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Hearing Aid

Ormia ochracea has excellent hearing, and is hated by crickets everywhere  (Photo: Jpaur)

When it comes to animals with good hearing, flies might not be the first one you'd think of. The Ormia ochracea fly, however, has a unique hearing mechanism that allows it to precisely determine the location of a cricket based on its chirps ... it then deposits its larvae on the cricket, which ultimately consume the poor insect. Scientists at the University of Texas Austin have now duplicated that mechanism, with hopes that it could find use in applications such as next-generation hearing aids.  Read More

An online platform where the user can conduct their own hearing test and electronically ca...

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 48 million Americans (around 20 percent of the population) report some degree of hearing loss. This problem is compounded by the costs associated with having the condition diagnosed and a hearing aid fitted in a clinic, causing many to allow the ailment to go untreated. iHear, an invisible hearing aid, is designed to significantly lower the cost of personalized hearing devices by enabling the user to test the extent of their condition and calibrate the hearing aid from their own home.  Read More

The ReSound LiNX iPhone-connected hearing aid

The ReSound LiNX hearing aid connects with a user's iPhone to allow music and phone calls to be heard directly through the device, thus allowing more comfortable smartphone use for the hearing impaired.  Read More

The hard-to-miss external components of a traditional cochlear implant (Photo: Shutterstoc...

Thanks to the development of cochlear implants, many people who would otherwise be quite deaf are able to regain a limited sense of hearing. Unfortunately, the implants also incorporate external components that can get in the user's way, and that look ... well, that look like the user has something hooked up to their ear. Now, however, researchers at MIT, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a chip that could lead to cochlear implants that are entirely implanted.  Read More

Wear is designed to help those with hearing difficulties make sense of conversations in no...

From hiding hearing aids in your mouth to having them built-in to the arms of your glasses, we have seen some innovative efforts to assist those with hearing difficulties in recent years. With these unobtrusive technologies available, you might think that wearing a hearing aid around your neck would be the least desirable of options. Yet the team behind Wear believe that by favoring comfort and aesthetics over discretion, it may have conceived a viable alternative.  Read More

A new algorithm could help hearing aids separate speech from background noise (Photo: Shut...

Despite some advances that have been made in the field, one of the continuing problems with hearing aids is the fact that they amplify background sound along with peoples' voices. While our brains are reasonably good at distinguishing between speech and distracting ambient noise, hearing aid users get the noise and the voice presented to them in one often-incomprehensible package. Researchers at The Ohio State University, however, may have a solution. They've developed a noise-filtering algorithm that's been shown to improve test subjects' recognition of spoken words by up to 90 percent.  Read More

The Personal Audio Enhancer (PAE-300) from VitaSound

VitaSound has launched a multi-functional audio enhancement device for those who suffer from situational hearing difficulties. The PAE-300 has been designed for folks who don't need a hearing aid, but could do with some help when trying to hold a conversation in a noisy room, or watch television without needing to crank up the volume. It's powered by the intriguing Neuro-Compensator technology, that's said to enforce an optimal electrical signal from the root of the auditory nerve to the brain, resulting in improved audio clarity and a natural listening experience. Gizmag has been sent one for review, but, since my hearing is pretty good, I've recruited my father-in-law, Jean-Jacques, as primary device tester.  Read More

Researchers have successfully combined biology and electronics, in the form of this bionic...

A Princeton University team has successfully merged electronics and biology to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies. The tissue and antenna were merged via the use of an “off-the -shelf” 3D printer, and the results have the potential to not only restore but actually enhance human hearing in the future.  Read More

BioAid is a free app that allows the iPhone to work as a user-adjustable hearing aid

It’s so obvious when you think about it. The iPhone has a microphone, a computer that can process audio, and earphones – why not use it as hearing aid? That’s just what a group of scientists from the University of Essex have done, with their BioAid app. It has the potential to replace thousand-dollar hearing aids with a free download ... as long as users don’t mind keeping their phone close at hand.  Read More

The external sound processor (top) and the actual implant, that make up the Bone Conductio...

There may soon be help for people who have been rendered functionally deaf by problems of the middle ear. Researchers from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have developed an implant that bypasses the defective middle ear, transmitting sounds to the inner ear by sending vibrations right through the skull bone.  Read More

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