After years of amplified sound, the generation that made Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, and Joni Mitchell household names is now understandably in need of additional electronics to boost their hearing. It comes as no surprise, then, that the Danish hearing aids group, GN Store Nord, is seeing a tremendous boost in sales with the launch of Resound Linx, its new made-for-iPhone hearing product jointly developed with Apple. During the first two weeks of March (post-product launch), GN Store Nord attracted 20 percent more new American customers when compared to the same period in February, Reuters reported.
"We saw an opportunity to create the world's best hearing aid by combining the capability of GN ReSound's life-changing technologies with the compatibility and global prevalence of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch," Lars Viksmoen, CEO of GN ReSound, a business unit of GN Store Nord, said in a press release.
Essentially, Resound Linx is basically like wearing a headphone that is wirelessly connected to your iPhone, iPad or iPod, and at the same time that headphone is doing the work of a pair of hearing aids. Like an ordinary hearing aid, users install the slender, twin devices in their ears to help them with environmental sound, but at the same time, they can stream phone calls and other functions from their iPhones by way of the device’s Bluetooth technology. Other hearing aids have done the same by way of an additional device, but this is the first to do so without any additional (costly) products.
“Imagine speech that’s clear, strong and easy to understand,” the website copy reads. “All through a wireless stereo headset that just happens to be your hearing aids.”
Another benefit to users is that volume levels can be adjusted and fine-tuned via the iPhone. Even more, users can set preferred volume levels and then use geo-tagging to assign these settings to frequently visited places, such as a hiking trail, a restaurant, or work. While first visiting the location, for example, users would program a preferred setting on their phone, and then whenever they re-visit the same place, the program automatically adjusts the hearing aids to that setting. Plus, the iPhone can be used as a microphone; by placing it directly in front of guests, their voices will come through the hearing aids more clearly.
"It is a clear signal to investors about a big demand in the market," financial analyst Morten Imsgard told Reuters. As the Boomers age, hearing aids should become increasingly prevalent yet many people are at a loss when it comes to understanding what is needed. Mayo Clinic, which posts a guide for those in need on its website, warns that, unlike corrective eyewear, hearing aids won't return your hearing to normal; instead they simply improve hearing by amplifying soft sounds and reducing loud background noises. Seems like Resound Linx is quite an improvement on all previous technologies. Granny has most certainly gone sonic.