Whisper Launches Learning Hearing Aid System
The company is also announcing a $35 million Series B, led by Quiet Capital, and joined by Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, and IVP.
15 October 2020
San Francisco, CA — Whisper announced today the launch of its flagship product, the Whisper Hearing System, a first-of-its-kind learning hearing aid that improves over time. The Whisper Hearing System deploys regular upgrades to give wearers the benefit of the very latest advances in hearing technology. Rather than owning a hearing aid that quickly becomes outdated, Whisper wearers will benefit from new features or sound processing improvements to the company’s proprietary Sound Separation Engine, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to optimize sound in real-time for a consumer’s surroundings.
The Whisper Hearing Aid System includes a pair of receiver-in-canal hearing aids, worn behind the ear, and a Whisper Brain accessory that drives the AI-based Sound Separation Engine.
The company also announced today the close of a $35 million Series B funding round led by Quiet Capital. Previous lead investors, Sequoia Capital and First Round Capital, also participated, with new investors like IVP joining in. The Series B brings Whisper’s total funding to $53M. The Whisper Hearing System is designed to learn from the ground up and has a unique hardware configuration that drives the system. The system is comprised of three components:
- The earpieces, which are worn on the ears so they can take in and transmit sound
- The Whisper Brain, a pocket-sized hub, which is the center of Whisper’s learning capabilities and works wirelessly with the earpieces to enable a proprietary AI-based Sound Separation Engine
- The Whisper mobile app, which delivers regular software upgrades in addition to allowing users to control their Whisper Hearing System from their phones
Whisper is partnering with an exclusive network of local practices across the country to ensure consumers receive customized care. Unlike other hearing aids, Whisper is available via a comprehensive monthly plan that includes ongoing care from a local hearing care professional, a lease of the Whisper Hearing System, regular software upgrades, and a 3-year warranty that not only covers the system itself but also loss and damage. There is a special introductory offer of $139/month (regularly $179/month) for a 3-year term.
“Technology should be used to improve people’s lives,” said Dwight Crow, Co-Founder & CEO of Whisper. “Many of the problems people face in hearing - whether hearing in a loud restaurant or having a device that quickly gets outdated - are solvable with recent advancements in consumer electronics and artificial intelligence. With the Whisper Hearing System, consumers get a state-of-the-art device designed in Silicon Valley that doesn’t stay static but continually improves with artificial intelligence for better performance."
“I like being on the cutting edge of what's going on in my industry,” said Darcy Benson, audiologist and practice owner at California Hearing Center. “I hear from my patients every day how they're still struggling to hear clearly, and always are looking for a better solution. I owe it to my patients to always participate in whatever I can to make their lives better.”
“Software-defined hearing technology is the future,” said Mike Vernal, Partner at Sequoia and Whisper Board Member. “By building the Whisper Hearing System around software, the Whisper team will be able to improve patient care with a device that adapts, upgrades, and improves continuously for the wearer’s benefit. This is the start of a new paradigm for delivering hearing technology, and we’re thrilled to partner with Whisper on this journey.”
Established in 2017, Whisper is a team of artificial intelligence, hearing care, hardware, and software experts coming together to solve the challenge of providing better hearing. We set out to make the Whisper Hearing System so our parents, grandparents, friends and teammates can have a tomorrow that sounds even better than today.