The Hearing Aid of the Future, Right on Your Cell Phone or Watch

Posted on July 18, 2015

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Life in the Boomer Lane now has two friends who must wear hearing aids. She suspects more will follow. About 20% of U.S. adults (48 million) report some degree of hearing loss. At age 65, 1 out of 3 people has hearing loss. Today, the average person with hearing loss takes seven years from the moment they recognize diminished hearing to the time they take action to address it.  That’s a lot of “Excuse me?”s, “Could you please repeat that?”s, “I didn’t quite catch that.”s, and “Huh?”s.

LBL, herself, over the course of a year, went completely deaf at age 11, and had to have surgery to restore her hearing. By the day of the surgery, her hearing was 100% gone. She still remembers sleeping next to her mom the night before the surgery and being awakened in the morning by her mom gently shaking her arm and pointing to the phone that was next to her parents’ bed. The phone was about six inches away from LBL’s ear and was ringing, but LBL heard nothing.  Complete silence surrounded her. While her hearing was successfully restored, she can no longer distinguish the direction sounds are coming from. While that condition will, in the future, provide lots of material for a hilarious blog post, her experience makes her personally aware of the issues people face with diminished hearing.

For that reason, LBL was delighted to have been contacted by a company called ReSound, to introduce her to a new hearing system that is unlike any that has come before. The  ReSound LiNX2  controls hearing aids via the ReSound Smart app on an Apple Watch or iPhone. It’s really quite amazing. LBL has now looked at how the system operates and read some of the reviews.

What makes this system different is that it doesn’t merely amplify sounds. Instead, it mimics your brain’s natural ability to process sounds, enabling you to hear with less effort. It gives you a natural sense of where sounds are coming from (LBL certainly took note of this feature) and helps you form a detailed sound picture of your surroundings. And, in a noisy listening situation, it makes sure you can still understand every word of the conversation.

Dick Loizeaux is a consultant for ministry-related organizations and retired pastor who suffers from hearing loss. He was also one of the very first people to be fitted with the LiNX. He calls the system a “life change” and credits it with saving his career , as well as his social life.  He also says:

“As a consultant I try to avoid using superlatives—I don’t want to be accused of exaggerating or misrepresenting anything—but when I tired the ReSound LiNX2, these are game changers. This is a quantum leap forward.”

Another great testimonial is  Latest Hearables Give Me New Super Powers, a compelling article written by Lloyd Alter.  Alter uses the ReSound system and writes:

“But the fun really begins when you connect with the iPhone or your new Apple Watch, with which I now can do all kinds of things that you poor normal-eared people can’t. With the new upgraded app, if I’m in a restaurant, I can dial down the cloud of noise surrounding me. I can focus on my dining partner and adjust the angle of the cone of silence. In a noisy restaurant on Saturday night, I was able to tune out the hockey game playing at the bar (They play hockey in Tampa?) and actually hear the conversation.”

He concludes:

“A lot of people resist getting hearing aids, considering them “an unwelcome reminder of the aging process.” That’s because they don’t know what these things can do. I have GPS-enabled equalizers, balance and volume controls for my ears. I am wired, better connected to the world than ever, hearing not only the people around me but anything in the world that my phone can connect to. Even Daredevil can’t do that.”

There’s a lot more in the article, and it’s all worth reading.  The system, in effect, allows the user to go beyond normal hearing to a new level of user control.

If all this sounds like a sales pitch, it is, although LBL isn’t getting a commission for selling the system. She is, as she has noted, personally sensitive to the topic, because of her own experience with going deaf. And this system seems to be the best one out there for those who are experiencing hearing loss. If you do nothing else, please visit the ReSound LiNXwebsite and/or read Alter’s article.

If you decide to pursue this further, write to LBL and let her know how it goes.  She thinks everyone deserves to hear the phone ring.

Lastly, if you’d like, ask the folks at ReSound to give her a commission. She would really appreciate that.

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