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Siemens smart hearing aids link with iPhone and Android devices

Steve Rogerson
January 21, 2015
 
Siemens has introduced smart hearing aids that work with iPhone and Android devices. Wearers can control microphone direction via their smartphones. These intelligent devices are said to learn continuously and automatically adapt over time.
 
This wearable hearing technology can be discreetly controlled via both iPhone and Android devices, with the latest models clinically proven to outperform people with normal hearing in background noise. When two hearing aids are worn (the most common case), the devices use intelligent, two-way wireless communications to zero in on desired speech with claimed pinpoint accuracy. This enables better-than-normal hearing in crowded situations such as noisy bars, restaurants and cocktail parties where background chatter has historically caused problems.
 
“These are not your average hearing aids but rather highly-intelligent wearable devices,” said Scott Davis, CEO for Siemens Hearing Instruments. “They automatically detect everyday listening environments such as a noisy room, wind or while driving a car, and instinctively know what to do.”
 
When paired with the German company’s EasyTek app, a wearer can control the direction of the hearing aids’ microphones – front, left, right or behind – to enhance speech and suppress background noise simultaneously. The span of the microphones’ focus can also be controlled via the app, allowing wearers to select a wide range of focus or a very narrow beam.
 
“Some hearing aid wearers also want the flexibility that comes with having control over their listening experience,” said Davis. “We’ve all heard of and can appreciate the benefits of on-demand TV. With these hearing aids, you can turn your iPhone or Android device into a hearing aid control centre. We call it on-demand hearing.”
 
While the aids pair with virtually any iOS or Android mobile device for a custom-tailored listening experience, a smartphone is not required to make use of the technology. The hearing aids continuously scan the acoustic environment and activate the most optimal settings for that particular listening situation. For example, in a noisy family gathering, the smart hearing aids hone in on speech coming from the front while softening speech and noise from other directions. Later, while walking the dog, they automatically adjust to let the wearer enjoy the sounds of nature.
 
Because both hearing aids are in constant communications and processing sound simultaneously, this creates a high-definition surround sound listening experience, with no manual adjustments required.