Powerful and Concurrent Trends Have Converged to Turn Earbuds into Hearing Aids

By ScottCDunn: For Complete Post, Click Here…

What?

I remember when hearing aids were a stigma. When I was in grade school they were big, bulky things that some of the kids had to wear on their chests. I felt sorry for them. The bullies were relentlessly teasing them. The girls learned sign language with them.

I was and still am hearing impaired. I had a hearing aid that fits in a pair of glasses. They wore their vulnerability out there for everyone to see. I still got teased, but not everyone noticed my hearing aid.

I have watched hearing aids evolve since the 1970s.

All of these trends have converged to the point where earbuds are starting to do double duty as recreational listening devices and hearing aids. I’ve seen the trends go the other way, too.

Hearing aids already have Bluetooth built in to allow call handling and recreational audio. Earbuds and hearing aids are converging into one device that anyone can use, and they’re available over the counter.

Just yesterday Endgadget reported on a new product by the audio hardware giant, Sennheiser called Conversation Clear Plus, a high-end, wireless headset for your phone. Engadget also reported that the business model of earbuds doubling as hearing aids is beginning to take shape:

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