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Hearables -- hearing technology for boomers and beyond

The numbers are daunting -- must have been those rock bands in the 60s and 70s.  Hearing loss is a big problem among baby boomers -- but their propensity to solve it with hearing aids? Not so much. In 2012, there were 4.5 million of those aged 50-59 with hearing loss, but only 4.5% wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids are associated with the stigma of aging -- but facts are facts. Hearing issues may be attributed to overly loud rock bands from long ago.  Hearing aids are costly and typically not covered by insurance, irritating to wear -- just a few reasons cited by various sources. But those serving the boomer health market, take heed -- once boomers are seniors and take their untreated hearing loss with them into older age ranges, their gait is also impacted, and we know with gait issues comes the risk of falling -- and we know how health risks and costs rise with the frequency and severity of falls. Here are some recent technology introductions that can enhance the ability to hear -- text is from the companies' own material:

AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones.  "We use a pair of transducers to power your music into your head. With one transducer resting on each side of your head we create vibrations that pass sound off of the surface of your face. This contact point allows our headphones to conduct sound onto the bones of your head. These vibrations send sound all the way from your cheek bones to your inner ear, allowing sound to reach the cochlea without even using your ear drum." Learn (somewhat) more at Aftershokz.com.

Audiarchy. "Audiarchy Headphones help filter out external noise and engage with the current activity. It also allows for the full spectrum of listeners who might not have trouble hearing but do not use a hearing aid. The Audiarchy SLS uses radio frequency technology to broadcast sound to all Audiarchy Headphones within a 100-meter radius. It is designed to bring more engagement, excitement and vitality to your senior audience through improved sound. Our transmitter connects with the audio source for your event, activity or presentation: TV, DVD, mixer, CD player, mobile phone, etc. Each audience member wears a headset. The transmitter automatically syncs to each headset for a direct connection to the audio signal for the best possible sound." Learn more at Audiarchy.com.

Clarity Sempre. "An amplified home phone that allows users to make calls through their existing wireless service. Sempre features Cellphone at Home™, a Bluetooth®-powered technology that allows users to enjoy the benefits of an amplified home phone without a landline service. Designed for people with hearing loss, Sempre amplifies incoming sounds up to 53 decibels. It makes soft sounds audible and keeps loud sounds in a comfortable range for the user through Digital Clarity Power™, a patented sound processing technology that functions similarly to a modern digital hearing aid." Learn more at ClarityProducts.com.

ClearSounds Quattro 4.0 Adaptive Bluetooth Streamer. "Connect and stream your cell phone, your television, up to five devices to your Quattro 4.0 Adaptive Bluetooth Listening System for a complete listening experience like no other. Honored as a daVinci Awards finalist for 2014, the Quattro 4.0 Adaptive Bluetooth Listening System is the perfect device for both people with hearing aids & cochlear implants (with t-coils) and those without hearing aids. The Quattro 4.0 comes with a wireless Bluetooth microphone, providing the ability to hear clearly in any environment such as board meetings and restaurants." Learn more at ClearSounds.com.

Nix Tinnitus Amp. "The first way Nix Tinnitus Amp can help with tinnitus is its white noise generator. The white noise can be turned on at any time to mask tinnitus. The second way the app treats tinnitus is with notch therapy. This works by listening to the iPhone microphone and then playing the sound in the headphones with the tinnitus pitch removed. Listening to sound without the tinnitus frequency helps the brain adjust to tinnitus. Nix Tinnitus Amp also functions as personal sound amplifier. It assists with hearing conversation or listening to the TV. Just point the iPhone’s microphone toward what you want to hear, and the app amplifies the sound heard in the headphones. Based in Dallas, Bxtel makes mobile apps for tinnitus and hearing loss." Learn more at Bxtel.com.


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