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.
Unlike the company’s Made-for-iPhone LiNX hearing aids, the new Android app does not enable wireless streaming of audio directly from the phone to the hearing aids. Instead it requires an intermediary device — the ReSound Unite Phone Clip+, which can be clipped discreetly to your lapel — to relay audio from the phone into the hearing aids. But at the same time, the Smart app can also be used to pair the Phone Clip+ with ReSound’s wireless TV streamer.
ReSound said the Smart app works with ReSound LiNX™, ReSound ENZO™, or ReSound Up Smart™ hearing aids. Initially only available for the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, the app will be available with other Android based phones later this year. The ReSound ENZO hearing aid, also introduced at CES this week, is the first to offer Made-for-iPhone capabilities to consumers with severe-to-profound hearing loss.
No manufacturers have yet introduced direct wireless streaming of audio from Android smartphones into hearing aids, but others have introduced apps offering varying degrees of Android connectivity. Siemens is the latest with an Android hearing aid control app with its new EasyTek app and streamer introduced at CES this week.