak EasyCall, connecting any Phonak wireless hearing aid to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone – even non-smartphones and older models. Permanently attached to the back of the phone, it streams the conversation directly to both hearing aids in unmatched sound quality.
- Phonak ComPilot Air II, a clip-on streamer and remote control that allows for easy control
of all Bluetooth-enabled audio devices such as cell phones, TVs, tablets and computers.
- Phonak RemoteControl App, which turns any smartphone into an advanced remote control for
Phonak Venture hearing aids. Combined with Phonak ComPilot Air II or ComPilot II, the
App enables direct selection of hearing programs, audio sources or the listening situation as
well as individual left or right volume control.
- Phonak Virtual Mirror App, which uses an iPad to mirror a client’s ear with a Phonak hearing
aid. It allows hearing care professionals to virtually change the color according to their clients’
preferences, send high-definition images via email and directly place orders.
“Clear speech understanding in daily life situations:This is where we have put the focus in developing our new platform and our latest generation of hearing aids,” Martin Grieder, Group Vice President Phonak, said in a news release. “Whether in the car, on the phone or in a restaurant, the new Audéo V RIC hearing aids offer precise performance, all while seamlessly adapting from one soundscape to another.”
With the introduction of two new digital signal processors (DSPs) integrating advanced sound processing functions, On Semiconductor is taking another step in the march to lower-cost manufacturing of both high-end and entry-level hearing aids.
The new members of the company’s Rhythm family of preconfigured DSP systems for hearing aids integrate 16-channel sound processing with features such as on-chip noise reduction and feedback cancellation.
By meeting two of the most important requirements of hearing aid designers — high-performance processing and low power consumption — the new platforms will make it easier for developers to design and manufacture more powerful and feature-rich hearing aids at lower costs. [Read more…]
While GN ReSound and Starkey introduced Made for iPhone hearing aids, a third member of the “Big Six” fraternity of leading global hearing aid makers, Oticon, has opted for a different approach.
Instead of introducing a new hearing aid, Oticon’s new Made for iPhone ConnectLine Streamer Pro 1.2 and ConnectLine App will enable all of the wireless hearing aids it has sold since 2007 to synch up with Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. [Read more…]
Starkey Hearing Technologies next week will be the second manufacturer to jump into the brand-new Made for iPhone Hearing Aids market with a slick product loaded with features controlled by an application available from Apple’s online App Store.
The new Starkey Halo hearing aids will receive wireless audio directly from Apple’s latest iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, without requiring an intermediary streaming device. And the TruLink Control App, available as a free download, will provide wireless control over a laundry list of functions designed to dramatically improve the performance of the hearing aids in different listening environments.
Closely following GN ReSound’s late February launch of its ReSound LiNX and Beltone First iPhone Hearing aids, the new Starkey Halo product is a strong entrant into what promises to be a hotly competitive market for iPhone-compatible hearing aids. Other manufacturers among the “Big Six” who together account for more than 80 percent global hearing aid sales have been rumored to be developing their own Made-for-iPhone products, but only GN ReSound and Starkey have gone to market so far.
The TruLink app transforms the Starkey Halo hearing aids into multi-function wireless mobile phone accessories that perform a variety of applications. Users can: [Read more…]
With a live gospel group from Harlem and multimedia presentations at a New York City news conference, GN ReSound yesterday initiated the global market rollout of the ReSound LiNX and Beltone First, the world’s first “Made for iPhone Hearing Aids.”
GN ReSound CEO Lars Viksmoen, who had announced the new product in Europe last October, unveiled more details on availability, pricing and features, positioning the new hearing aid as a premium-priced product supported by a raft of unique new capabilities:
- It is the first “Made for iPhone Hearing Aid,” providing seamless wireless connectivity and compatibility not only with Apple’s iPhone but also the iPod Touch and iPad Tablet.
- It is the only hearing aid delivering 2.4 GHz wireless audio communication from the phone directly to the hearing aids — the first to eliminate an intermediate streaming device.
- It is GN ReSound’s smallest wireless receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid, but with enough amplification and other functionality to address 90 precent of customers’ hearing-loss profiles.
- An iPhone app wirelessly sets volume levels, adjusts treble and bass settings, and changes the hearing-aid’s program settings; it also features “geo-tagging” to identify locations where certain programs will be most helpful.
- A unique “Find My Hearing Aid” application lets you use your iPhone to locate your hearing aids, just as it can locate your other Apple devices.
We reported earlier on the features and technology behind the new hearing aids when they were were announced in October, but the latest briefing furnished details an pricing, availability and user acceptance. [Read more…]
A California startup company, iHear Medical Inc., is promising to break the $200 price barrier for programmable hearing aids with its new, invisible iHear HD hearing device.
The early-bird $199 price includes not only the new digital hearing aid, but also an iHear Test kit that enables customers to self-administer hearing tests and program the hearing aids to their personal hearing profiles.
With pre-orders now at www.igg.me/at/ihearmedical for online shipments that will start in August, iHear Medical is also promising to donate one of its hearing aids for every hearing aid it sells, “to give the gift of hearing to an economically disadvantaged person.” The company has set a goal to donate 1,000 hearing aids through its Hearing for All Foundation in its first 60 days of shipments.
The incredibly low price point might be cause for skepticism, were it not for the track record of the company’s founder, Adnan Shennib, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Shennib’s previous company, InSound Medical, developed high-end, invisible, extended-wear Lyric hearing aids that cost several thousand dollars each.
In 2010, Shennib sold InSound Medical to Sonova Group for $169 million. He then set to work on his idea for iHear Medical to sell low-cost, high-quality hearing aids to the huge population of consumers who currently can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars for hearing assistance. [Read more…]