Although The Hearing Review has not covered the personal sound amplification product (PSAP) market as extensively as hearing aids and other assistive devices (by definition, PSAPs are not designed for consumers with hearing loss), there are some products that definitely catch one’s eye. One of them is the CS50, a PSAP from Sound World Solutions, Park Ridge, Ill, which is the company’s second model in its Bluetooth Series. The CS50 features an Apple iOS 7-compatible customizer app, enabling users to adjust sound performance from an iPhone.

The CS50, a PSAP from Sound World Solutions.

The CS50, a PSAP from Sound World Solutions.

According to a press release from the company, the CS50 is designed for consumers who need occasional help hearing but don’t want a hearing aid. Also functioning as a Bluetooth headset for mobile phones, it reportedly operates up to 15 hours on its rechargeable battery. It streams a variety of audio sources, including music, audio books, and podcasts. Additionally, the CS50 features improved directionality for listening assistance in noisy environments, such as restaurants.

“Directionality is the only way to improve intelligibility in noisy environments,” states Stavros Basseas, PhD, co-founder and president of Sound World Solutions who worked as an engineer for two major hearing aid manufacturers during the 1980s and 90s. “We are very pleased with how much background noise the algorithms of the CS50 can attenuate. It is dramatically better than even our previous product.”

Out of the box, users can adjust volume and access settings designed for specific environments, reports the company. The CS50 has three preset amplification profiles, and the device allows personalization using a free app for Apple iOS 7, Android, Windows, or Mac OS X. The app walks users through a short personalization program to create a customized sound profile and also allows users to adjust high, mid, and low frequencies to further personalize their sound.

“Regardless of how comfortable the user is with technology, they can get benefit from the CS50,” said Basseas. “All of the settings can easily be accessed from the controls on the device. Users with smartphones can achieve a deeper level of programming and control with our News Release optional app. The product is capable of being as simple or as sophisticated as the user wants it to be.”

The CS50 is available for purchase at in right- or left-ear versions for $349.99. Each kit contains two rechargeable batteries, a charging station, carrying case and a variety of ear tips for customizable fit.

Sound World Solutions introduced its first Bluetooth Series personal sound amplifier, the CS10, in February 2013.

Source: Sound World Solutions