These Speakers Fire Focused Beams of Ultrasound for the Hard of Hearing
As the culture of listening to music has transformed from large sound systems to tiny portable devices, and from simple headsets to earmuff-like surround sound, our ears have been taking a hit. Turtle Beach’s director of communications, MacLean Marshall recently spoke with Tim Moynihan from Wired on his own hearing loss and the latest tech that keeps the hard of hearing in mind.
At age 40, Marshall was diagnosed with early onset hearing loss. “It’s not that you can’t hear, it’s that you have trouble understanding what people are saying” Marshall tells Moynihan. As Marshall describes, early onset hearing loss is comparable losing every few words in a paragraph you wish to read: it can still be read, but it doesn’t make much sense.
HyperSound is an ultrasound audio system meant to improve the listening experience for the hard of hearing without blasting audio levels. The system uses a directional method, meaning you have to stand in the line of hearing to get the best sound. As Moynithan writes, “The surface area of the emitter units is basically the size of the audio zone, and they fire audio straight out without degradation at distances up to 25 feet.” HyperSound is meant to be added to sound systems you already have at home, allowing the sound quality to be sharper without needing to be louder.
At $1,600, the system is currently only available with permission from a hearing healthcare specialist, but Turtle Beach is contemplating bringing the sound system to store shelves. Marshall hopes this product will entice individuals with hearing loss to get a hearing aid for all listening experiences. “Our hope is that if somebody gets this, they’ll kind of realize what they’re missing out of the house. They’ll probably be more inclined to get a hearing aid,” says Marshall.
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