Hearing aids have never been “cool”, not by a long-shot...... but you might be surprised to know that modern technology is making hearing technology trendier – and dare we say “sexier”?!
Gone are the days of the big and clunky beige models that make you think of your grandparents. Enter tiny, discreet and sleek wearable technology. Yup, that’s right, hearing aids are now known as “wearable tech” in an attempt to escape the age-old stigma associated with them. Heck, if you’re one of those people who’s really into the latest technology, you might want to get one of these devices regardless of whether you have a hearing loss or not!
That’s right, today’s hearing aids are SMART, which means they sync with your smartphone. Not only does this make it easier for you to hear phone conversations and listen to music, but it also enables you to control the settings on your hearing aid – right from your phone! If discretion is what you’re looking for, no-one would ever think you were adjusting your hearing aid while looking at your phone.
Hearing aid manufacturer, ReSound, actually worked in collaboration with Apple to develop its ReSound LiNX digital hearing aid, which became the first hearing aid to wear the “Made for iPhone” label. Not only does ReSound LiNX stream phone calls, music and FaceTime conversations via Bluetooth, it also intelligently filters ambient sound from your surroundings into the earpieces, keeping the world “open.” If you’d rather not hear this, the amplification can be turned off.
While leading hearing aid manufacturers continue to develop ground-breaking technology, we are also beginning to see the consumer electronics industry encroach on the hearing aid business with far cheaper products. The problem is that this technology is being developed without input from audiologists. Because hearing conditions are complex, it’s important for individuals to be assessed by a professional to determine the correct treatment and hearing technology.
With only a small percentage of people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wearing one – and with 90% of the hearing aid industry dominated by six large manufacturers – there’s no wonder that consumer tech wants to get in on the action.