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Have Yourself a Hearable Holiday | Our List of the Best Wearables

Wearables are commonplace now, from fitness trackers to smart watches. Theyíre more than just technology you can wear, though: A wearable usually has Bluetooth connectivity as well as sensors that track step count, heart rate, and other biometric data. But in the last few years, wearables have migrated ó to the ear and to the wish list.

The Hearable

Thatís right, you can now wear smart technology in your ears. This kind of device is called a hearable. The market is too broad for any one definition to fully describe what a hearable is, but a good working definition is a wireless in-ear micro-computer.

Some hearables are as simple as earbuds that enhance your music-listening experience. Others are hearing aids that double as sophisticated wellness trackers. Below are features youíll commonly find in different hearables.

  • Connectivity. Sync to a smartphone, tablet, or smart home device.
  • Biometric tracking. Track your steps, your heart rate, or even your running pace with sensors embedded in the hearable.
  • Improved sound quality. Drawing on technology used in todayís hearing aids, you can enjoy noise-canceling capabilities or choose how much environmental sound you want. For example, you can allow just enough noise to ensure you remain aware of traffic.
  • Translation. Have a foreign language translated to your native language in real time.

Notable Hearables

What does all this look like in action? Letís check out some of the hearables currently on the market.

Jabra Sport Pace.
Listen to music, talk on the phone, and switch between the two seamlessly during your running workout with these wireless earbuds that connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Theyíre sweat and weather resistant and, with the Jabra Sport Life app, you can monitor your pace. These wireless earbuds last up to five hours on one charge, or you can use the rapid-charge feature for when youíre on the go: 15 minutes of charging gives you an hour of battery life.

The Pilot.
These wireless earbuds connect via Bluetooth to your mobile device and allow you to listen to music and phone calls ó and they translate spoken language in real time! The Pilot translates 15 languages and 42 dialects in natural-sounding male and female voices, provides on-screen transcripts, and offers quick access to a dictionary as well as a phrasebook. Plus, they last up to 20 hours on one charge with the portable charger.

Jabra Elite Sport.
Unlike the Jabra Sport Pace, this one is built for professional athletic training. You can still listen to music, talk on the phone, and switch between the two seamlessly, but the Elite Sport also features better moisture resistance, a heart rate monitor, step count, rep count, VO2 measurement, and hear through, which allows you to determine how much environmental noise to filter out. Plus, with the Jabra Sport Life App, you get personalized audio coaching in real time.

AGXs liv AI.
This product is intended for those with a diagnosed hearing loss. These hearing aids stream phone calls, music, and more directly from your mobile devices and offer a rechargeable option. If that werenít enough, they use integrated sensors to monitor brain and body health. The Thriveô app tracks it all, provides wellness scores, transcribes conversations so you can read them, and even translates 27 spoken languages. To top it all off, the devices can detect if youíve fallen and will alert chosen contacts.

Wireless Technology!

A patient asked me today that she had read about wireless technology and she wondered what that meant. It can mean a variety of things in regards to new technology hearing aids. For some hearing instruments, it can mean that a pair of hearing aids on a person’s ears can wirelessly communicate with each other. For example, microphones listen in the same direction, or noise filters engaging with both the right and left hearing aids together. Another example of wireless technology is pairing a Bluetooth phone to the hearing aids or using a streaming device to help pair a phone to the hearing aids. This allows phone calls to go into the hearing aids directly wirelessly. There is also the ability to stream television acoustics into hearing aids wirelessly. For more information, contact our office for an appointment.

Hearing aids and earwax. Patient’s ask everyday about how to clean hearing aids. Ears produce wax and unfortunately, it gets on and into hearing aids. Check your hearing aids nightly to see if they need cleaning. First wipe them off with a soft dry tissue or cloth. If wax seems to penetrate the sound openings of the hearing aids, then your hearing specialist should have provided you with small wax cleaning tools (loop) and possibly wax filters that keep the wax from penetrating the devices too deeply. Try not to get hearing aids wet with soap or water. For more information, please contact our office.

Do I have to have a smart phone for the new technology hearing aids? No absolutely not. There is lots of new amazing technology being introduced into the market that works great without a smart phone. The phones (certain makes and models only) allow patients to use their phones as remotes and some for streaming audio. Flip phones that have Bluetooth can also stream audio but require a streaming device to assist them. For more information, please contact our office.