Phonak Releases Bluetooth Hearing Aid That Connects Directly to Any Cell Phone and TV

August 24 2017, 03:10
Phonak Audéo B-Direct is the world's first Bluetooth hearing aid that directly connects to any to any Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. The new hearing aid is the first product to make use of Sonova’s revolutionary SWORD chip and wireless radio technology. Truly hands-free, the new Phonak Audéo B-Direct allows hearing aid wearers to have phone conversations or stream TV through their hearing aids and delivers excellent sound quality thanks to the proven Belong platform and AutoSense OS.

According to the Swiss hearing instruments and wireless communication solutions specialist, the new low-voltage wireless chip has the lowest power consumption of any hearing aid using Bluetooth Classic. As it supports the classic Bluetooth protocol, it provides direct connectivity to cell phones – including Android, iPhone and even classic cell phones – with no extra body-worn streaming device required. 

The Audéo B-Direct simplifies the life of consumers by offering them the freedom of direct connectivity, hands-free calling, and TV sound with devices with Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology and older. Phonak is also announcing an extension of its Belong platform to a new generation of Phonak Virto B customized products, the world’s first hearing aids with Biometric Calibration. All new products will be available in the U.S. end of August with Europe and other countries worldwide following step by step from September 2017 onward.

“For 70 years, Phonak has continued to develop life-changing solutions that break down barriers,” says Thomas Lang, Senior Vice President of Phonak Marketing. “With the Audéo B-Direct, we’re now breaking barriers to accessibility and connectivity. Audéo B-Direct also works similar to a wireless headset. We’re giving more hearing aid wearers access to proven Belong technology without limiting them to a single cell phone, manufacturer, or operating system. This is a true game-changer for our industry.”

The Audéo B-Direct simplifies life even more thanks to real hands-free voice calling. Hearing aid wearers can answer or reject a phone call by simply pressing the push button on their hearing aid. The ringing of the phone is heard through the hearing aids and once the call is accepted, the conversation is instantly streamed. The wearer’s voice is picked up by the hearing aid’s intelligent microphone network and transmitted to the other caller similar to a wireless headset. All this is done without the hearing aid wearer ever having to physically touch the phone.

The new TV Connector, using proprietary AirStream technology, is a state-of-the-art compact multimedia hub that seamlessly connects wearers to their favorite TV programming. It’s a true plug and play solution that automatically turns a pair of Audéo B-Direct hearing aids into wireless TV headphones. The TV Connector is also capable of connecting to multiple Audéo B-Direct hearing aids simultaneously, ideal for watching TV together.

As a ‘Made For All’ hearing solution offering universal connectivity, the new Audéo B-Direct allows users to leverage existing cheaper Android phones, while also providing compatibility with Apple’s iPhone. In addition, the new solution addresses the more than 23 percent of hearing aid wearers ages 50+ who own a classic cell phone.

At the same time Phonak introduces Phonak Virto B, the world’s first hearing aids with Biometric Calibration. Each ear is unique and each ear hears differently. Identifying over 1,600 data points, the Phonak proprietary 3D modelling software calculates the unique calibration settings for each Virto B hearing aid. The result is a 2 dB improvement in directionality leading to better hearing performance1. Virto B comes in a full product family launch. The new CROS B Custom for single sided deafness is also introduced to be compatible with Virto B. |
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