For many, the pain of losing their hearing is only compounded by the notion of having to use a hearing aid. Known to be a signal of old age, hearing aids have always been thought of as a less than ideal necessity for many aging Americans. But thanks to an innovative Danish hearing aid group, GN Store Nord, and their new product Resound Linx, the idea of wearing a hearing aid has been revolutionized.
Resound Linx combines bluetooth-like technology into a hearing aid that not only allows users to improve their hearing, but also allows them to stream voice and music from their iPhones. And according to an article on Reuters, GN Store Nord has seen a significant growth in their US customer base as a result:
“GN Store Nord obtained at least 20 percent more new costumers in the United States in the first two weeks of March compared to same period in February,” the article said, “thanks to their launch of Resound Linx late February.”
Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard added that, “it is a clear signal to investors about a big demand in the market. There is potential for a surprise in connection with their open-ended guidance for 2014.”
Combining iPhone technology, music streaming and other features also seems to be reducing the stigmas associated with wearing a hearing aid for many baby boomers. In fact, a re-branding has already begun taking place. According to an article on the NY Times website, many manufacturers are pushing the term “in-ear amplifiers” rather than “hearing aids” to attract a broader audience. According to author Daniel Fink, as quoted in the article, incorporating sleek iPhone tech into the design is helping to ease the transition by changing people’s perceptions altogether:
“If in-ear amplifiers don’t have the look and feel of a hearing aid, boomers and others might actually consider wearing them…you fuse the technology of extra support and utility with ways to make the devices acceptable.”
Neil J. DiSarno, chief staff officer for audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also remarked at how these particular hearing aids can also be applied for certain users in specific situations, not just for the hearing impaired:
“The market is proliferating with lots of devices not necessarily made for impaired hearing, but for someone who wants a boost in certain challenging conditions like lectures.”
So the next time you catch someone with a bluetooth headset in their ear and streaming music through their iPhone, double check that it’s not a hearing aid they’re actually using instead.