Able Planet’s Noise-Canceling Headphones Introduce True Hearing-Aid Technology To Consumer Electronics Industry
Able Planet has been around a long time developing assistive listening products for the hearing-assistance industry based on its Linx Audio sound processing technology. But recently it has taken on a new look with a high-profile branding campaign and a new, broad line of high-end noise-canceling headphones, earphones and accessories attacking the heart of the consumer electronics market. At the AudiologyNOW! conference they stood out with a booth promoting “I Am Able” professional athletes who endorse their products, and they were showing new headphones and headsets that are successfully competing head-to-head with Bose and other popular high-end brands.
I caught up with Able Planet’s CEO Kevin Semcken and Chief Audiology Officer Dr. Christoper Schweitzer. Both have vast experience in the health care, medical device and hearing-aid industries. But what stood out for me is their commitment and savvy about what high-end audio consumers are looking for, and how previously arcane hearing-aid technologies such as digital signal processing will play an essential role in consumer electronics. By integrating Linx Audio into all its headphones and headsets, and promoting the technology as its critical advantage, Able Planet is distinguishing itself as one of the very few companies driving high-end hearing technology into mainstream products. Read more
For a long time, the standard in hearing protection for the military, police and workers in noisy industrial environments was little more than a set of ill-fitting ear plugs. But blocking your hearing is often more dangerous than potentially losing it in noisy environments where inability to hear your colleague’s voices or failure to hear warnings of an imminent threat can put you in harm’s way. It’s no surprise, then, that hearing loss among soldiers who don’t wear their earplugs because they don’t feel safe not being able to hear what’s going on around them has become one of the biggest problems for veterans of the Irag war and other conflicts. That’s why it’s gratifying to see hearing-aid manufacturers have finally start applying advanced hearing enhancement and hearing protection technology to the problem of environmental noise. Phonak is the latest manufacturer to come up with an advanced hearing system for people trying to get their jobs done in noisy and dangerous environments, and it integrates some impressive technology. Read more