New audio technologies are paving the way for improved hearing aids, and Rachel Bishop, an audiologist with the Phonak company, was at CES 2020 to share the Phonak Virto Black.
Shaped like an earbud, Phonak hearing aids aim to bust the stigma of hearing loss, and close the seven-year gap - the average time between when people realize they're having hearing problems and when they actually decide to do something about it.
The hearing aids employ Binaural VoiceStream Technology that streams the full audio bandwidth in real time and bidirectionally, tackling challenging listening situations by simulating what the brain does with sounds from both ears. Linking the two hearing aids ensures that wearers can benefit from hearing speech in both ears, especially in a noisy environment, on the phone or when the hearing aid wearer can't face the speaker.
Marvel hearing aids also feature RogerDirect an auxiliary device that be placed between speakers wearing the Phonak Virto hearing aid, canceling noise and enabling the speakers to hear one another better. The puck can also be worn around the neck. The device has an accelerometer that points the microphone directly towards the speaker. When paired with the Phonak Virto Marvel aids, it enables people with hearing loss to be able to hear up to 10x better in a crowded room, than someone with normal hearing, in the same conditions.
The hearing aids connect directly to either your iOS or Android smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled devices and can be used for hands-free calls, TV, music, e-books, podcasts and more. The hearing aid batteries have a six-year lifespan and can be used all day without recharging.
Phonak sells to audiologists and audiologists service costs are bundled into the device, typically for the life of the hearing aid, and range in price from $4000 to $6000.
Learning more about Phonak Virto Marvel hearing aids at the company website.