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.
Even without using the app, the Siemens smart hearing aids utilize intelligent, two-way wireless communication to automatically adjust the microphones’ direction to zero in on desired speech, enabling better-than-normal comprehension in crowded situations like noisy restaurants and cocktail parties where background noise is a challenge.
“These are not your average hearing aids but rather highly-intelligent wearable devices,” said Scott Davis, CEO Siemens Hearing Instruments. “They automatically detect everyday listening environments such as a noisy room, wind, or while driving a car, and instinctively know what to do.”
The company’s decision to announce its new products at the Consumer Electronics Show comes on the heels of Siemens’ recent sale of Siemens Audiology Solutions to o the investment company EQT Partners and Germany’s Strüngmann family for €2.15 billion Euros. The spinoff of the company, which is expected to be completed by the end of March, is expected to breathe new life into Siemens Hearing, which is still one of the Big Six hearing aid companies but whose future before the sale had been uncertain.