On September 11, 2017, Phonak Canada launched a new hearing aid called Audeo Beyond Direct. This hearing aid is a member of the Beyond family of hearing aids that has been out for about a year. What makes it different, is that it is the first hearing aid that is able to stream phone calls to the hearing aid from an Android phone. Made for iphone hearing aids have been around since about 2014, but no one has yet to crack the code on the Android platform until the Beyond Direct.
Some of the features you can expect as a result of Phonak’s new “AirStream” technology:
1. It can stream sound from a phone call in through the hearing aid directly without a streamer/com pilot or any middle man device. Cons: It can only stream to one hearing aid and it cannot stream music off the phone.
2. It is the first truly hands free device on the market. This means, you can leave the phone in your bag, and when it rings, you can answer the phone by pressing a button on the hearing aid. The microphone on the hearing aid picks up your voice, and streams it back to the caller so you never have to touch the phone itself. A wonderful feature if hand’s free is important.
3. You can not have both the streaming feature to the Android AND a rechargeable battery. You have to choose.
4. If you choose this hearing aid, it will not connect to any remote control or other of the Phonak accessories. However, it does come with a TV device, that you can plug into any audio system to stream music or TV to BOTH hearing aids.
This is a welcome addition for people who use their cellphone a lot for receiving phone calls. And an amazing breakthrough that will only spawn more products in the future. If you are interested in trying this product, please let our clinic know and we can set you up with a demo.