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Medicine Technology

Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones? 183

mtcups writes "I am a musician/IT guy whose hearing has suffered from VERY LOUD guitar players, (yes I do use earplugs now, but too late), and am faced with the outrageously priced hearing aids $4.5K+/pair and was appalled at their lack of integration with smart phones. It seems obvious to me that I should be able to control the hearing aids via a smart phone interface so I can shape the profile for different environments, and also control features like 'hearing loops' and Bluetooth connections. I have done some research, but my guess is that the hearing aid companies want proprietary systems and don't want a smartphone interface since they would loose control and it would allow for competition for cheaper & better programs. I am not convinced that a combination of good ear-buds, good microphone(s), and a smartphone interface couldn't totally replace these overpriced solutions."
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Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones?

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  • by gnatman64 ( 688246 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @04:01AM (#41396531) Homepage
    I'm deaf in one ear, but I get by in life without a hearing aid. I recently started using AfterShokz headphones for my running, and was pleasantly surprised that I could hear stereo sound again through these headphones. I also started using an Android app at work called AroundSound which stops your music when someone starts talking to you and replays the last thing that was said through your headphones. So by combining these two, it's allowed me to hear the beginning of conversations better, when normally I would have to ask someone to repeat what they said before I could turn around and actively listen. It's not an all day solution, but I find it's helped me a bit in my day-to-day work life.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @05:42AM (#41396955)

    Hearing aids do a lot more than just amplify sound. Although your thresholds for different frequencies do go up such that you can no longer hear softer sounds, the limit at which the level is uncomfortable may not change (or it could actually go down). That means your dynamic range is substantially reduced. Hearing aids have to automatic gain controllers that respond to different frequencies. They can do a lot more besides that such as frequency transposition for high-frequency speech sounds.

    And then there's the ergonomics. They're designed to stay in your ear canal for long periods of time each day.

    And they are medical devices. You don't want just anyone making an ear mold for a device that goes deep in your ear canal.

    While the price may not be justified, your characterisation of them leaves something to be desired.

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