Beltone, a hearing care retailer with more than 1,500 locations in North America, announced Beltone Imagine, a “made-to-measure hearing aid.” This solution is “the first to combine a microphone and a receiver in the ear, a breakthrough that enables an unprecedented natural sound experience, addressing one of the biggest issues of hearing aid users: ‘unnatural’ sound,” according to Beltone’s announcement.
Currently, a hearing aid worn over the ear captures sound with two microphones placed outside and behind the ear. While sound is amplified, it’s not the way sounds are naturally picked up and channeled to the eardrum. The result is what people with hearing aids have described as “an unnatural sound with less depth and direction.”
Beltone Imagine places a third microphone directly in the ear canal to collect sound taking advantage of the natural and unique acoustics of each person’s ear. This “engineering achievement represents a new style of hearing aids; the first Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear (M&RIE),” Beltone says. M&RIE (pronounced Marie) provides “a naturally immersive hearing experience with greater depth and sound localization while significantly reducing wind noise.” Beltone says that the most immediate way people will notice the breakthrough is the sound of their own voice.
“One of the unexpected disappointments for many hearing aid users is the unnatural sound produced by popular Receiver-in-Ear styles,” said Dr John Nelson, vice president, GN Audiology & Medical Affairs. “By figuring out how to eliminate feedback, we were able to add a microphone directly in the ear canal. This delivers sound the way we are more naturally accustomed to hearing. We think this advancement will get more people to use hearing aids.”
Nelson says it took 10 years of research and a deep understanding of a person’s unique needs and lifestyle to develop Beltone Imagine technology.
“Until Beltone Imagine, hearing aids used algorithms of the ‘average ear’ shape when delivering sound,” Nelson says. “But Beltone Imagine is not a one-size-fits all hearing aid. Most of the time, it will be collecting sound using the microphone in the canal, delivering that individualized sound. It truly lets each person experience the world with their own ears.”
Beltone Imagine connects to Apple devices and Android smartphones to directly stream audio and is available with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 hours on a three-hour charge. It’s ergonomic design comes in eight new natural colors to match a variety of skin and hair colors. Every purchase automatically includes BelCare, a lifetime care and protection service available only with Beltone.
Beltone Imagine will be available from August 27 exclusively at Beltone hearing centers nationwide. Every Beltone location has put stringent COVID-19 precautions into place.
For people who are limiting travel outside the home during pandemic restrictions, Beltone Remote Care Live gives the ability to consult with their hearing care professional via video and make hearing aids adjustments in real time, without them having to come to the office.
Learn more at a Beltone Hearing Center Location near you.