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Hearing Aids 2014 The Year Of Smart Technology

The hearing equipment market is set to offer an immense variety of hearing solutions in 2014. Many of these advanced devices and features result from the constant research and development done by scientists, so that the hearing impaired are now able to enjoy the beauty of sound on a whole new level. Here’s a list of the top brands and their most renowned products that can be found on the market this year. Wireless connectivity is a very important characteristic of modern hearing aids, as it provides the user with additional possibilities to improve their listening experience. GN Resound took the technology one step further by introducing the first hearing aid, created especially for iPhone users - the GN ReSound LiNX™. They will be able to enjoy the sound from their iPhone devices effortlessly, as it will be streamed directly to the hearing aid without the necessity to use additional assistive devices, such as streamers. A special app enables the users to program and change the settings of the hearing aid through their iPhone, iPad, etc. As a whole, mobile applications are becoming a trend in the hearing aid market, which will continue to gain popularity in 2014. Siemens for example have released the miniTek Remote App, which can be used by their users who own an Android phone or tablet. Oticon offers the Alta Diary App, available for both iPhone and Android devices, which helps the user to keep a record of their listening experience in different environments. Phonak, on the other hand, have come up with a useful app that helps fight the negative effects of tinnitus - The Tinnitus Balance App. Another market product that has received a great deal of positive reviews is the wireless TV listener. The device uses an infra red or radio transmission to deliver the sound of the TV to a pair of headphones worn by the user or directly to the hearing aid if the user has chosen a neckloop option. It enables the hearing impaired to set their own volume preferences without disturbing the comfort of the other family members. Talking effortlessly on the phone can also be an issue for the hard of hearing, as again they need some extra amplification. Currently there are many models that provide this feature, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and recently the leading manufacturer Doro introduced to the market a new smartphone model especially designed to suit the needs of the hearing impaired – the Doro Liberto 810. The touchscreen device’s main aim is not only to provide that extra volume boost (35dB voice volume amplification and 83dB ringer volume amplification), but be as simple and intuitive to use as possible. The phone includes some handy extra features such as:
  • Web browsing and email
  • Vibrating ringer
  • GPS
  • SMS and MMS
  • Visual ring indicator
  • Bluetooth
  • FM-radio and 5 Megapixel camera with flash
Amplified phones are another assistive product that has been further upgraded in comparison to its first models. Nowadays such products include a number of advanced features such as:
  • Hearing aid compatibility through telecoil
  • Caller ID
  • Vocalised and backlit keypad
  • Visual ring indicator
  • Handsfree function
  • Built-in answering machine
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