Since it was first invented in 1898, the electronic hearing aid has always had a negative stigma attached. They’re unsightly, too big and only come in that dreaded nude color all too often used in the health industry. On top of it all, there have always been complaints about performance; whether the sound goes in and out or it’s too sensitive. There has never really been a smooth, personalized, well-adjusted hearing aid available to the general public, until now. Two revolutionary hearing aids, the Beltone First and the Resound Linx, are changing both the way we see hearing aids and the way we hear each other.
The Beltone First is a huge technological breakthrough in the medical field. It is the world’s first “Made for iPhone” hearing aid, coming with a complimentary app called “HearPlus.” In the app, you can adjust volumes and settings, check the battery of your hearing aid and even similar to the “Find My iPhone” feature offered by Apple, you can use the location services from your phone to make sure you never lose your hearing device. It can even recognize when you are in certain locations with specific preset settings. For example, if you know you are going to a noisy restaurant, you can adjust your settings once accordingly without having to do so each time you are there. In addition to the advanced control in the app, you can make Bluetooth phone calls, listen to music or a movie right in your hearing aid. The other made-for-iPhone compatible device, the Resound Linx, is made by the sister company of Beltone.
Aesthetically, there have been considerable developments. It is one of the smallest hearing aids on the market, and the parts that are absolutely necessary are so well connected that when in someone’s ear, it’s nearly invisible. There are two main parts to the device, and you can customize them both to your exact hair and skin color to camouflage it.
On top of all the technological advancements and seamlessness, these inventions provide the “sex appeal” that Apple puts into all of their products. When Apple comes out with something, almost regardless of what it is, people will wait outside for hours to be the first to get their hands on it. Although Apple is not directly manufacturing or designing the products, they endorse them and have had a say in every step of development. As a result, people will feel confident in the device, knowing for sure that it will work perfectly with their beloved iPhone or iPad.
A large challenge facing medical professionals in treating hearing loss is actually getting their patients to use their hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. But as Apple promises on their website, the highest quality audio for phone conversations, music, FaceTime calls and more are delivered wirelessly from your iOS device to the hearing device with no additional hardware necessary.