Alango Technologies, a leading independent supplier of DSP voice and audio enhancement software technologies for the communication industry, announced the release of a new, advanced version of its BeHear.ACCESS hearing amplification headset.
ACCESS is a hearable that provides personalized hearing amplification users can self-tune in real time via the companion app. ACCESS looks like a standard Bluetooth headset, but the device is powered by Alango Technologies proprietary audio enhancement and customization software, giving users hearing aid quality technology at a fraction of the cost. ACCESS belongs to the BeHear line of smart hearing amplifiers, designed to help those with mild-to-moderately-severe hearing loss hear better during face-to-face conversations, mobile and video calls, and when listening to music and sounds in nature.
This already sophisticated product received an upgrade that added hyper-advanced hearing aid functionality: 3 features that are normally found only in top-of-the-line hearing aids. Users can define the direction from which to amplify and clarify important sounds, as well as the extent to which they hear their own voice. Additionally, people with unilateral or “single-sided” hearing will benefit from new CROS/BiCROS functionality, which transfers sounds from the non-hearing side to the hearing ear.
Advanced hearing aid functionality: SoundFocus™ for better understanding of speech in noise
Difficulty understanding conversation in noisy environments is a widespread problem. Standard hearing amplifiers increase the volume of all sounds. SoundFocus, on the other hand, adds a new level of customization on top of the existing ACCESS background noise reduction feature. Users can now define which sounds will be amplified by choosing amongst three degrees of directionality:
- “Narrow” focuses in on sound directly in front of the user. This setting is best for one-on-one conversations, especially in noisy environments.
- “Wide” amplifies sound in a 180-degree half-circle in front of the wearer. It is useful when larger groups are conversing.
- “Omni” collects important sounds from all directions, suitable for example, when outdoors or at a concert.
Advanced hearing aid functionality: alleviating the “My Voice Echoes” perception
A typical downside of wearing any pair of earbuds is the “occlusion effect”; a perceived echo of your own voice when your ear canal is sealed. BeHear.ACCESS offers maximum comfort with a new feature in the W&H BeHear app that allows users to control how much of their own voice they hear.
Advanced hearing aid functionality: support for unilateral hearing (CROS/BiCROS)
Features correcting for unilateral hearing loss are typically found only in high-end hearing aids. Many people avoid using hearing aids due to their high cost, social stigma, difficulty in tuning them, etc. Implementing CROS/BiCROS in BeHear.ACCESS provides those with single-sided hearing the ability to choose this hearable, rather than being limited to hearing aids as a solution.
When activated, the function takes effect for all ACCESS hearing modes: Personal Hearing, Mobile Calls, and Audio Play. Sound from the non-hearing side is transferred to the speaker in the ear bud of the hearing ear. Streamed stereo audio is mixed automatically down to mono and reproduced in the functional ear, thus allowing people to enjoy the full sound spectrum without missing out on sounds that would have fallen on the damaged ear.
Technology can help overcome our bodies’ limitations
“Hearing well in noisy environments is always a challenge, but especially so for those with hearing loss,” says Dr. Alexander Goldin, Founder and CEO of Alango Technologies. “We are democratizing hearing, making even advanced features like CROS/BiCROS available in a hearable that is affordable and easy to use. This is deeply satisfying.”
About Alango Technologies
Alango Technologies, Ltd. has been developing sound enhancement technologies since 2002, selling over 60 million software licenses that improve the audio experience in automotive, entertainment, and smart home applications around the world. Realizing the importance and opportunity of combining the sound enhancement technology found in hearing aids with the advances and costs in the consumer electronics world, the Company is now using its field-proven expertise in sound technology to create products for personal hearing enhancement: the “BeHear” product line.
Also published online on MarketWatch.