STAEFA, SWITZERLAND — This spring, Sonova confirmed that it would soon be releasing 2.4 GHz direct-to-iPhone hearing aids and cochlear implants. However, in recent weeks there have been rumors that the technology about to be released by the company was going to be “game-changing” for the industry and somehow different than Sonova’s major competitors, like GN ReSound and William Demant.
Yesterday, Phonak confirmed the rumors and officially unveiled the Audeo B-Direct hearing aid–which not only can direct stream from an iPhone, but will also connect to Android devices as well.
Audeo B-Direct: Hearing Aid Made for Android, iPhone or Any Phone
Unlike like its closest competitors that use 2.4 GHz technology, the new Audeo B-Direct utilizes the new proprietary SWORD™ (Sonova Wireless One Radio Digital) chip that enables the aids to connect to “any phone”, as well as provide ear-to-ear communication, using only one single radio technology. This means that the Audeo B Direct can connect to iPhone, Android and even classic cell phones that have Bluetooth capability.
“With the Audeo B-Direct, we’re now breaking barriers to accessibility and connectivity. Audeo B-Direct also works similar to a wireless headset. We’re giving more hearing aid wearers access to proven Belong technology without limiting them to a single cell phone, manufacturer, or operating system. This is a true game-changer for our industry.” –Thomas Lang, Senior Vice President of Phonak Marketing
The company says the new B-Direct aids will be offered in 3 technology levels and work with a new smartphone app.
New Phonak Tech Gives Company Competitive Edge
While Sonova will be the last of the major hearing aid manufacturers to offer 2.4 GHz direct streaming capable hearing aids, including Android direct stream capability will certainly give the company an edge over its competitors.
The devices are expected to be officially released for sale in the coming weeks.