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Hearing

— Music

Music Wrap moves Bluetooth headphones from your ears to your neck

Music Wrap is a new crowdfunding project with the aim of changing the way we listen to music, by eliminating earbuds and headphones in favor of its M25 headphone/speaker hybrid. The device sits around your neck, and creates what the company (perhaps a bit hyperbolically) calls a "personal sound field." Flexible, water-resistant, anti-shock and dust proof, the M25 is designed to free users' hands and ears while delivering a listening experience that will lessen the chance of damaging their eardrums.

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— Wearables

Aegis headphones developed to help keep young ears safe

Personal music players have liberated us from the home hi-fi system and made music mobile. But there is a downside, particularly for younger listeners. According to the World Health Organization, over a billion young music lovers risk hearing loss by exposing themselves to unsafe volume levels when grooving on the move or having a good time at noisy bars and sporting events. The Aegis Pro headphones from 16-year-old Kingsley Cheng are designed to ensure that audio output never strays above a safe level, while also promising optimum sonic quality.

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— Electronics

Sensor detects sound direction and cuts background noise

Although the ability tends to wane as we get older, the human auditory system is pretty good at filtering out background noise and making a single voice able to be understood above the general hubbub of a crowded room. But electronic devices, such as smartphones, aren't quite as gifted, which is why getting Siri or Google Now to understand you in crowded environments can be an exercise in futility. But now researchers have developed a prototype sensor that’s not only able to figure out the direction of a particular sound, but can also extract it from background noise.

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— Wearables Review

Review: ProSounds X-Pro ear plugs turn on and off with a click

Many activities, such as operating heavy machinery, enjoying loud concerts, or shooting guns at a range, generate harmful levels of sound. Ear protection reduces such noise to prevent long-term damage, but it can be difficult or inconvenient to adjust the volume when one needs to hear "normally." One of the latest forms of protection attempts to solve this dilemma with a design that allows more or less sound to pass through with the push of a button. We get some ears-on to see how well the ProSounds X-Pro ear plugs differentiate themselves from the field.

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— Health & Wellbeing

iHear hearing aid can be calibrated over the internet to keep costs low

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
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