You might imagine intelligent robots from sci-fi movies when you hear the term “artificial intelligence” (AI). But it’s not all about futuristic robots. AI is also used in practical, helpful ways, like improving hearing aids. So, instead of thinking about AI in a fantastical or fearful way, consider its beneficial role in advancing hearing aid technology. Imagine being in a bustling city center or a chatty coffee shop; louder isn’t necessarily clearer. This is where AI comes into play, introducing a new level of sophistication to hearing aid technology that goes beyond merely amplifying sound. Welcome AI hearing aids!

As the months and years progress, scientists and technologists are continually discovering ingenious ways to leverage AI, developing increasingly sophisticated and user-friendly hearing aids. We’re here to illuminate how this ground-breaking technology is revolutionizing hearing aids and to help you determine whether an AI hearing aid could be the perfect solution for you or a loved one. Welcome to the future of auditory assistance, where AI leads the way.

Can AI Improve Hearing?

Experimental AI Powered Hearing Aid Automatically Amplifies Who You Want to Hear

Artificial Intelligence in hearing aids is progressively transforming the world of audiology, offering many advantages that can dramatically improve a user’s auditory experience. Using advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques, AI can help hearing aids differentiate between various types of sounds and adapt automatically to different environments. This includes distinguishing speech from background noise, allowing users to focus on conversations even in noisy situations. 

Researchers from Columbia University developed a deep learning-based system that enhances speaker-specific amplification in a group. By using NVIDIA TITAN Xp GPUs, with CUDA, and the cuDNN-accelerated PyTorch deep learning framework, the team trained a deep neural network with over 30 hours of voice data to automatically distinguish speech from speakers in mixed audio. It’s a great example of private organizations leveraging artificial intelligence for innovative solutions.

Furthermore, AI hearing aids can be personalized, learning and adjusting to the user’s preferences over time for a truly tailored hearing experience. Innovations in AI are also paving the way for predictive capabilities in hearing aids, potentially allowing them to detect and warn against potential hearing problems. The integration of artificial intelligence in hearing aids thus marks a significant step forward in the realm of auditory health.

AI Hearing Aids Features

AI hearing aids come packed with a wealth of features designed to elevate the user’s auditory experience to new heights. One of the most powerful capabilities is an environmental adaptation, where the hearing aid uses AI to recognize and adapt to the sound profile of different settings, whether it’s a quiet room or a bustling city street.

Moreover, these smart hearing aids can isolate and enhance speech while suppressing background noise, making conversations in noisy places much easier to follow. With the help of machine learning, these devices learn from the user’s preferences over time, providing a highly personalized hearing experience. Some advanced models even offer predictive analytics, giving warnings about potential hearing issues.

Additionally, many AI hearing aids now connect seamlessly to smartphones, facilitating easy adjustment of settings and even enabling direct streaming of calls and music. In the next section, we will present some AI hearing aids (hearing aids that make use of artificial intelligence for some of their features).

Oticon More

Overall Impressions:

The Oticon Real stands out as a frontrunner in the high-end hearing aid category. Its unique ability to encompass the entire auditory surroundings, rather than merely focusing on human voices, makes it an attractive option for those looking for a holistic auditory experience [1].

Pricing:

On average, a pair of Oticon Real hearing aids typically costs around $6,330. However, some national providers may offer them for significantly lower prices, potentially as low as $3,198 per pair. 

Key Features:

Oticon Real showcases AI-powered sound technology, enhancing sound precision and clarity. The device is rechargeable, allowing for extended use without the worry of frequent battery replacements. It also features Bluetooth connectivity, providing seamless audio streaming capabilities, although it’s important to note that it does not support hands-free operation. The design follows the traditional behind-the-ear style, providing comfort and easy adjustments.

What Audiologists say:

According to Ramsay Poindexter, AuD, Oticon More ranks high among the best hearing aids available today. It’s viewed as a top-tier technological choice for those seeking all-round, premium-quality hearing aid solutions.

Starkey Genesis AI

Overall Impressions:

Starkey Genesis AI stands out as an exceptional hearing aid, providing the most comprehensive suite of technological features currently available in the market. This top-tier product is an excellent choice for those leading an active lifestyle and who are willing to invest in a premium device [2].

Price:

The average national price for a pair of Starkey Genesis AI hearing aids is around $6,352. However, our pricing research indicates that some providers offer prices as low as $3,198 per pair. 

Key Features:

Starkey Genesis AI takes sound assistance to the next level with AI-powered sound capabilities. It offers an array of unique features, including fitness tracking and fall detection, making it a multifunctional device beyond auditory aid. Moreover, it supports Bluetooth streaming, enriching your media consumption experiences.

What Audiologists say:

In the words of Ramsay Poindexter, AuD, the Starkey Genesis AI is not just a hearing aid; it’s a versatile smart device that aids in monitoring physical activity and overall health, reflecting its prowess in creating a comprehensive health-focused user experience.

Widex Moment Sheer

Widex Moment Sheer

Overall Impression:

The Widex Moment Sheer is underlying its commitment to its primary objective – superior sound quality. With the integration of AI and user data, this device improves over time, adjusting itself to the user’s specific needs [3].

Price:

On a national scale, the average price for Widex Moment Sheer is about $5,891 per pair. However, according to our price research, there are national providers that offer prices as low as $2,798 per pair.

Key Features:

Widex Moment Sheer stands out with its high-quality sound and practical features. It supports Bluetooth streaming, has rechargeable batteries, and prides itself on its top-tier sound quality.

What Audiologists say:

Audiologist Ramsay Poindexter, AuD, points out that Widex has garnered a loyal following, especially among musicians and sound enthusiasts, thanks to its remarkable input range and exceptional sound quality.

NuEar Savant AI 

nuear savant ai hearing aids

Overall Impression

NuEar’s Savant AI is a high-quality hearing aid that combines the latest technology with user-friendly features. Developed by one of the leading companies in hearing technology, the Savant AI device offers a highly customizable listening experience using artificial intelligence and integrated sensors. These hearing aids are designed with advanced features to provide users with a seamless, effortless, and personalized hearing experience [4].

Price:

The cost of NuEar Savant AI hearing aids could vary significantly, generally ranging from $1,500 to $3,500 per device. The exact pricing depends on various factors such as the specific model, its features, the service package included, and the pricing of the individual hearing healthcare provider. For the most current and accurate pricing, please reach out to a local authorized NuEar dealer.

Features:

One of the standout features is AI integration, which allows the device to learn and adapt to the user’s preferences and environments over time. The Savant AI hearing aids are also equipped with integrated sensors that facilitate features such as fall detection and alerts, a significant feature for older users. Moreover, the devices have direct streaming capabilities, meaning users can stream audio from their iOS and Android devices directly to their hearing aids.

Additionally, these hearing aids come with rechargeable options, providing a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to disposable batteries. Users can also use the Thrive Hearing Control app to manage and control their hearing aids directly from their smartphones. This includes adjusting the volume, changing programs, tracking hearing health, and even locating misplaced hearing aids.

What Audiologists say:

Audiologists often appreciate the advanced features provided by the NuEar Savant AI, particularly the use of artificial intelligence and integrated sensors. The AI allows for a highly personalized listening experience, as the hearing aids adapt to the user’s unique hearing needs and preferences over time.

Phonak Lumity 

Overall Impression:

Phonak Lumity is an advanced hearing solution built on the foundation of Phonak’s long-standing audiological expertise. This next-generation hearing aid uses innovative technology to address the most challenging listening situations, thus reducing listening effort for the user. Phonak Lumity’s design emphasizes reliability, durability, and a sophisticated, modern aesthetic [5].

Price:

The price for Phonak Lumity hearing aids typically ranges from $2,300 to $3,000 per device. However, it’s important to note that prices can vary significantly based on factors like the specific model, its features, the service package included, and the pricing approach of the hearing healthcare provider. 

Features:

Phonak Lumity stands out for its SmartSpeech Technology, which is a set of features adapted by AutoSense OS 5.0 to improve speech understanding and reduce listening effort in various environments. This technology benefits the wearer’s well-being by freeing up cognitive resources, as reduced listening effort has been shown to do in scientific literature. AutoSense OS 5.0, trained with artificial intelligence (AI)-based machine learning, is capable of accurately identifying a sound environment and then adapting the Lumity’s comfort and speech understanding features to match that environment. It performs 700 environmental scans per second, enabling over 200 unique settings combinations. 

What audiologists say:

Audiologists have spoken highly of the Phonak Lumity, particularly appreciating its emphasis on improved speech understanding and reduced listening effort. The AI-based AutoSense OS 5.0 is recognized as a remarkable feature for its ability to accurately and dynamically adapt to the user’s sound environment. 

ReSound LiNX Quattro 

resound linx quattro ai hearing aids

ReSound LiNX Quattro is a state-of-the-art hearing aid developed by ReSound, a Danish company known for producing high-quality hearing solutions since 1943. The LiNX Quattro is designed to offer a superior sound experience with a richer, fuller, and clearer sound, while also being easy to use and adjustable for a range of environments[6].

Price:

The price of ReSound LiNX Quattro hearing aids typically ranges between $2,500 and $3,500 per device. 

Features:

ReSound LiNX Quattro is packed with innovative features aimed at enhancing the hearing experience of the user. One of the standout features of this device is its extended high-frequency range, which can deliver richer and clearer sound experiences.The LiNX Quattro also supports direct audio streaming from iOS and Android devices, enhancing the experience of phone calls, music, and media.

The LiNX Quattro is compatible with the ReSound Smart 3D app, which allows users to customize and control their hearing aids directly from their smartphone. This includes features such as geotagging certain locations for preferred settings and the Find My Hearing Aid feature to locate lost hearing aids.In terms of AI, the LiNX Quattro employs Layered Environmental Noise Reduction technology. This AI-powered feature learns how the wearer prefers to hear in different environments and adjusts the sound processing accordingly, enhancing clarity and reducing background noise.

What audiologists say:

Audiologists often speak highly of the ReSound LiNX Quattro, citing its advanced sound quality, the extended high-frequency range, and its ability to reduce noise, especially in complex sound environments.They also appreciate the device’s AI-powered Layered Environmental Noise Reduction feature, noting how it can personalize and enhance the listening experience based on the user’s preferences and environment.

Other AI hearing Aids

Another AI hearing aid is hearing aid with artificial intelligence is made by Audibel. The Audibel Arc AI is a state-of-the-art line of hearing aids with artificial intelligence and integrated sensors. These devices are crafted to deliver superior sound quality while adapting to your lifestyle effortlessly. They provide a natural sound quality that is enhanced by AI algorithm learning and come equipped with wellness-tracking technology for monitoring your activity and engagement.

One of the standout features of Arc AI is the fall detection system that can automatically notify your loved ones in case of an accident. Additionally, these hearing aids provide a seamless streaming experience and support 2-way audio, allowing you to have hands-free conversations with iPhone and iPad devices. In terms of performance, the Arc AI hearing aids make 55 million automatic adjustments every hour to deliver optimal sound in various environments. They come in a variety of styles to fit different user needs and offer Bluetooth capabilities for wireless streaming from a smartphone or other devices.

For a personalized user experience, these hearing aids have geotagged memories that auto-switch modes based on your location, and they allow personalized control with the Thrive app for making adjustments in different listening environments. The devices are rechargeable, with up to 24 hours of superior hearing, and feature Advanced Multiflex Tinnitus Technology for providing relief from ringing in the ears. These AI hearing aids are compatible with both Android and Apple devices, offering versatility and convenience [8].

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of auditory technology is evolving rapidly, and we are standing at the beginning of a revolution driven by artificial intelligence. This transformative power of artificial intelligence is making hearing aids more effective, more personalized, and more intuitive than ever before. Whether it’s the Oticon Real’s holistic sound experience, the Starkey Genesis AI’s comprehensive tech suite, or the Widex Moment Sheer’s superior sound quality, it is genuinely changing the game.

These developments are not merely about making our lives easier or more convenient – they’re about fundamentally improving our ability to connect with the world around us. The power of artificial intelligence in hearing aids can bring the joy of music to an audiophile, allow a grandparent to hear their grandchild’s first words clearly, or enable a friend to join in a conversation in a noisy restaurant. AI hearing aids are helping us break down the barriers to communication, and that’s a powerful and inspiring thing.

Embrace this era of technological advancement as an opportunity to not just hear, but to listen, to engage, and to experience the world in all its auditory splendor. The future of hearing is here, and it’s exciting, hopeful, and within our reach. Let’s welcome the AI revolution in hearing aids and look forward to a future where everyone can experience sound in its richest, most nuanced forms. This is not just the future of technology; it’s the future of human connection.

References: 

[1] Soundly. (n.d.). Oticon Real 1. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.soundly.com/product/oticon-real-1

[2] Soundly. (n.d.). Starkey Genesis AI. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.soundly.com/product/starkey-genesis-ai

[3] Soundly. (n.d.). Widex Moment 330. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.soundly.com/product/widex-moment-330

[4] NuEar. (n.d.). Savant: Artificial Intelligence Hearing Aids. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.nuear.com/hearing-aids/technologies/savant-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids

[5] Phonak. (n.d.). Innovations. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.phonak.com/en-int/professionals/innovations

[6] Pacific Hearing Care. (n.d.). ReSound. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.pacifichearingcare.com/manufacturers/resound/#:~:text=use%20Artificial%20Intelligence%20(AI)

[8] Audibel. (n.d.). Arc AI Hearing Aid Technology. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.audibel.com/hearing-aid-technology/arc-ai/

Eleftheria Georganti
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Eleftheria's world revolves around sound - whether it's designing high-quality audio applications, crunching numbers in audio signal processing (DSP), decoding room acoustics, listening to music or crafting the latest hearing aid technology and new features. She has a professional career spanning over 15 years and a strong research record (over 40 articles and patents) and has been the driving force behind top-notch products at leading hearing aid and audio tech companies. But what really makes her enthusiastic is sharing what she knows. As an avid writer, she loves spreading the word on the science of hearing, hearing aids and health technologies. Her ultimate goal? To give people with hearing impairments the insights they need to live their best life.

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