Lucid Hearing unveiled the release of its latest hearing aid — Tala, a premium option in the company’s OTC product line, according to the company.

The company said Tala initially will be sold on and at Best Buy, with multiple retailers, being added to distribution in the coming months. 

Tala will be priced at $1,299, and future products with the company’s new proprietary Precision Directional Listening System (PDL) will be added to the line to address the full spectrum of hearing loss – whether mild to moderate, or more severe.

“Tala is innovative, discreet and powerful and uses our most advanced technology released to date,” says Steve Iseberg, VP of Innovation for Lucid Hearing. “This product’s discreet design will make it popular among individuals who have mild to moderate hearing loss, and who want a solution that doesn’t look like a hearing aid. It simply looks like you’re wearing earbuds to listen to streaming music or entertainment from your phone or TV.”

Additional Features for Tala

In addition to its Bluetooth-compatible wireless streaming, Tala’s features will include patented LucidShape app-controlled customizable sound profiles, a moisture-resistant coating, and a rechargeable design that lasts all day. Tala’s PDL System enhances the user’s ability to hear speech and other desired sounds while minimizing background noise. By combining Lucid Hearing’s signal processing algorithms with directional power, PDL refines sounds originating from the direction the user is facing while suppressing unwanted noise from other directions, greatly enhancing speech intelligibility and overall listening comfort, according to the company.

“We’ve positioned Tala’s microphones in such a way to optimize the hearing function so that we get the best directional performance through PDL,” says Bennett Griffin, EVP of research and development for Lucid Hearing. “These benefits are especially important in situations where individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss are struggling the most, like in noisy restaurants or in meetings, and they’re trying to make sure they really understand what people are saying,” Griffin noted.

Additionally, like all of Lucid Hearing’s premium OTC products, Tala can be upgraded to a custom-programmed prescription hearing aid solution. 

“Lucid Hearing operates on a vertically integrated model, from R&D all the way through to our customer-facing hearing clinics, and we’ve intentionally built a technology stack that allows us to seamlessly upgrade a premium OTC hearing aid to a prescription-level solution, if at some point the customer wants to take that next step,” says Griffin. “This is something that is unique to Lucid Hearing and our continuum of OTC and prescription hearing aid products.”

The offering of performance-driven and discreet OTC hearing aids like Tala arrives in tandem with an increased prevalence among Americans of noise-induced hearing loss, the company says. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 40 million American adults may have hearing loss resulting from various types of noise exposure.

“We’re proud to introduce this product into the market,” says Tim Schnell, Lucid Hearing’s founder and CEO. “The modern design is incredible and perfect for those with hearing loss who have hesitated to purchase before because they were concerned about possible stigma associated with wearing hearing aids. I’m truly proud of our research and development team and their approach to Tala’s design and the high-definition sound that this solution offers, including our new PDL System which makes the product even more effective and impactful for the user.”

An August 2022 ruling finalized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened the market for OTC hearing devices, which are recommended for individuals with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.

Lucid Hearing began preparing for the OTC market by making a significant investment over the last five years to develop pre-set programs for the company’s OTC devices. The programs were developed as a result of research done in conjunction with a top audiology research program at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), the company says.

Featured image: Lucid Hearing Tala Premium OTC Hearing Aid with its exclusive Precision Directional Listening (PDL) system. Photo: Lucid Hearing