ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid and iOS App Connect Users to Their Audiologists for Remote Fine-Tuning

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Danish hearing aid company GN Hearing today announced the newest iteration of its IoT hearing aid solution, called the ReSound LiNX 3D, as well as new apps for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

    The major update to GN's new hearing care solution is a way for users to get their hearing aids remotely fine-tuned by their audiologist after an initial fitting at their local clinic, through a cloud-based infrastructure called ReSound Smart Fit. The original ReSound LiNX allowed users to adjust their own settings on the fly, but now they can request assistance wherever they are directly from the mobile app, and their doctor can make all the adjustments necessary "to provide a better hearing experience for the user."

    The ReSound LiNX 3D includes GN Hearing's 5th generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology and 3rd generation binaural directionality, providing users with "clear, natural sound, exceptional speech understanding and the best sense of where sounds are coming from." The company said that the hearing aid's advantages lie in both quiet and speech-only situations, as well as times when surrounding sounds are loud and the aid optimizes audibility of speaking voices.

    The original ReSound LiNX launched with a unique 2.4 GHz protocol as well, developed in careful conjunction with Apple as a way to create a specific link between the hearing aid and iPhone devices. This technology enabled the first LiNX -- and now the new LiNX 3D -- to support a smarter system that could turn off and on quickly to save battery life, as well as geofencing abilities to intelligently detect where a user is and adapt to the corresponding new environment change with no intervention from the user.

    When connected to the new apps on iPhone and Apple Watch, users will be able to access custom control features for the hearing aid, built-in guidance steps to understand the hardware and software, and coaching assistance to get the most out of the system. When compared to competitors, the company said that the ReSound LiNX 3D and companion app are up to 50 percent better at identifying speech across various environments, enable users to hear up to 80 percent more of the sounds around them, and enable users to understand up to 40 percent more speech in noise.

    GN Hearing will launch the ReSound LiNX 3D, as well as a hearing aid with similar features under its sister brand Beltone, around the world later in 2017. No more information was given in today's announcement, but the company encouraged anyone interested to keep track of announcements surrounding the ReSound LiNX 3D by visiting its website.

    Article Link: ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid and iOS App Connect Users to Their Audiologists for Remote Fine-Tuning
  2. 2010mini macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2013
  3. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Probably not cheap.
    But, it seems to be one of the better hearing aids, I have a few family members with hearing problems and all of them have problems with surrounding sound.
    They might have a better experience with these ones and remotely adjusting them by professionals is convenient so they don't have to go out of the door, just a call and a re(adjustment will do.
  4. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    About a year ago, my 85 y/o mother bought a ReSound hi-amplification model with Linx2 (ca 5k$ out of pocket w/no insurance reimbursement), and while the unit itself has been good the MFi integration and the app have both been poor.

    Seems my mom has to make a 70 mile r/t visit every 1.5 months to her audiologist to fiddle with some fool thing.

    In daily use:
    - if she is on her iPhone 6 speakerphone, just a walk halfway across the room causes the BT connection to drop and reset interrupting the call for all others listening (disconnecting the BT antenna is no help as that interrupts connectivity to her Apple Watch);
    - the geofence functionality that was expected of shifting to different profiles is also disappointing as the device doesn't recognize movement to shift into car mode or reliably shift into and out of other modes;
    - finally the ReSound app is clunkier and much less intuitive than those of their competition (the Starky was much better on all these fronts, but they didn't have an aid with adequate amplification for her.)

    I would caution anybody considering a big ticket purchase like this to carefully try out prospective aides and see if they live up to the advertising.
  5. macgabe macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2012
    A relative got hearing aids couple of years ago. Standard age-related loss of hearing mid 70s.

    I. Cannot. Believe. How. Expensive. These. Things. Are.

    Well in the $6000 / £5000 bracket, basically for a pair of earbuds. She can't even tune them herself - has to go to the specialist.

    If ever there was a rip-off market ripe for disruption this is it. No wonder only about 20% of people who need hearing aids wear them.

    It has completely changed our communications. No more smiling and nodding or getting the wrong end of the stick. Despite their expense they are worth every penny. But still they should cost a tenth of the price.

    If you have the money and you're in that age group I really recommend you get your hearing checked out. She had no idea what she had been missing. No-one sees them and she finds them no hassle to wear.
  6. loftiness macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2011
    As some one working in this field, yea we all wish they are much cheaper than what they cost right now. UX front I can't really say any of the major manufactures have significant leg up over competitions (saying this without badmouthing my own team). Connection problems are common just because the antenna is so small and human body is a big block of radio absorbing water.

    Good news is personal hearing devices (not FDA approved hearing aids) are getting better at much cheaper prices, think 500 or under. they might be ok for mild loss, but real hearing aids properly fitted still do sound better and do make a world of difference in communication (think anti-Alzheimer's and dementia). On the other hand, there are also places to get hearing aids for cheaper at places like Costco (2k vs 6k).
  7. Hearing Tracker macrumors newbie

    Hearing Tracker

    Apr 3, 2017
    This is actually great news. Signia just announced an update to their remote fine tuning solution, dubbed TeleCare™ 2.0, but it only has four gain handles. Having full control of all possible frequency bands, and other fine tuning options (compression, etc), sounds pretty great!
  8. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    As someone who is young and wears hearing aids, I was initially excited about the MFi integration that came out a few years back -- coincidentally right when I was getting my first pair. However, my more rational side prevailed and I decided to go with a "traditional" (non-bluetooth) hearing aid and I'm glad I did.

    The main benefit of the MFi hearing aids (other than that you can listen to audio from your phone directly through the hearing aids) is that you can adjust the sound characteristics through an app and also have it default to certain settings when you go to certain places (with Location Services enabled on the phone, of course). While that sounds cool, I've found in practice that if I need to turn up or turn down the sound, I can simply reach up and tap a button on the back of each of my hearing aids. That takes two seconds. I'm glad I didn't shell out the extra cash for the MFi-certified model a few years ago.

    Audiologists being able to make adjustments remotely is a nice perk of these new models (and it seems like a more practical application); but like everything else when it's new, I'm sure there will be bugs that need to be worked out. Maybe my next pair will be MFi-certified; but for now, I'm happy with what I have.
  9. threluja macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    Been using hearing aids with bluetooth and rechargeable batteries for 4 years now. They are great but integral MFI if it works would be a game changer. Wasn't that impressed with the original ones so hopefully they've moved on a bit.

    And yes they are stupidly expensive for what they are. Bare in mind also that they last about 8-10 years tops providing you keep them serviced regularly. I've done nearly £10k on them since I started really needing them for life (aged 27 thanks to Ménière's disease).

    Can't do without them but it does really annoy me that so many companies take the p out of people that are needy.

    Hearing aids need to be as cheap as a high quality pair of ITE headphones. It's ridiculous how much they are.

    Still remote adjustment and manual adjustment all sound good.
  10. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Given that apple's buds, pods, etc already have much of the hardware and some (in cases more) functionality than hearing aids, I can see this as a future business for Apple to enter and disrupt. The sooner the better!
  11. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010

    I work at a nonprofit that operates a clinic (not as an audiologist), and I can say with confidence they are far, far more advanced than an earbud, event Apple's newest version. They have multiple sound processing chips with custom hardware and software. I agree, they are expensive, but saying they are like a pair of earbuds is like comparing a Smart Car with a Ferrari.
  12. threluja macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    Its just a pcb, dsp or not, they are not worth what is charged for them.
  13. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010
    The audiologists I work with seem agree this will take some time. Older users may have other medical problems that won't get corrected unless they seen an ENT or audiologist. Hearing loss also isn't all the same and software won't be able to figure that out.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2017 ---
    Well a Mac is just a CPU, RAM, SSD, and a PSU. Listing component cost doesn't tell you the real market value of a product. I agree they are expensive, but you're buying a lot more than an earbud. You are probably also referring to the "bundled" cost as well, which would include a service contract and other extras. We have hearing aids with a list price of under $500 without any service contract.
  14. macgabe macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2012
    Interesting, how would they then compare to say, the AirPods, which do have software, noise-cancelling, Siri, chips etc? I'm honestly interested (I've no knowledge in this field) in why something like the AirPods couldn't be repurposed as hearing aids.
  15. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010
    Hearing aids generally have multiple directional mics that can locate sound and either reduce it or amplify it. Newer PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products) are starting to do this as well. In addition to being fully programmable by an audiologist (who will test your hearing to figure out what frequencies you are missing, etc), they also pack in other tech like telecoil compatibility. A major concern for audiologists is that people will buy cheap PSAPs that just amplify everything and it will cause further damage.

    I think the biggest difference is really the custom programming. If a cheap product is amplifying sound in a frequency you already can hear and not the frequency you can't, it's not really doing anything. A hearing aid is tuned specifically for your hearing loss (which could be totally different than someone else's). Not to mention if there's something else causing your hearing loss, smart software can't tell you that, whereas an audiologist could refer you to an ENT.
  16. macgabe macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2012
    Thanks, tuning really seems to be a major factor. I know in my relative's case she was very pleased for that to be done by the audiologist rather than herself on an app, so I guess she was getting something for the money. I did wonder if the hearing aids might cause extra damage. Especially if they transfer one unhearable frequency to a hearable one - don't know if they do that though, must sound weird.
  17. loftiness macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2011
    Hearing aids go through fairly rigorous FDA approval process to make sure that kind of damage doesn't occur, part of the reason for the high price. And actually what you described, frequency shifting is one of the features you can enable, sometimes people need to relearn how to hear.

    also... battery life: AirPods or any wireless earbuds (Bragi, Here, Samsung etc.) < 5hrs. Most hearing aids run on tiny Zinc Air coin battery that last at least a week. Recent rechargeable hearing aids run about 24hrs.

    btw, AirPods do have dual mics to pick up sound directionally, as well as noise reduction, like most advanced hearing aids. After using mine for a few month now I have to say exterior build quality is entirely another level above any hearing aids.
  18. threluja macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    Still not worth anything near what they cost. The hearing aid market needs a disruption, been a nice little earner for far too long. Like spectacles/glasses needs some good quality low cost entrants as the market is ripe for it.
  19. alxyz macrumors newbie


    Jul 26, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2017 ---
    I almost ordered top name hearing aids from a private audiologist for $6000 luckily I found the same pair at Costco for $1800.

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18 April 3, 2017