Today, Signia (formerly Siemens) unveiled the Signia Pure® 13 BT, the company’s first Made-For-iPhone (MFi) hearing aid, and the world’s first true telehealth-supported hearing aid with iPhone audio streaming capabilities. The Pure™ 13 BT is also the first hearing aid to use iPhone motion sensors to improve hearing for speech when walking, jogging, or in the car, and reportedly the first hearing aid to provide both “high-definition binaural hearing” and Bluetooth® audio streaming (from a connected device).
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While most audiologists do their best to provide an appropriate hearing aid fitting on day one, the hearing aid fitting itself is typically considered just a starting point. After the hearing aid fitting, hearing aid users are typically scheduled for at least one follow-up visit to check progress, address issues, and make any necessary hearing aid tweaks. The first few visits are typically bundled into the cost of new hearing aids, and are considered essential for anyone wanting to get the most bang for their buck out of their new devices. But all too often buyers forego these free follow-up visits, either due to time constraints or neglect, missing an opportunity to receive important counseling, troubleshooting help, and hearing aid fine-tuning. Some consumers run out of patience with the process completely, with at least 1 out of every 10 having a hearing aid “in the drawer.”
With the introduction of its new wireless Jabra Elite Sport earbuds, the GN Group is starting to make good on its promise to cross-fertilize technologies between its headsets and hearing aids.
Touted in this week’s announcement as “the most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds,” the Elite Sport earbuds feature stereo music, an in-ear heart-rate monitor, fitness analysis software, voice-activated Bluetooth phone calls, and automatic switching to the earbud with the least background noise. Designed for high-intensity workouts, they are impervious to sweat, waterproof for 30 minutes at a depth of three feet (IP67 rated), and work with Jabra’s Sport Life App to provide in-ear fitness-performance reporting (using heart rate and VO2 Max data).
Jacoti, a Belgium-based hearing software research company recently emerged from stealth mode and has already won the prestigious 2016 CES Innovation Award for their smartphone-based Jacoti Hearing Suite. By leveraging the widespread availability of consumer devices with high quality audio capability, Jacoti seeks to make hearing assistance normative and ubiquitous, encouraging many more people to use professional audiological services earlier.
IEEE P2650™, or the “Standard For Enabling Mobile Device Platforms To Be Used As Pre-Screening Audiometric Systems,” will undoubtedly become the defacto standard for all smartphone hearing-screening tests. The new standard will help IEEE achieve the goal of addressing the hearing needs of those in emerging economies, where diagnostic hearing-testing facilities, and hearing professionals, are in limited supply.