Hundreds of thousands of hearing aid wearers soon will be able to participate in rock-and-roll history when legendary rock band Styx broadcasts the final show of its U.S. summer tour directly to their hearing aids. This world’s first live broadcast will take place at approximately 9:38 p.m. EDT on Aug. 22 when audio engineers will capture the live concert feed directly from Styx’s soundboard and deliver it via a dedicated website to wearers of Oticon Opn hearing aids. Listeners wearing this device will receive in real time the exact same audio feed the live audience will hear at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J.
The live audio broadcast is designed to illustrate the high-tech capabilities of a new generation of Internet-connected hearing aids that are transforming from sound amplification tools into wearable personal productivity and entertainment devices.
More than 48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss. Ironically, some of that damage could have been sustained by listening to loud rock and roll during their lifetimes. As more rock fans age, hearing aids-and especially Internet-connected ones-will become ubiquitous and an obvious way for consumers to connect and engage with just about any Internet-enabled device. In that respect, they might ultimately become the wearable technology of choice, providing a convenient way to enhance and engage with both physical and virtual worlds.
“It’s estimated that only 20 percent of people who could benefit from hearing aids seek help, with many waiting up to 10 years before they purchase a hearing aid,” said Sheena Oliver, an audiologist and Vice President for Oticon. “By partnering with Styx and their millions of loyal fans, we’re helping to take the stigma out of hearing aids and allowing people with hearing loss to enjoy a quality of sound they may not have experienced since their youth.”
Oticon’s family of Internet-connected hearing aids can communicate directly with a full range of connected devices. Wearers can listen to TV; connect with doorbells, smoke detectors, and other smart devices; and even get the weather-all through their hearing aids. At the same time, these small, discreet hearing aids deliver a more natural, clear, and open sound, enabling wearers to more easily listen and participate in conversations in crowded, noisy environments such as restaurants, public venues, or even live rock concerts. In fact, Opn hearing aids have been shown to boost speech understanding by 30 percent*, while reducing listening effort by 20 percent* and remembering more of conversations by 20%.*
Oticon Opn hearing aid wearers interested in experiencing this event should contact their local hearing care professional to receive instructions and login credentials for the password-protected audio feed. Opn wearers must have an iPhone to connect.