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.
Posts Tagged: hearing-aids
The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would allow certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter and would eliminate the “burdensome requirement” that consumers get a medical evaluation or sign a medical waiver before purchasing OTC hearing aids. The Act would also require the FDA to issue regulations containing safety and labeling requirements for OTC hearing aids and to update its draft guidance on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). The senators said they would introduce the legislation when Congress reconvenes before the end of the year.
If you are struggling to insert hearing aid speakers into your ears, a simple $25 modification can help. Many people struggle with hearing aid insertion for three reasons.
Hearing Aid technology has evolved tremendously in the last 20 years. I bought my first hearing aids in 1996, and the big hype back then was that they were the first digital hearing aids on the market and that they were CICs (Completely-in-the-Canal). It was a major milestone to not only create a hearing aid that was minature, but also digital.
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).
Hearing Tracker recently surveyed over 500 hearing aid users to help get a better idea of how long hearing aid batteries really last. We asked participants about their battery size, their hearing aid style, what brand of hearing aids they use, and whether they use streaming technologies, etc.
The majority of advertising on the web, in-print publications, and on the radio and TV devalues the importance of proper hearing evaluation, needs assessment, counseling and overemphasizes discounts and promotions— and promises miraculous results with hearing aids only. Many of these practices can get away with providing a lower standard of care because consumers are focused on the wrong thing—the hearing aid—and they are not as educated (like HLAA members are) about what clinical services they should expect and demand.
In a recent submission to the FCC, Apple argues that the current HAC compliance rules do not assess how well handsets and hearing aids actually “work together for consumers” and that the FCC should perform “qualitative assessments” to ensure handset usability for hearing aid users. Further, Apple proposed that the Commission should recognize solutions such as Made-For-iPhone (MFi) as viable alternatives to current hearing aid compatibility (HAC) compliance.
The Bragi Dash is one of the most talked about in-ear wearables (aka “hearables”) to ever to hit the market. After raising over 3 million dollars through an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter (in early 2014), Munich-based Bragi went on to raise 22 million dollars in venture capital from a group of unidentified global investors (in Nov. 2015). In the most simple terms possible, the Dash can be described as a rechargeable wireless earphone that has the capability to store and play music files, stream bluetooth audio, track fitness stats (heart rate, step counter, etc), and provide two-way communication with a smartphone.