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Four Hearing Technology Products Announced During 2013

For those with hearing loss – there’s some new technology in 2013.  Older adults, especially among the older age ranges (47% of those aged 75+), have a greater likelihood of hearing loss. On the positive side, they also have more choices today in terms of technologies (at multiple price points) to cope with various degrees and types of hearing loss. Confronting hearing loss is generally deemed essential to combat the social isolation -- and possible decline in cognitive skills -- that may occur as hearing loss worsens. It seems that only 15% of those with hearing loss mitigate it with some sort of technology assist such as an implant, hearing aids, personal sound amplification device (see FDA thoughts on this), or hearing loop technology in a concert or lecture hall (or senior housing dining hall). Here is a sample of the technologies that have been announced this past year:

Siemens miniTEK (hearing aid connection). "The Siemens miniTek is a combined streamer and remote control that seamlessly connects hearing aids to phones, TVs, music and other audio devices simultaneously via Bluetooth® and other wireless technologies. With the miniTek App, wearers have full access to all the features of the miniTek, allowing them to discreetly adjust their hearing aids’ volume, switch audio sources, select a preferred listening environment, and even see a visual display of their hearing aids’ status—right from their Android device." Learn more at Siemens.com.

Starkey XinoClassic (hearing aid).  "Xino Classic comes standard with a rotary volume control, making it ideal for patients who prefer a traditional way to easily control volume. Other featuresOther features of Xino Classic include Starkey Hearing Technologies’ noise management system, directionality and feedback cancellation, which enhance hearing in all types of environments – including loud ones. It also features simple receiver connection with SnapFit receivers and a unique microphone cover design that improves wax and moisture protection and resists clogging." Learn more at StarkeyHearingTechnologies.com.

The Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier.  "With a slim profile, and worn completely in the ear, The Bean enhances soft sounds so that speech can be heard more clearly but allows louder sounds to pass through naturally as if nothing is in the ears. For many users, The Bean is like a pair of reading glasses: used only when needed. QSA devices are available without medical referral or prescription. Best results are achieved when The Bean is worn in both ears. The Bean uses the most sophisticated analog processing ever devised, which explains its natural sound and low battery drain. Batteries last 2-5X longer than those in digital hearing devices." Learn more at Etymotic.com.

CS10 Personal Sound Amplifier. "The Sound World Solutions CS10 is designed for consumers who don’t need a hearing aid but could use occasional assistance in hearing, particularly in difficult listening situations or environments. Designed for consumers who don't want a hearing aid but need occasional help hearing, the CS10 provides hearing assistance in difficult listening situations and environments while also functioning as a high-quality Bluetooth headset. Priced much lower than conventional hearing aids, the CS10 can be customized by the user in just a few minutes with an Android smartphone or a Bluetooth-enabled computer for a fully personalized sound profile." Learn more at Soundworldsolutions.com.

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