A new generation of rechargeable battery technologies promises to make life easier for hearing aid consumers in 2017. When two new rechargeable hearing aid models and an innovative new retrofit rechargeable battery system hit the market in late 2016, consumers finally got a choice of options as easy and convenient to charge as your cell phone.
Posts Categorized: General
Today, the FDA issued the “Immediately in Effect Guidance Document: Conditions for Sale for Air-Conduction Hearing Aids,” which effectively ends federal enforcement of the hearing aid medical waiver. For those in the dark, the hearing aid medical waiver is a waiver that may be signed in lieu of having the required pre-hearing-aid-purchase medical evaluation.
Internet and iPhone connectivity may be the sizzle in today’s hearing aid market, but sound quality is still the steak. That’s one of many takeaways from a groundbreaking audiologist survey conducted this fall by Hearing Tracker and UBS Evidence Lab, the research arm of global investment banking giant UBS AG.
Remember Carl Fredricksen’s constant frustration with his hearing aids in the popular Pixar film Up? Unfortunately, there is some truth to Pixar’s depiction of hearing aids. Hearing aid feedback (loud squealing), excessive noise, and over-amplification can still be a problem. Anyone who has worn hearing aids for more than 5 years can recount numerous embarrassing occasions of older models squeaking in the middle of a dinner party or providing overwhelming amplification of car and wind noise.
When Oticon announced that its new OpnTM hearing aids would connect users to “the Internet of Things,” a lot of people scratched their heads. Many didn’t yet know exactly what the “IoT” was, much less what it might have to do with hearing aids.
The concept is simple: the Opn hearing aids connect to the internet through an iPhone utilizing the new Oticon ON app. The hearing aids then interact with and trigger other internet-connected devices using the new IFTTT (If This Then That) protocol.
Unitron’s new Moxi Now hearing aid packs a lot of technology, including wireless ear-to-ear sound processing, into a smaller package than ever – about the size of two fat blueberries. The Sonova Group subsidiary says it’s 14% smaller than its closest competitor, making it the world’s smallest wireless receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid.
Consumers are warming up to the idea of using rechargeable hearing aid batteries in place of the disposable zinc-air batteries required by most modern hearing devices. According to a recent Hearing Tracker survey, new rechargeable technologies – that provide longer battery life in smaller packages – are leading many hearing aid consumers to consider making the switch.
I am 84 and have used hearing aids for 25 years. Until 2014 they worked so well that I could almost ignore them. But then I learned unconditionally that “sometimes hearing aids are just not enough”! I.e. like when talking to doctors, lawyers, family, work men around the house, fill in the blanks, etc!
Nura, an Australian technology startup, has promoted Nura headphones on Kickstarter as a music-listening device that “automatically measures your hearing” and adjusts “to your unique hearing profile” – all in about 30 seconds. Earlier today, Nura’s crowdfunding campaign was named the “best funded Australian Kickstarter campaign ever” by Business Insider Australia. Nura’s Kickstarter page currently shows over 4000 backers and over 900 thousand dollars in pledges.
Oticon’s new Opn hearing aids were recently discovered for sale online for a conspicuously low price. While we’d rather not divulge the exact price, we can confirm that the direct-to-consumer cost was so low that some practicing audiologists reported paying the same amount to purchase in their own hearing aid stock.