Pioneering headphones to test and help prevent further hearing loss
To tackle the issue of hearing loss, Audeara has launched some new headphones which prevent further hearing loss through making the sound better rather than louder.
According to Action on Hearing Loss – a UK charity which strives to help people who suffer from deafness and tinnitus – there are currently 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK, approximately 16 percent of the population.
More than 40 percent of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71 percent of people over the age of 70, but it isn’t just later in life where hearing can be affected.
Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive Paul Breckell commented: “Worryingly some of our research showed that over half of people aged 18 to 24 had experienced tinnitus, with 40 percent of people unaware that being exposed to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus.”
In 2015, the World Health Organisation warned that around 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events.
The greatest danger is that many people are not aware that they are suffering from hearing loss because they continually turn up the volume to compensate.
To tackle this problem the Audeara A-01 headphones were Created by a group of Australian doctors and engineers and feature the only in-built hearing test in personal headphones that has been endorsed by Australian audiologists.
CEO and Co-Founder of Audeara Dr James Fielding said: “Audeara’s headphones are unique thanks to the in-built, sophisticated, medical-style hearing test run by app and compatible with any smart phone that lets users map the sound output of the headphones with their hearing.
“The A-01s will identify if people have any hearing loss in either ear and use this information to create an optimised acoustic landscape.
“The calibration gets stored in the headphones themselves, so it works with any input they are attached to, to provide individually tailored sound for making phone calls, movie viewing, every day applications and of course, listening to music.
“With this technology we are able to create an enhanced listening experience for our users. Sometimes the change is enormous, other times it’s subtle, but it’s always there.”
The A-01 headphones can be worn by those with hearing aids and cochlear implants so those with hearing loss already can still benefit from using them. Additionally, they can be used to test and retest hearing over a lifetime and adapt music to the users’ individual needs.
At the product set-up phase, the result of the audiogram display is useful for long-term tracking of any hearing loss and also as an educational tool to prevent long-term hearing impairment. If it shows significant impairment it sends an alert to the user which recommends they seek more formal analysis.
Audeara was founded in 2014 by Dr. Chris Jeffery and Dr. James Fielding who decided to create a medical-style audiogram product that was inexpensive and easy-to-use.