Bluetooth and Smartphones Are Making Hearing Aids Affordable

Published on July 15, 2013

300 million people need them; 7 million get them. 

However, technology of the 21st century may have found an affordable alternative solution to a highly desired product - the hearing aid.

While technology is no stranger to us at Geek | Chicago, even we were fascinated by its latest use in the medical field.  According to a fascinating article from NPR, affordable technology-based alternatives to hearing aids are starting to hit the market, thanks to Sound World Solutions.  Using a combination of a phone app and a high-quality bluetooth headset (which costs less than one-tenth of the price of a hearing aid), an affordable hearing aid alternative for anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss has been achieved.

The app gives users a test to register their level of hearing loss, and then sets the levels for them based on their responses.  They can then, at their leisure, adjust the levels of treble and bass as they go about their day to day lives.  The device records people talking through their smartphone, and then manipulates it with the software - making  those with hearing loss able to hear once more.

While it is not at the level of quality that industry hearing aids provide, it is certainly a whole lot better than nothing.  Hearing aids cost, at industry standard, around $4,000 - and most insurance companies don't cover them.  This alternative costs $300.  Truly incredible, no?