ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid and iOS App Connect Users to Their Audiologists for Remote Fine-Tuning

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Danish hearing aid company GN Hearing today announced the newest iteration of its IoT hearing aid solution, called the ReSound LiNX 3D, as well as new apps for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

The major update to GN's new hearing care solution is a way for users to get their hearing aids remotely fine-tuned by their audiologist after an initial fitting at their local clinic, through a cloud-based infrastructure called ReSound Smart Fit. The original ReSound LiNX allowed users to adjust their own settings on the fly, but now they can request assistance wherever they are directly from the mobile app, and their doctor can make all the adjustments necessary "to provide a better hearing experience for the user."

ReSound LiNX 3D is the only device with complete remote fine-tuning capabilities that allows users to stay in touch with their hearing care professional wherever they are, receiving hearing care and getting new settings via the cloud without having to schedule and travel for a clinic appointment. The unique cloud integration enables hearing care professionals to stay connected with users no matter where they are.

Users will be able to share feedback about any hearing difficulty as the situation occurs, rather than trying to remember how to describe it during an adjustment visit to the clinic. Hearing care professionals will have the freedom to offer follow-up services remotely – saving time for both hearing care professionals and users, and creating opportunities for even higher user satisfaction.

The ReSound LiNX 3D includes GN Hearing's 5th generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology and 3rd generation binaural directionality, providing users with "clear, natural sound, exceptional speech understanding and the best sense of where sounds are coming from." The company said that the hearing aid's advantages lie in both quiet and speech-only situations, as well as times when surrounding sounds are loud and the aid optimizes audibility of speaking voices.

The original ReSound LiNX launched with a unique 2.4 GHz protocol as well, developed in careful conjunction with Apple as a way to create a specific link between the hearing aid and iPhone devices. This technology enabled the first LiNX -- and now the new LiNX 3D -- to support a smarter system that could turn off and on quickly to save battery life, as well as geofencing abilities to intelligently detect where a user is and adapt to the corresponding new environment change with no intervention from the user.

When connected to the new apps on iPhone and Apple Watch, users will be able to access custom control features for the hearing aid, built-in guidance steps to understand the hardware and software, and coaching assistance to get the most out of the system. When compared to competitors, the company said that the ReSound LiNX 3D and companion app are up to 50 percent better at identifying speech across various environments, enable users to hear up to 80 percent more of the sounds around them, and enable users to understand up to 40 percent more speech in noise.

GN Hearing will launch the ReSound LiNX 3D, as well as a hearing aid with similar features under its sister brand Beltone, around the world later in 2017. No more information was given in today's announcement, but the company encouraged anyone interested to keep track of announcements surrounding the ReSound LiNX 3D by visiting its website.

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43 months ago

Interesting, how would they then compare to say, the AirPods, which do have software, noise-cancelling, Siri, chips etc? I'm honestly interested (I've no knowledge in this field) in why something like the AirPods couldn't be repurposed as hearing aids.

Hearing aids generally have multiple directional mics that can locate sound and either reduce it or amplify it. Newer PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products) are starting to do this as well. In addition to being fully programmable by an audiologist (who will test your hearing to figure out what frequencies you are missing, etc), they also pack in other tech like telecoil compatibility. A major concern for audiologists is that people will buy cheap PSAPs that just amplify everything and it will cause further damage.

I think the biggest difference is really the custom programming. If a cheap product is amplifying sound in a frequency you already can hear and not the frequency you can't, it's not really doing anything. A hearing aid is tuned specifically for your hearing loss (which could be totally different than someone else's). Not to mention if there's something else causing your hearing loss, smart software can't tell you that, whereas an audiologist could refer you to an ENT.
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43 months ago

Thanks, tuning really seems to be a major factor. I know in my relative's case she was very pleased for that to be done by the audiologist rather than herself on an app, so I guess she was getting something for the money. I did wonder if the hearing aids might cause extra damage. Especially if they transfer one unhearable frequency to a hearable one - don't know if they do that though, must sound weird.

Hearing aids go through fairly rigorous FDA approval process to make sure that kind of damage doesn't occur, part of the reason for the high price. And actually what you described, frequency shifting is one of the features you can enable, sometimes people need to relearn how to hear.

also... battery life: AirPods or any wireless earbuds (Bragi, Here, Samsung etc.) < 5hrs. Most hearing aids run on tiny Zinc Air coin battery that last at least a week. Recent rechargeable hearing aids run about 24hrs.

btw, AirPods do have dual mics to pick up sound directionally, as well as noise reduction, like most advanced hearing aids. After using mine for a few month now I have to say exterior build quality is entirely another level above any hearing aids.
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44 months ago

A relative got hearing aids couple of years ago. Standard age-related loss of hearing mid 70s.

I. Cannot. Believe. How. Expensive. These. Things. Are.

Well in the $6000 / £5000 bracket, basically for a pair of earbuds. She can't even tune them herself - has to go to the specialist.

If ever there was a rip-off market ripe for disruption this is it. No wonder only about 20% of people who need hearing aids wear them.

It has completely changed our communications. No more smiling and nodding or getting the wrong end of the stick. Despite their expense they are worth every penny. But still they should cost a tenth of the price.

If you have the money and you're in that age group I really recommend you get your hearing checked out. She had no idea what she had been missing. No-one sees them and she finds them no hassle to wear.

I work at a nonprofit that operates a clinic (not as an audiologist), and I can say with confidence they are far, far more advanced than an earbud, event Apple's newest version. They have multiple sound processing chips with custom hardware and software. I agree, they are expensive, but saying they are like a pair of earbuds is like comparing a Smart Car with a Ferrari.
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44 months ago

Been using hearing aids with bluetooth and rechargeable batteries for 4 years now. They are great but integral MFI if it works would be a game changer. Wasn't that impressed with the original ones so hopefully they've moved on a bit.

And yes they are stupidly expensive for what they are. Bare in mind also that they last about 8-10 years tops providing you keep them serviced regularly. I've done nearly £10k on them since I started really needing them for life (aged 27 thanks to Ménière's disease).

Can't do without them but it does really annoy me that so many companies take the p out of people that are needy.

Hearing aids need to be as cheap as a high quality pair of ITE headphones. It's ridiculous how much they are.

Still remote adjustment and manual adjustment all sound good.

Given that apple's buds, pods, etc already have much of the hardware and some (in cases more) functionality than hearing aids, I can see this as a future business for Apple to enter and disrupt. The sooner the better!
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44 months ago
As some one working in this field, yea we all wish they are much cheaper than what they cost right now. UX front I can't really say any of the major manufactures have significant leg up over competitions (saying this without badmouthing my own team). Connection problems are common just because the antenna is so small and human body is a big block of radio absorbing water.

Good news is personal hearing devices (not FDA approved hearing aids) are getting better at much cheaper prices, think 500 or under. they might be ok for mild loss, but real hearing aids properly fitted still do sound better and do make a world of difference in communication (think anti-Alzheimer's and dementia). On the other hand, there are also places to get hearing aids for cheaper at places like Costco (2k vs 6k).
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