Technology

Hybrid Hearing Devices on the Horizon

A lower cost alternative to hearing aids is becoming more common. These devices deliver amplified hearing in some situations and dampened hearing in other situations. Here’s how these modern devices may augment your hearing.

Hybrid Hearing Devices Amplify More than Sound

Modern hearing devices allow you to "amplify the joy, and tune out the sounds that annoy." 

Hybrid hearing devices offer a way to reduce the distraction by amplifying desired sounds while reducing other, straining sounds. For instance, you want to focus on a face-to-face conversation you are having with a dear friend at a coffee shop. However, the air conditioning or loud speech of others negatively interferes with your ability to tune in and be present to the conversation.

In another instance, you may be at a concert – your favorite concert. Your favorite performer is playing but you can’t hear them over the sound of the crowd. Wouldn’t you wish there was a way you could tune out the crowd and focus in on the performer’s melody?

At any given moment you may be at the intersection of dozens of different sounds, whether at a concert, sporting event, movie, or other locales. And this is not just a problem for the hard-of-hearing community, but anyone who can perceive sound. This is why hybrid hearing devices were invented.

Tune In, Tune Out

Hybrid hearing devices, the most popular of which are the Apple AirPods, give you the ability to control how you hear the world around you. Developers and manufacturers of hearing devices have completely rethought the way they approach the act of listening – and the sounds we take in. By putting their heads together they invented a product that can modify the volume of sounds coming from the outside world.

Smart Hearing Through the Use of Hybrid Devices

<p>They personalize your hearing settings in multiple ways, giving you the ability to control how you hear the world around you, such as hearing speech in noisy social settings or blocking out ambient noise to the degree you'd like. The goal is to hear more than what our ears would normally allow us. As such, the term "smart hearing" has started gaining traction.</p>
<p>Whether you are driving a car, playing golf in the wind, at a concert or restaurant, our smart hearing aids automatically detect and adapt to that environment.</p>
<p class="split-lines-block" style="text-align: right;"><span>“Two wireless earbuds and a smartphone app may soon change the way we hear our favorite bands and concerts.”&nbsp;<br />
<br />
<span style="text-align: right;">- Rolling Stone</span></span></p>
<p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 17px; letter-spacing: 0px;">At SayWhat Hearing, we live and breathe new tech-related hearing devices. We sincerely believe this is a step in the right direction in breaking the hearing assisted stigma. And although we do have some reservations about the products, we can’t help but be grateful that people are talking about it - and bringing the issue to the forefront of the conversation.</span></p>

They personalize your hearing settings in multiple ways, giving you the ability to control how you hear the world around you, such as hearing speech in noisy social settings or blocking out ambient noise to the degree you'd like. The goal is to hear more than what our ears would normally allow us. As such, the term "smart hearing" has started gaining traction.

Whether you are driving a car, playing golf in the wind, at a concert or restaurant, our smart hearing aids automatically detect and adapt to that environment.

“Two wireless earbuds and a smartphone app may soon change the way we hear our favorite bands and concerts.” 

- Rolling Stone

At SayWhat Hearing, we live and breathe new tech-related hearing devices. We sincerely believe this is a step in the right direction in breaking the hearing assisted stigma. And although we do have some reservations about the products, we can’t help but be grateful that people are talking about it - and bringing the issue to the forefront of the conversation.

Hybrid Hearing Devices Are Not Hearing Aids

These earbuds are not to be confused with hearing aids. Although the technology shares a common ancestry, these devices are not as powerful or capable of the same features as a quality hearing aid. Though they are being viewed as an introductory product to get used to the idea of better sound while determining a more permanent solution. They're not as powerful, but they allow you to filter out undesirable sounds, as well as amplify and enhance others. Some of the devices that have piqued our interest are Apple AirPods, Samsung Gear IconX, Bragi Dash, ’Here One’ by Doppler Labs, Nuheara IQbuds™, and Jabra Elite Support.

Products like these are just the beginning. Soon, we may be able to carry on a perfectly audible conversation with a friend during a concert and then, with the flip of a switch, go back to hearing the music again. If you live in a loud, bustling city, you can filter out the traffic and industrial noise. If a baby starts crying behind you on an airplane, a tap of the finger to the earbud will help tune that baby out.

We’re excited to see where these solutions, which combine assisted listening devices, Bluetooth earpieces, and noise cancelling headsets, will head in the coming years. Only time will tell what the “smart hearing” devices of the future will bring us. Active listening, passive attenuation, and algorithm-based hearing are some of the future perks we can expect in future models.

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