CES coverage brought to you by Belkin

Back in June we reported that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid technology it developed to significantly improve the current crop of products on the market. Apple expected partners in its MFi program to introduce hearing aid and cochlear implant products using the technology this year, and last night we got a look at the first MFi hearing aid about to launch globally this quarter during the Bluetooth SIG event at CES 2014. GN’s Resound Linx is trickling out in select markets as we speak but a full global launch is about to happen sometime this quarter.

Not only is Resound Linx the world’s smallest hearing aid and the first Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod through Apple’s official program, the connection to an iPhone over the 2.4GHz frequency and Apple’s advancements in low powered Bluetooth tech for hearing aid products will also provide some other first of their kind features for the Linx. The hearing aid will essentially also function as a high-quality headset, allowing users to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device. The most notable advancement, however, is the ability to fine tune the hearing aid experience through a dedicated iOS app:

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.31.49 PMImagine using your ReSound Smart™ app to fine-tune the treble/bass of a concert – or a dinner conversation. Or geo-tag places so your hearing aid goes into your preferred program for work… the gym… or your favorite café. With a swipe and a tap you can unlock new reasons to love your ReSound LiNX hearing aids.

Of course the possibilities are endless with the opportunity for app developers to build apps specifically for the product. There’s no official word on pricing or which specific markets it will launch in the coming weeks, but it will sell for a small premium on top of the roughly $3000 price tag for other high-end hearing products the company sells.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

17 Responses to “CES 2014: First look at Resound Linx, the world’s first MFi Bluetooth LE hearing aid launching this quarter”

  1. Is it bad that I only want this for it’s bluetooth streaming capabilities?? I just want to be a cyborg (without going full on Google Glass that is).

    Like

  2. Bluetooth Low Energy should greatly enhance the user experience with hearing aids. At present, an intermediary device is often needed between the hearing aids and the bluetooth device. Such intermediary devices are often worn around the neck and connect to the hearing aids via telecoil induction or some other form of proprietary wireless protocol. All bluetooth pairing (with other bluetooth devices) is then managed with the intermediary device. Opening up the wide array of bluetooth devices to hearing aid users without the requirement of an intermediary device, and without vast losses in battery performance, should be celebrated by the industry and users alike. I am keen to see how the battery performance rates on this new crop of devices, and whether Bluetooth Low Energy really provides the promised range for hearing aid users. I am also excited about the possibility of such devices for non-hearing-impaired users, in relation to wearable computing and streaming sound quality. As an audiologist I am weary of the self adjustment features, but hopefully Resound has ensured limited frequency spectrum modifications. Vast adjustments above professionally fitted volume levels could place valuable residual hearing at risk in hearing impaired users. If anyone has any personal experiences with these devices, please contact me via twitter.

    Like

    • From my understanding, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the 2.4 GHz protocol being used to connect these new hearing aids to the Apple devices. However, I am not sure that the devices will be directly connectable (via BLE) to non-Apple devices which incorporate BLE. From wikipedia it looks like the following Apple devices support BLE:
      iPhone 4S and later
      iPad (3rd generation and later)
      iPod Touch (5th generation)
      iPad Mini (all generations)

      Like

  3. This is not the world’s smallest hearing aid as is stated above. I’m also leery of the battery size in these devices. If it is a size 10a battery ( the smallest battery available to hearing aids) I’m sure you will be changing it every few hours if you use the wireless technology constantly.

    Like

  4. Overal l’m pretty bummed that wasn’t more “earpiece wearables” announced at CES this year… considering how much of a focus there was on wearables (of all types) I’m surprised that more companies aren’t trying out various bluetooth-enabled wearable earpieces that actually look decent.

    Currently I use the first-gen Motorola Bluetooth Elite Sliver for music/podcast/audiobook listening while driving, doing housework, running errands or basically anytime that I’m by myself. Overall it’s pretty good though it’s still too large to wear all the time without looking like a dude with a bluetooth piece on his ear (when not in use I keep it in my pants pocket.)

    My ideal product would be a pair of non-descrp looking glasses with a bone-conduction audio built in. Nothing like Google Glass… no HUD, camera or touchpad. Ideal would have enough battery to last 8-10 on standby with 2-3 hours of playback. Just nice looking glasses with headphones (preferably bone-conduction so that I can still interact with the world) built in. Anyone know of any product out there like that?

    Like

  5. Chris Powers says:

    I have a Siemans bluetooth hearing aid and the damned thing doesn’t ever work properly, and on top of that it requires me to have the keychain remote to use the bluetooth. So I hope that this one doesn’t have that kind of problem. My hearing aid is a few years old, so I would think that this one doesn’t require a keychain adapter to actually work.

    I was sorely disappointed in mine…

    Like

  6. This is great, now lets just hope they’ll open it up for Android soon

    Like

  7. This is great news! I have been holding off on getting hearing aids until a bluetooth connection was available. The proprietary control box my wife now has to carry is ridiculous in this age of smartphones.

    I agree with the audiologist who wrote that users adjusting amplification of different frequencies in their hearing aids is crazy. Hearing aids are tuned to compensate for the specific weaknesses in the user’s ears and should not be changed except by the audiologist. But their are other big opportunities.

    1. In concert halls, churches, auditoriums, and theaters hearing aid wearers would love to have their custom tuned hearing aids pickup sound through their smartphones. A local wifi connection listed in the program or projected on a screen would enable them to connect. This will be far superior to sound loops. And its a universal solution.

    2.. In homes and cars hearing aid wearers would love to have their hearing aids pick up their TV sound and their car audio signals. Smartphone apps and little transmitters can easily be developed for this. It will prevent a lot of arguments.

    3. Believe it or not, the most exciting concept for old people will be finding a way to link smartphones for multiple hearing aid wearers sitting together in a small group. Hearing aid users sitting around a table in a noisy restaurant or other place have great difficulty hearing each other due to background noise. The development may include bluetooth microphones each person wears on their collar or a smartphone sitting on the table. This will eventually be available for people wearing hearing aids from all manufacturers and carrying smartphones with all operating systems. If you know any old people, you know their will be a huge market for this.

    Developers hit the Go Button!!!

    Like

  8. lwnorris says:

    I was trying a hearing aid with an intermediary device, almost ready to purchase when my audiologist told me about the Linx. Having worn a hearing aid since my early 40’s, I have dreamed of the day that I could have some control over the frequency adjustment without going to the audiologist. I do agree, to some extent, with the poster who expressed that a user “might” cause hearing damage if these controls are given to the user. But, I consider myself to be a seasoned hearing user, I know what I am capable of hearing, and recognize my audiologist can not be by my side 24/7. My kudos to resound.

    I do have one concern I’m hoping some of you can address. While trying a HA with an intermediary device, I was able to successfully pair to my IPhone,

    Like

  9. Jim Jennings says:

    I have been using this hearing aid for two weeks due to a moderate/borderline severe hearing loss in my right ear. It works as advertised. The built in hearing aid functions in my iPhone OS, along with the very simple company app have allowed me to realize all that I have been missing. The only downsize is that because I use the aid’s streaming capability, I’ve been using up a battery every 2-3 days or so.

    Like