Phonak unveils Virto Black at CES: a fully-connected hearing aid shaped like a hearable

If the hearing aid industry will not react swiftly (and technology and prices are only parts of this reaction), then it will simply disappear (a sizeable percentage will anyway) because they are attacked by low end will-be-competitors in the USD 400 range, such as the people like Nuheara

Yes I know that they are not providing FDA-approved hearing aids, but the separating barriers will melt down into grey areas quite soon… Imagine: 5’000 USD against 400 USD…

Well those hearing aids will only be good for the very mild to moderate hearing loss. They will not work for of us that have a severe or profound hearing loss, or for the ones of us that have a hard to fit hearing loss. And I predict that most that get them will find that they do not fully help them and will end up with the real thing. But I am hoping that they do not cause a lot of the people to end up with even worse hearing loss due to being miss fit of those things.

Which probably is the majority of people.

And don’t forget: some low-price attackers will move the technical boundaries (between the 2 classes of providers) quickly upwards, because they want to “eat” into the higher price segments. Which definitively cannot stay in the several thousand USD range.

Therefore not many classical suppliers will survive. Phonak admittedly will be one of them, but compare the Ericsson phone business with that of Apple…

No, as we say in Germany: no stone will stay on the other…

EDIT:
And triggered (not caused) by just the introduction of a new bluetooth.

We are already seeing the hearing aids company merge together which is not that good for any of use that need hearing aids. We will end up not having that much choose of hearing aids for the ones that are hard to fit. I for one have hearing issues that are not fit by some of the companies. Hopefully I will net live long enough to see the hearing aid companies go the way that so many other companies have gone. The more we lose our companies the less jobs are available.
The problem with this whole world is we want something for nothing but we will only work for the highest possible salary. We for get the more we make in our jobs the more we have to pay for what we get. I am also retired so I fully understand the facts that I now longer get pay raises that mean anything. But people that make the goods and devices that we consume don’t work do it as a hobby and they too have to make a living. And I have learned something else over the years you get what you pay for, so if you buy cheap stuff you get cheap useless stuff. You buy something worth something you end up keeping it a lot longer and end the long room you end up paying less.

We hope that this will be a misperception…

Thankfully not true. Look at Apple, just to give one example. The present Apple, to be clear…

Sometimes, but not always. I remember to what my notebook did cost in the 80ties… And what it was able to do…

We probably share our ages, and I’ve learned: Don’t be euphemistic, but also don’t be too pessimistic…

Well I like plenty of choose, and even thought I use Apple devices at this time it was not my first choice. My reasoning is because that the iPhone worked with the hearing aids that worked the best for my needs. But now there are other aids that I am hoping will work for my hearing needs that will not be limited to just apple or android but both. You see I hate being limited to one hearing aid and one phone choice. I personally do not want to see any of the companies go under. We need them all. And to be honest I hate big companies like Apple, Microsoft, and some of the others they take choices away from us. We have lost most of our small companies that really do the best new products. The bigger companies lose their capacity to really come up with new workable products. They just keep doing the same old thing over and over again. So I believe that cheaper hearing aids are great if they are set up by real hearing professionals. I have seen people lose their health and even lives by self medicating. And hearing aids if not correctly setup will end up destroying peoples hearing even more so than is the normal age related hearing loss.

1 Like

Implementation is likely late 2021 at best. I’m guessing 2022 or later is more likely.

1 Like

Another aspect is that some companies are aiming for a particular profit margin and if they can no longer maintain that profit margin they will simply close their doors and go on to something else.

Then we all are worse off because of it.

1 Like

@cnicklo The Marvels have been out since late 2018 and are still, as far as I know, the only aids that work directly with android phones.

I wholeheartedly agree!

Imho these are too expensive to be considered hearables (and no ai voice activation, nor push buttons), and too big to be considered hearing aids.

1 Like

Both “too expensive” and “too big” are very subjective terms. YMMV

1 Like

They really are just hearing aids and will be the size of a ITE half shell or full shell hearing aids. All custom aids are expensive

2 Likes

Marvel’s are only hearing aids to work with Android phones (in general) is accurate, but Resound Quattro will work with Pixel 3 and 4 series and at least some of the most recent Samsung phones.

1 Like

And if I read the information correctly the resound Quattro will work with the iPhone too.

@MDB Yes, you’re right, the Quattro is the first hearing aid to work with the Made for Android standard using Bluetooth 5.0 BLE and Android 10. I’m sure this will become more common this year. I believe, although I haven’t been able to confirm, that like Made for Apple it is one way streaming, and that the user still needs to speak into the phone mic. Marvels have a mic in the HA, since they use classic bluetooth, not BLE (low energy). I wonder if the Costco versions - I think the Preza - will work with Android.

Everything I’ve heard suggests that the Quattro and ASHA standard just supports one way streaming. Sounds like the new Bluetooth 5.2 LE standard will support 2 way, but I think that will likely be a couple of years before it’s available.

But it is the only one which allows 2-way streaming (iPhone, Android, etc).

By 2 way streaming I meant hands free phone calls that allow using the hearing aid microphones. Only the Marvel has that. The Reound Quattro can stream from both iPhone and Android. It can’t stream directly from Windows like Marvel can unless one uses ancillary device.

1 Like