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The Complete Guide to Hearable Technology in 2020

More and more people are talking about the coming wave of hearing technology, and the inevitable change from wearables to hearables. But the truth is, it's already here.


We're going to get into details about literally everything to do with hearable technology, so you can use the links below as a table of contents to each of the major sections we'll cover.

History of Hearable Technology

The term hearables is still being shaped because while some do exist in the market place, we are far from saturation. Thus, to some people hearables may just be wireless earbuds with advanced features, but to others it may be more akin to a hearing aid.

A hearable is a wireless in-ear computational earpiece. Essentially you have a micro computer that fits in your ear canal and utilizes wireless technology to supplement and enhance your listening experience. Many hearables will also feature additional features such as heart rate monitoring (see below for a full list).

Fast forward to today and there are two important movements currently happening that are both converging on one another.

First, hearing aid companies are beginning to recognize that users want a device that does more than correct and amplify sound. They want to be able to sync seamlessly with wireless devices such as their smartphone, for telephone calls, music, games, and more.

Second, commercial electronics companies (more specifically headphone manufacturers) are realizing the potential of “bionics,” or creating in-ear buds that measure biometrics, output great quality sounding music, and (this is the newest part) have the potential to amplify sound.

I believe both groups will eventually converge, but it's really a matter of who will get there first. In my opinion, The Big 6 have the biggest advantage because they have been dealing with this technology for decades, and already have the required approval from the FDA to label their devices as actual hearing aids (something most consumer electronics companies can't do by law).

Features and Benefits of Hearable Technology

Many companies are still trying to figure out the niche role their hearable product will play in the marketplace.

Some more traditional headphone companies are caught up in the same race most wearables are: biometrics. While hearing aid companies seem to be ensuring their already functioning technology syncs perfectly with your smartphone for even more user control.

Either way, there are a ton of benefits, but we'll do our best to list and explain most of them below.

  • More accurate vital signs. Imagine being able to instantly measure things like: heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, ECG, electro-encephalogram signals, and more.
  • Activity tracking. This could range from a pedometer to improved caloric output based on movements, and more.
  • Biometric personal identification. NEC recently announced a technology that utilizes sound waves to acoustically recognize and identify a person (i.e. the owner of the hearing device) based on the size and shape of their ear.
  • Invisibility. While the stigma of wearing hearing aids is decreasing (which is a really good thing) manufacturers are still striving to create technology that is as unobtrusive as possible.
  • Improved sound quality. A large part of sound quality has very little to do with the sound output from your device, and more to do with sound filtering. Combined headphone and hearing aid technologies may allow for this.
  • Augmented hearing. Companies like Doppler Labs are working on technology that will not only aid hearing, but also improve it above normal levels, though admittedly this kind of tech could still be years away.
  • Smart everything capabilities. Seamlessly sync your hearables to your iPhone, or your smart home devices.
  • Face-to-face communication. Lots of times people with hearing loss are discouraged from interaction. But as hearables start to erase the stigma of wearing an in-ear device this will hopefully go away completely.
  • Translation. Can a hearable perform live translation of a foreign language to your native language? The Pilot is going to try.
  • Layered listening. Think of this as augmented reality for the ears. This technology would allow users to filter out or enhance specific sounds. We heard rumors at CES 2017 that Bragi would be adding features like this to The Dash.

As we've mentioned a couple times above, one of our favorite benefits is actually related to perception of ear enhancing devices currently on the market. The advent of hearables is likely to help reduce the stigma of hearing aids and thus help people prevent and improve hearing loss much earlier in life.

Hearables Currently on the Market

Below you will find 3 separate lists of pre-existing devices that are adding new technology to transform them into true hearables:

  • Hearing Aids
  • Personal Sound Amplifers (PSAPs)
  • Headphones or Earbuds

We update each list on a bi-monthly basis. Some on the list aren't currently available, or may still be in a funding or design stage which you'll see noted in the availability column.

(Note: If for any reason we have left off a pair be sure to contact us or let us know in the comments!)

Best Hearing Aids with Built-in Hearable Tech

The devices below are classified as hearing aids by the FDA, with the primary purpose of improving hearing loss. In addition, these hearing aids are also wireless and maintain the ability to sync with smartphones to allow the user more precise control.

Starkey HaloYesMade for iPhone/Android Hearing Aid
Resound LiNX3DYesMade for iPhone/Android Hearing Aid
Beltone FirstYesMade for iPhone/Android Hearing Aid
Oticon OpnYesMade for iPhone/First Internet Connected Hearing Aid
Widex BEYONDYesMade for iPhone
Phonak Audéo™ BYesMade for All Bluetooth Devices

You can read more about made for smartphone hearing aids here.

Personal Sound Amplifiers with Hearable Tech

By definition personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) increase environmental sounds for non-hearing impaired individuals. Some primary uses are hunting (i.e. listening to quiet sounds of prey), or increasing decibel levels of other quiet or distant sounds (i.e. lectures).

While the FDA currently classifies these devices for non-hearing impaired individuals, many people with hearing impairments do experiment with these devices (typically because they are significantly cheaper). Also, as of October 2015 the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has been looking into ways to allow PSAPs to be marketed to those with hearing loss and to create a new category of “basic” hearing aids meant for sale over-the-counter (OTC).

With that said, it is recommended to consult an Audiologist prior to purchasing a PSAP.

Sound World Solutions CS50 Wireless Bluetooth Sound AmplifierYesPersonal Sound Amplifier$349.99

Just to reinforce what we've said above, while these devices are pretty neat, they are not meant to be solutions to hearing loss (that's what hearing aids are for).

Book your free hearing consultation today

If you think that you may need a hearing test, we can help you find a hearing specialist in your local area.

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Best Headphones with Hearable Tech

(Note: As we have not been able to test everyone of these devices (yet), they are not listed or ranked in any specific order, however we have reviewed and ranked some of the wireless earbuds here.)

Many popular headphone companies are utilizing current wireless technology to enhance your listening experience, while also adding additional benefits like biometrics. Check out the features column below to see exactly what each device does.

While a lot of these headphones look pretty incredible, we're most excited to see what the rumors from Apple and Samsung end up turning into.

Because the list of headphones with “smart” technology is growing, we've had to split the table into two separate lists:

  • Sport or Workout Specific Hearables (i.e. heart rate monitoring or other biometrics)
  • Other Hearables (i.e. sleep tracking, noise monitoring, hearing clarity, etc.)

Sport Specific Hearables

Jabra Sport PulseIn-ear Activity TrackerHeart rate monitoringYes
SMS Audio BiosportIn-ear Activity TrackerHeart rate monitoringYes
Bragi DashBiometric EarbudsTracks pace, steps, cadence and distance; measures heart rate, oxygen saturation and energy spentYes
Kuaiwear KuaiMultisport Biometric HeadphonesMonitors heart rate, VO2 max, speed, distance, cadence, calories burnedYes
JouleEarring HearableMonitors heart rate, calories, and activity levelPre-order
FreewavzIn-ear Activity TrackerHeart rate and fitness monitoringPre-order
Cosinuss OneIn-ear Activity TrackerBody temperature and heart rate monitoringYes
Sony Smart B TrainerBluetooth Sports HearableActivity tracking via appYes
iRiver OnHeart Rate Monitoring EarbudsMonitors heart rate, tracks distance traveled, and other biometricsYes
Halo SportNeuropriming HeadphonesNeuropriming for athletesYes
Samsung Gear Icon XTruly Wireless EarbudsSame as existing Samsung GearYes
Bose SoundSport PulseIn-ear Activity TrackerHeart rate monitoringYes
Jabra Elite SportFitness Tracking Waterproof, Personalized audio coaching, race pace calculator and recovery adviceYes
Oakley Radar PaceHearable Sports GlassesPairs to external sensors - Power output, HR, Speed, Cadence, Distance, Time, etc, using sensor data intergration and Intel technologyYes

Augmented Hearing and Other Hearables

While sport or workout related hearables may be more popular initially, augmented hearing (i.e. amplification, translation, etc.) could be a super, super cool industry.

Here's what Doppler Labs had to say:

“Microsoft put a computer on every desk. Our goal is to put a computer in every ear.”

That sounds both crazy and cool.

Doppler Here Active ListeningControl What You Want To HearVolume control, a five-band EQ, pre-set filters and layered effects like bass boost, reverb and flange settingsPre-order (est. shipping March 2017)
NuhearaControl What You Want To HearAugment voices for clarity, enhance ambient soundsPre-order
Google GlassSmart Optical Wear and Built-in Hearable TechOptical head mounted displayNo (Limited beta runs)
Moto HintNearly Invisible Bluetooth HeadsetTouch voice commands to smart devicesYes
SkybudsSmart Wireless EarbudsNoise cancellation, and smartphone case charging devicePre-order
Xperia EarSmartwearSend and receive messages, check your schedule, search, and navigateYes
PilotLanguage TranslationSmart earpiece which translates between users speaking different languagesPre-order
Nura HeadphonesAdaptive hearingHeadphones measure and adapt to your unique hearing conditionPre-order
Maven Co-Pilot HeadsetDriving safetySmart headset that detects driver fatigue and distractionBeta/Demo Stage
ProSounds H2PHearing protectionHigh-quality hearing enhancement with simultaneous hearing protectionNo (crowd funding currently closed)

Canceled Hearables

We've started to notice some of the above hearables are failing to obtain funding, and ultimately cancelling their products. We're going to track those here, just in case you were curious:

Hearable Companies to Watch

In addition to the hearables mentioned above, other companies are out there working on wireless hearing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the hearing market.

Heart Math. According to Heart Math you can “…improve well-being, vitality, clarity of thought, access to your heart’s intuition, and a more balanced response to stress,” via their inner balance sensor.

Zen Sensor. The Zen Sensor clips to your ear and then sends your heart information to your smart device (i.e. iPhone, iPad). The purpose is to understand current information about your heart that can lead you down a path to improve stress.

Valencell. Valencell is one of the leading companies with a patented heart rate monitoring technology. This tech can be found above in the Jabra Sport Plus, LG HRM Earphones, SMS Audio Biosport, and Sony Smart B-Trainer, as well as many other wearable devices.

Human, Inc. This startup recently raised $5M for a product that for the most part,  is a secret. They have alluded to a feature that may “break language barriers” and create “personal surround sound.” Check out the image below of these somewhat sci-fi stylized hearables.

Other companies to keep an eye on: Apply, Koss, Harman Kardon, Bose, Skullcandy, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Doppler Labs, and Invensense.

Important Patents

One of the best ways to gauge the status of the current hearable market is to analyze the patent war that every tech company is always waging.

As of writing this we've probably read through just over 100 patents discussing the potential of hearable devices. For now though we just want to highlight some of our favorites from companies we believe will be the major players.

In addition, Hearing Health Matters also compiles a monthly (sometimes it is quarterly) list of hearing related patents. We'll try to keep an updated link to them here: full patent list.


Apple's patent for “Sports Monitoring System for Headphones” is going to be huge among active users of hearing tech. They are likely going to make a big push into monitoring and measuring biometrics via headphones (likely incorporating their acquisition of Beats).

Apple Patent for Sports Monitoring Earbuds

Update 4/30/16: Apple has officially filed a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove telecoils from future iPhones. If approved, it essentially allows Apple to include proprietary technology in their iPhones (which may or may not function with other wireless hearing aids). This has become a rather sensitive subject in the world of Audiology, so much so that several Audiologists have created a petition against Apple's petition.

Update 6/13/16: Apple's patent for a headset that utilizes bone conduction to improve speech recognition and hearing in the presence of ambient noise, has been approved. We do not know yet how Apple intends to use this device, or what other features it may include.

Apple AirPods

Update 12/13/16: Probably the biggest news of 2016 was Apple removing the 3.5 mm jack and releasing their Air Pods. Unfortunately, they don't really do much…yet. We'll be keeping on eye on them combined with some of the above Apple patents to see if Apple can potentially revolutionize the market in the future.

Update 4/20/17: Will Apple's Air Pods be measuring your vitals soon? Check out the video below to see how Air Pods may be Apple's largest foray into healthcare yet.

Update 6/5/18:  As part of Apple’s iOS 12 software upgrade, AirPods will now have access to the ‘Live Listen’ feature, something that was previously reserved only for Made for iPhone hearing aids. Watch the video below for a quick explanation.


Filed in early 2014, Samsung's “Hybrid Hearing Devices” patent would allow users to use their Samsung device as a controller for amplifying sounds via air conduction or bone conduction.

More recently A New Domain discovered FCC documents and images to suggest Samsung is working on a hearable called the “Earcle” and possibly even a hearing aid.

Update 7/8/16: There are rumors (based on some images floating around) that Samsung is working on a completely wireless earbud called the Samsung Gear IconX. It's official, check out the image below or take a closer look at the Samsung Gear Icon X, now available.

Samsung Gear IconX Completely Wireless Earbuds


Oticon is potentially increasing functionality of hearing aid devices with their patent “Sound Simulator for Memory Enhancement.” This would allow an in-ear device to monitor brain waves in order to generate a better output sound.

For a complete list of patents you can check this list which is updated quarterly.

Future of Hearables

Even though many dubbed 2015 as the “year of the hearable” we're still in its infancy according to WiFore. Just check out this market prediction graph by Nick Hunn.

Hearables Market Prediction

The above chart shows a segment by segment breakdown for “smart wearables,” and as you can see, hearables are on the rise.

Bose Hearphones

In addition to the above, one hearable that we've heard very little about, but are super excited for is the Bose Hearphones. This is what the Bose website says about them:

  • Directional microphones help you focus on conversations in noisy places.
  • Focus, amplify or reduce real-world sounds to the level you want.
  • Active Noise Reduction improves the listening comfort of conversations and takes the edge off the background noise.
  • Use with the Bose® Hear app to customize the sound for the best experience.
  • App presets let you save specific audio settings for different environments.

Read more here.

Also, as we mentioned above, keeping an eye on hearable related patents will also steer you in the direction that companies may be taking current (or newly developed) devices.

Ultimately though pop culture holds the future of hearable tech in their hands, and only time will tell how popular and ubiquitous this type of technology will be.

Valencell recently conducted a survey on the current status of wearables, and this may give some more insight as to where hearables can improve and how they may fare.

For now check out our recap off CES 2017 to see what's in store.

Duncan Lambden

Duncan Lambden


Duncan is an Australian-born American-raised creative writer with a passion for healthy ears. He continues to build upon his audiology qualifications with research and various courses. Duncan has been working alongside Florida-based audiologist Lindsey Banks, Au.D., to make sure that Clear Living has the most up-to-date content.


  1. karylin says:

    whoah this blog is great i really like reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You know, a lot of individuals are looking round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  2. Chuck Kollars says:

    It seems to me an excellent way to provide full quality hearable technology is to combine generic Bluetooth 5.0 profile earbuds ($25-$50 in summer 2019) with a very sophisticated app that does all the signal processing on a smartphone (with the software app having a significant cost of course) . It would be vastly cheaper than anything that requires any usage-specific device; unlike earlier bluetooth profiles those earbuds have no discernible delay and only minimal tendency to drop out (i.e. they are similar to “made-for-iPhone” devices); and a smartphone provides plenty of the right kind of processing power …but manufacturers are pursuing other design strategies instead – why? what factor am I overlooking?

    1. Clear Living says:

      I understand what you are saying but there are a lot of factors that will affect the sound processing and amplification of live speech in noise using bluetooth earbuds. Where the microphones are positioned on the ear and the bluetooth streaming that would have to occur back and forth between the earbuds and the smartphone without signal distortion, just to name a few.

  3. Bob says:

    Purchased Bose Hearphones during recent trip to US from Australia. Finding background noise has made it more difficult to hear conversations, so started considering hearing aids. At US$500.00, I felt I could afford to buy 5-10 sets of HearPhones before spending as much on good hearing aids I might not find compatible.
    Bluetooth connectivity with iOS devices, other bluetooth enabled devices, and direct TV bluetooth is easily comparable to Airpods. If connected to LG TV via built in bluetooth, they work well, but you cannot use built in bluetooth and TV speakers or headphone/digital output at the same time. Connecting through bluetooth adaptor via headphone connector introduces a delay that can be annoying if TV speaker sound can be heard.
    Still working out how to adjust HearPhones for conversations. Slowly coming up with self defined modes for different situations. Noise cancellation is amazing, but tuning them to specific voices still requires realtime adjustment. Somehow, my wifes’ voice is the hardest to “tune in”.
    Bose offered 30 day return policy if purchased from them, and Best Buy offered 14 day return policy. I assume they replace the soft tips when returned item is re-sold.

  4. Catherine Olds says:

    My 90 year old mother is frustrated with her hearing loss and more frustrated with trying to fit a hearing aid into her tiny ears. I have searched for a headphone type of device to no avail. She’s no longer vain, simply wants to hear conversations. Any suggestions?

    1. Clear Living says:

      Most likely a hearable is not going to be a good solution for her. The best chance of a comfortable fit for tiny ears is a receiver in the ear hearing aid custom fit for her ear by an audiologist.

  5. Thomas Lang says:

    Dear clearliving-Team,

    Great article, unfortunatley the ONLY hearing aid that provides DIRECT connectivity to Android AND iOS phones (actually, to ANY Bluetooth device – not only phones) is missing on your list: Phonak Audeo B-Direct.
    Thanks for considering!


  6. Melissa says:

    I’m looking for some affordable personal hearing amplifiers with directional front-facing stereo mics ( so I can hear a movie and not coughing and eating to the sides, and behind me ) and stereo earphones, so I could take them to a movie and be able to hear the speech better, in the movies, with stereo sound throughout?

    But so far, I’ve found nothing that fits my needs.

    1. Clear Living says:

      Hi Melissa,
      I would recommend you check out this post about hearing in the movies.

    2. Double A says:

      IQbuds Boost by Nuheara. Same as original IQbuds but offer more personalization and they have a “Focus” directional hearing feature. With their augmented hearing functions and audio quality for phone calls and music, I think they would do everything your looking for. Expensive for wireless earbuds though (but not so much of you view them as effectively being non-prescription hearing aids)

  7. Jennifer Kearney says:

    Wow! It’s an impressing list of all valuable information concerning those of us with hearing impairment as well as anyone else who want’s to be up to date with the latest trends and get a glimpse into the future.
    Since I’m hard on hearing, I’m very interested in the latest products in that field.

  8. Bob Lituri says:

    I have been using the new Bose HearPhones for about 18 months now. They are excellent. Fine audio control with very good sound quality. For the price, they are simply unbeatable. Granted, they are not invisible. That’s OK for now. I suspect that will improve going forward. What a wonderful sonic experience though. I encourage folks to try them. You won’t be disappointed.

  9. Mohan Kumar R says:


    This is a great place to catch up on the Hearing Tech. Nice Work, Team !!

    I Chair an IEEE working group (P2650) that is creating an IEEE Standard for utilising Consumer Grade Tech that can be used as a PRE-SCREENING TOOL for Hearing Impairment(s). In fact, we did have a conversation with PCAST around the time of the 2015 news release for PSAP products.

    By PRE-SCREENING, we essentially fill in the gap between MEDICAL GRADE AUDIOMETRY and NON-AVAILABILITY OF Audiological experts in under-served areas.

    It would be good to HEAR from other entities that are keen to participate in drafting this standard


    Mohan Kumar R, Ph.D
    Country Head (India)
    Wearable Technologies (AG)

    1. Clear Living says:


      This sounds like a very valuable standard for the industry. If you ever want to bounce an idea off us or would like our input, you can reach us at support[at]

  10. Frieder says:

    Great summary of all the stuff on the market right now!

    Have you guys checked Mimi? They apparently do Sound Personalization based on a medically certified hearing test app?! Could be interesting to review that and combine it into a hearables market research etc.

    Nice article guys!

  11. Geoff Sydney Australia says:

    Thanks for the article. Is there any particular reason you are not updating to include Bose HearPhones in the PSAP market now they are several months into a soft-release starting early 2017. I’m in Australia and having my son who lives in Ca send them from the Palo Alto outlet. (only available in 7 outlets). I’m a hearing aid wearer of about 15 yrs with mild to moderate loss primarily in upper registers. I’ve use Bose speakers for decades because they are “bright” and am very excited about this development. Can you do a review or include comments in this thread with a note to my email. Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Clear Living says:

      Geoff, we’ve read a lot about the Bose Hearphones, but haven’t had the chance to test them yet. Planning to get them added in the near future, so stay tuned!

  12. Lois Kennedy says:

    Do you have any experience or recommendations for SSD, single sided deafness?
    I have fully normal hearing in one ear and 100% non correctable deafness in the other. Having been tested many times over 60 years, I am 66, there has been no change, I have no further use for an audiologist. I need receivers, and amplifiers, and control over my environment. I am looking for the best PSAP that will direct the sound to my one good ear, ideally with a remote, body worn receiver that I could position as needed. I am looking for recommendations and other helpful experience or information, I have tried and been unhappy with the CROS technology, do not wish to wear a BAHA. Thanks, Lois

    1. Kent Spence says:

      Out of curiosity what aspect of the CROS system where you unhappy with? If it was to do with the sound quality it’s unlikely that some form of PSAP would be any better. You do mention that you are looking for a remote microphone system, a device you can place on you or in your environment to direct sound to your good ear. This is something that can now be paired with most modern hearing aids. You may want to consider the CROS system again in addition to a remote microphone.

      Kent Spence – Student Audiologist

  13. Donald Larson says:

    I am a 76 year old guy with a hearing loss; that attends a lot of movies in big multi-screen theaters. Often-times I cannot hear low voice conversations or whispers. Have used the devices that Movie Theaters provide; with varying degrees of success – – mostly, not very good.

    Where can I find a self-contained, light-weight, wireless, assisted listening device that will more than serve my needs; and make my movie experience more enjoyable?

    1. Clear Living says:

      Donald, apologies for the late reply, but check out this post we wrote about watching movies with hearing loss

  14. Ann Conway PhD says:

    I am hearing impaired, a sociologist and have worked in public health for 25 years. Many people who wear aids are older (I have yet to find valid, reliable and evidence based numbers on demographics—even from the CDC), but Dr. Frank Lin’s research suggests this) and live with sensory impairment–visual as well as tactile. E.g., aids slip out of their hands, are easily lost. This should be considered when designing aids. Health literacy—plain language, large print, communication vehicle– should also be considered in the education materials given with aids; cost is also a huge factor. It’s frustrating to me that these demographic realities are not considered in designing aids. Hearables will only work if they are.

    1. Lindsey Banks, Au.D. says:

      Hi Ann
      Yes, I agree. It is important to take these considerations into account when designing and recommending hearing devices. There are some hearing aids that are designed better with these things in mind, but it’s also important that the audiologist is recommending an appropriate device that takes these things into consideration.

    2. lc says:

      There are lots of options that can assist those with dexterity issues, allergic reactions etc. Don’t assume they aren’t out there.

  15. Peter says:

    I’m in the process of upgrading my hearing aids.
    What I’m interested in seeing is a hearing aid with dual microphones and ear piece but no computer processor. The computer processor would be in a device like a smart phone that you carry with you and the audio signals are sent and received wireless to the hearing aids. This allows a much higher signal processing speed and memory for sophisticated algorithms that currently exist but can’t be used by current hearing aid’s slow clock speed processors and their low memory size.

    1. Sandy Grant says:

      See Nuheara IQBuds, 2 mics, 1 speaker.
      Augmented hearing, Blutooth phone, tunes etc.

  16. August Gatto says:

    Sound enhancing devices are inexpensive to make. The “audiology providers” apply excessive markups that make the devices very expensive. Chaucer nailed it in his Canterbury Tales: “Avarice is the root of all evil.” The largest market is the elderly population who seldom are capable of investigating the device choice, providers, and pricing. This is why the Medicare Supplement Insurance carriers do not cover these necessary devices and services.

    1. Dr. Flora Holderbaum, AuD says:

      Think twice before you imply that “audiology providers” are guilty of “avarice”. Current hearing aid pricing includes the unlimited services of the dispensing audiologist during the hearing aid warranty. These services consist of follow-up appointments to carefully monitor or instruct those in the elderly population who have limited knowledge of electronics and often have dexterity issues that challenge them. Medicare considers hearing aids a “durable medical device”, like glasses and therefore does not cover them.

      1. lc says:

        Thank you Flora. There are so many people that are misinformed. I often tell my patients that each time a hearing aid is returned, it raises the cost for those after them as the MEDICAL devices can not be resold. – signed an AuD and audiologist for 22 yrs.

  17. Jonathan says:

    The future of hearables and PSAPs is going to be interesting. It will be crazy to see if hearing aid manufactures shift some of their focus away from hearing aid dispensers and audiologist and to direct to consumer products. Thanks for this interesting article on them.

    1. Clear Living says:

      Completely agree, Jonathan. It’s going to be very interesting to see how consumer oriented hearables (i.e. PSAPs, smart headphones) will affect the hearing aid market. When you insert VR and other immersive experiences, I think things will definitely change, and hopefully for the best.

  18. Janice Lintz says:

    How are you comparing features on hearing aids to determine if they actually do what they say they do? It is impossible since every aid uses a proprietary name for their aids. Even Consumer Reports can’t do it.

    Janice S. Lintz

    1. Clear Living says:


      Unfortunately you’re question is not very easy to answer.

      The short answer is that we’re able to compare features on hearing aids because one of our team members is an Audiologist.

      I know that really doesn’t answer your question, but ultimately it’s not feasible for consumers to compare features across every hearing aid. This is why Audiologists exist, and why they go to school for 8 years.

      However, even if it was possible to compare features across all hearing aids, this would only be part of the equation. Once you understand the feature you know have to compare the feature to the patient’s specific hearing condition, and living condition. To do this you would have to have in depth knowledge about how the ear functions.

      Again, I know you’re not going to be happy with that answer, but really it comes down to finding a good Audiologist and trusting them to make the best decision for their patient, just like you would with any other doctor.

      1. Bill says:

        I was in school for 15 years to get a Ph.D., and I don’t charge my students a quarter of what an audiologist charges. It’s a racket; what they do IS NOT rocket science.

        1. lc says:

          If you were in school for 15 yrs you should understand the costs associated with hearing aids. The main cost comes from the R&D involved. It typically takes 10 yrs from idea to market. Technology developed from hearing aids makes it way to stereos, headphones, noise reduction technology and even cell phones. Although the cost of hearing aids can be high for some people, equated to a daily cost, it’s minimal to slow down the progression of depression, heart disease, social isoloation, alzheimers and dementia. And sir, your group of students is not individual attention, sometimes for hours on end with patients who struggle with other health conditions. We navigate social issues, elder care, hospice, senility, cancer, maritial issues etc… do you?

          1. Karl Fueloep says:

            Good day!
            Bill referred to Audiologist costs NOT hearing aid cost!


      2. Janice Lintz says:

        The audiologists do not know what they are selling since the information doesn’t exist. Consumer Reports cannot even test the hearing aids which is why they haven’t.

        1. David Spector says:

          My audiologist would probably agree. He is remarkably honest, probably because he respects my advanced engineering and physics knowledge. He says that his company keeps all the technical details as a company secret, so all he is trained to do is to fit the aids and use the computer program that adjusts the aids. While he has the natural expertise that comes with many years of experience, he doesn’t actually understand how the aids work (mostly based on the Fast Fourier Transform and inverse transform implemented in tiny electronics).

          No tiny digital hearing aid can ever possibly perform as well as a rather large box containing analogy circuitry because there simply isn’t enough time available for a digital aid to do accurate enough signal processing. This is why standard-type aids cannot possibly work to really amplify classical music to deal with moderate to profound hearing loss at a level of clarity that a professional musician needs.

          So this means that inexpensive consumer-adjustable hearing amplifiers comparable to $6000/pair aids are technically possible. They are probably available now, but currently require searching, paying attention to customer reviews, and a willingness to try several different products.

    2. JR says:

      The Bragi Dash doesn’t. The blue tooth connection usually has a lag, which makes the hearables useless as hearing aids. Furthermore, the devices, like the Dash, have max volumes that are on the low side even for people with full hearing. The excitement here is really unwarranted, and unresearched.

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