Shifting Sands of Hearing Aids and Hearables

Ear-level electronic devices are on shifting ground.  FDA aside, what defines a “hearing aid” these days?  They are sophisticated, computer-based, ear-level, binaural, Bluetooth-enabled devices with storage and automatic programming capability.  They’re poised for far more than amplification, noise reduction, and feedback control. If you accept that functional definition of today’s hearing aids, what’s left to…

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Hearing Aid Prices — Going Up? Going Down?

The average Price of hearing aids began rising faster than inflation in 1994 when the first truly differentiated product entered the market.  In contrast, Price  kept pace with inflation for traditional instruments, which tumbled into a new niche of “low end” products (see title figure). What does this mean? More Economic Stuff (what you’ve been…

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Hearing Technology Patent Fights

Last year’s top Hearing Economics post  listed some US patents granted in the hearing industry. The list may have stimulated readership, so another cherry-picked list of recent patents will show up in next week’s post and will be updated every few months.  In the meantime, today’s post looks at the exciting afterlife of patents in…

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