There has been a lot of fuss over Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, in part thanks to Apple’s popular AirPods, but those are designed for users with more or less normal hearing capabilities. Fortunately, the same technologies that power these earbuds are also making their way to hearing aids in order to upgrade the devices that open up the world to those with hearing loss. hear.com, one of the largest retailers of such medical devices, has applied those technologies to its latest hearing aid, the horizon, specially designed for younger users that may have reservations about the idea of wearing a hearing aid that everyone can see.
It is unfortunate that there is still some social stigma around hearing aids that are essential in allowing those with hearing loss to live normal, productive, and enjoyable lives. In some amusing sense, the ubiquity of Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds have made it almost normal to see people with things plugged into their ears. Still, there are some people that would rather not have anything visible at all.
The hear.com horizon promises that invisibility, thanks to the design that it borrows from manufacturing partner Signia’s Styletto Connect. With this design, the electronics are hidden behind your ear while the earbuds are connected by a nearly transparent cable that seemingly disappears over your ear. Young active wearers need not worry about the horizon being conspicuous or falling off while you’re out for a run.
The hear.com horizon isn’t just about looks either. It utilizes a unique speech-enhancing algorithm and the ability to control sound direction focus to make voices stand out, even from a noisy conference. And when you want to chill and drown out the noise of the world, the device’s Relax Mode can embrace you in the calming soundscape of the sea.
The horizon also offers the conveniences of modern wireless audio devices, like Bluetooth to connect to almost any audio source. It also charges wirelessly, like many TWS earbuds these days, using the Qi standard. Together with the charging case, the horizon advertises 19 hours of use on a single charge.
More than just a rebranding of the Styletto Connect, hear.com adds its own expertise and customer relations to make the process of picking out and testing hearing aids less daunting and less stressful. In our case, we could even do so remotely, thanks to a Microsoft Surface and otoscope testing kit so that an audiologist can check your hearing and the hearing aid’s fit from the safety of your home. This, too, is an upgrade over the usual in-person checkup and fits not only the lifestyle of younger users but also the mostly remote processes and systems that are common these days.