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hearables

An umbrella term for in-ear audio and biometric devices. A hearable may provide any or all of the following: general audio amplification, voice frequencies amplification, Bluetooth audio from a mobile device or heartbeat detection. With regard to amplification, the primary difference between hearables and the traditional hearing aid is that they cannot treat severe hearing loss, and they cannot be branded as hearing aids unless approved by the FDA. Hearables are typically adjusted with a smartphone app. Contrast with wearables. See digital hearing aid.






Blend Music With Enhanced Hearing
These wireless IQbuds from Nuheara blend the digital music via Bluetooth from the listener's phone with the sounds in the real world. The ratio between the two is user adjustable and any four of these environment settings can be configured ahead of time: home, office, restaurant, workout, street, driving and plane. (Images courtesy of Nuheara, www.nuheara.com)






digital hearing aid

A hearing aid that processes sound in digital form. Digital techniques were used in hearing aids starting in the early 1990s when programmable devices were the first to amplify specific frequencies rather than all of them. In addition, loud noises can also be suppressed. By the mid-1990s, "100% digital" hearing aids were introduced that converted the analog sound to digital, processed it in digital form and converted it back to analog. Digital processing offers faster response times and more accurate sound filtering. The devices are programmed in the ear in real time by the hearing aid practitioner, who obtains immediate feedback from the user. See hearables.




Digital Hearing Aids
These "completely-in-the-canal" (CIC) hearing aids from Interton Inc. are 100% digital. They amplify seven frequency ranges, depending on the individual's hearing loss. The silver button cell provides power, and the prongs aid removal from the ear.






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