ReSound LiNX Launches as World's First 'Made for iPhone' Hearing Aid
A new hearing aid launched today connects directly to iPhones and other iOS devices, allowing wearers to talk on the phone or listen to music, by GN ReSound, a Danish hearing aid manufacturer.
The ReSound LiNX is the first Apple-certified "MFi" or Made for iPhone hearing aid that connects directly to the iPhone or other iOS device without any intermediary devices.
Launching alongside the LiNX is a new iOS app that works as a remote for the hearing aid, allowing wearers to adjust volume levels, equalizers, and switch between preset environments for the hearing aid, allowing the device to optimize to the user's environment. Hearing aids can have several different modes, adjusting to the acoustics of each environment -- the app even uses geofencing to automatically change sound profiles based on the location of the wearer, changing for work, home, or a favorite restaurant. There is also a "Find My Hearing Aid" function to help users find their device if it's lost.
A company representative told MacRumors that the app was an attempt to connect the hearing aid to the Internet for the first time. By using GPS geofencing, the hearing aid can change and adapt to its environment for the first time without user intervention. The 2.4GHz protocol used by the LiNX is also unique -- the company worked closely with Apple to develop a special protocol specifically for communication between iPhones and hearing aids, and that GN built a new hearing aid processor to support it. It is much smarter about turning on and off quickly, saving battery life and delivering five to six days of battery life in normal use, even with the added technology.
ReSound LiNX launches in global markets today as a revolutionary hearing aid capable of streaming high-quality stereo sound from an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch without the need for an additional pendant-like device. Users can also customize their hearing experience through the ReSound Smart App. ReSound LiNX advances a number of ReSound technologies which already lead the hearing aid industry.
"We saw an opportunity to create the world’s best hearing aid by combining the capability of GN ReSound’s life-changing technologies with the compatibility and global prevalence of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch," said GN ReSound CEO Lars Viksmoen. "We are committed to improving people’s lives through use of innovative technology and look forward to more people correcting their hearing with this new technology – a triumph in accessibility for the hearing impaired."
Previously, hearing aid wearers would need to carry a cumbersome pendant or other wireless device in order to make changes to settings on a tiny hearing aid -- adjusting volume or switching between profiles -- now, users can make those changes directly on the iPhone, a device that many are carrying anyway in a significant quality of life improvement. It also allows users to listen directly to games, calls, FaceTime conversations, music, and any other audio directly from the iOS device, without a handheld dongle or other intermediary devices.
The technology will be available in hearing aids from both GN ReSound and its sister-brand Beltone, available through the company's network of dealer audiologists. Interested parties can sign up for the company's mailing list on its website.