I would definitely say that I am a hearing aid tech Geek! I find the progress in hearing aids to be amazing. I read all of my hearing journals, I stay on top of the newest advances and I believe in my heart that I help improve lives through better hearing. My family gets to regularly hear, in detail, all about these new advances (which I am sure they love). When I first started in the field of audiology, the only adjustments we could make on hearing aids were with a tiny screwdriver to adjust bass, treble and other minor tweeks. Back then, hearing aids had volume controls because they were not smart enough to automatically adjust to sounds that were too loud or too soft. Then hearing aids became adjustable on a computer. Wow! I thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, hearing aids are fully automatic, digitally programmable at each frequency and can determine if a sound is speech or noise and adjust accordingly. We have come a long way since I first became an Audiologist.
But on March 31st, something changed in the hearing aid world. Something that has made this hearing aid Geek very excited! That is when Starkey released the Halo™. The Halo is a made for iPhone® hearing aid engineered to be compatible with iPhone, iPad® and iPod® touch through the TruLink app. This hearing aid will change how we incorporate better hearing into the ever changing world of technology that we live in. As sappy as it sounds, Halo is everything I’ve ever dreamed a hearing aid could be. It is Starkey’s state-of-the-art technology, which I’ve come to know and rely on for my patients. Yet, it also combines iPhone technology, which many of my patients also rely on (quite heavily I might add). Apple and Starkey have partnered to create the simplest, most personalized hearing aids ever.
The Halo has some amazing features. It allows pristine audio streaming of any music or media played through an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Now you can stream music, movies, phone calls and FaceTime calls directly to your hearing aids! Listening becomes effortless. The Halo also allows listeners to personalize and geotag memories to match what they do and where they go. This means that when you walk into Starbucks, you can adjust your hearing aid through the TruLink app and then every time you walk into that Starbucks again, the aid will change memories automatically based on how you liked the sound before. It can even sense when you are driving in your car and adapt automatically while your car is moving! I can’t tell you how often my patients misplace or lose their hearing aids. One of the greatest features of the Halo is a Find My Hearing Aid feature that can help find a hearing aid that has been lost! How amazing is that?!
My 16 year old son tells me that being a hearing aid technology Geek isn’t that cool. But when I told him about the Halo, even he admits that this hearing aid is really cool! Does that indirectly make me cooler too? Probably not.
Dr. Shannon Gibbons