Beltone has joined its sister brand GN ReSound in providing an app that lets users control their hearing aids with their Android smartphones. The new Beltone HearPlus™ app, designed for Beltone First and Beltone Boost hearing aids, initially will work with the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S5 and will expand to include other Android devices later in 2015.
After my cochlear implant surgery was a success and I returned to the world of (more or less) normal hearing, I had a stunning revelation. In the months before my surgery, when my hearing loss had progressed to “profound,” I had been living with a serious disability. But even as I struggled daily with hearing aids that barely helped and as I suffered from growing social isolation in spite of my constantly evolving coping capabilities, I never considered myself to be living with a “disability.” Now I realize I was.
It got me thinking about how people tend to make the best of bad situations, and how denial of the consequences of a loss is one way of enabling you to cope with that loss. And even though I now realize I had a real disability, I still find it impossible to think of myself in any way as “unable.” Rather I feel my disability “enabled” me to learn to deal with all kinds of adversity in creative, enabling ways. [Read more…]
With its new Z Series hearing aids, Starkey Hearing Technologies has improved wireless connectivity between its hearing aids and peripheral audio streaming devices. The company said its new 900sync™ technology utilizing the 900 MHz transmission band enables more robust sound and “virtually drop free” streaming into the hearing aids from a normal range of five meters or less. [Read more…]
Some soothsayers are predicting 2015 will be the Year of Wearable Electronics, with one research firm forecasting double-digit global market growth to $8 billion by 2018. But in the cascade of new wearable products — smart wristwatches with built-in sensors, web-connected glasses with tiny online cameras, wrist-bands that monitor your every move, “e-textile” outerwear with sensors built into the fabric, footwear, headbands, and dozens of others — we’ve barely seen or heard about hearing aids. Even though hearing aids were the original “wearable” consumer electronics products, they are hardly mentioned in discussion of the next great wave of consumer technology. What’s wrong with this picture? [Read more…]
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…]
ReSound made sure not to leave behind its customers most in need of hearing help when it introduced its new ENZO hearing aid, the first Made-for-iPhone hearing aid for people with severe-to-profound hearing loss. And the sponsors of the Consumer Electronics Show next week have recognized ReSound’s investment in iPhone hearing aids by making the ReSound ENZO a 2015 Innovation Awards Honoree in its Accessible Technologies category.
ReSound led the market in Made-for-iPhone hearing aids when it rolled out its small open-fit LiNX hearing aid for mild and moderate hearing loss early last year. By the time volume shipments were under way, ReSound was ready to roll out the much larger and more powerful ENZO super-power iPhone hearing aid in December 2014. [Read more…]
Happy New Year? It all depends on where you stand in the hearing industry. In 2015, hearing aid manufacturers will continue introducing new products and technologies at an accelerating pace, and legions of new and current customers with hearing loss will win.
But with lower prices and sometimes brutal competition, everyone who serves those customers — from audiologists and dispensers to manufacturers and retailers — will have to stay on their toes to survive, let alone prosper. Following are five trends to follow in the New Year: [Read more…]