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Manufacturers News

Manufacturers News

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doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000792696.27947.38
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Swedish smartphone accessories company Happy Plugs announced on July 27 the release of Play, headphones designed for users ages 3 to 15. Its features include a volume limit to prevent damaged hearing, based on the World Health Organization's recommendation that volume be limited to 85 dB, and Biomaster antimicrobial technology that reduces microbe growth by 99.99% (microbes can cause headphones to degrade, discolorize, and stain, as well as develop bad odor).

“We're excited to reinvent how headphones are designed for the younger audience,” said Andreas Vural, Happy Plugs’ founder. “The headphone industry has focused on meeting adult preferences and the younger user has often fallen short of the same high-quality experience. Play is made for youngsters so that they can experience entertainment while giving parents peace of mind in safety.”

Play offers 25 hours of listening for music, videos, and games (10 minutes of recharging affords another five hours) and technology that allows users to share music or movies with a friend's headphones. They're now available on Happy Plugs’ website and at its retail accounts worldwide.


Those with hearing loss who want to listen to their TVs without a separate device can do so with the help of AudioFetch Home, a solution that broadcasts audio to smartphones and tablets using the AudioFetch app, which is free and can be connected to a user's Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. Released in October 2020 in response to people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, AudioFetch Home comes with built-in WiFi or can be connected to an existing wireless network.

Setting up AudioFetch Home is simple enough to not require any special technical or AV knowledge and necessitates only three steps. First, plug AudioFetch Home into a TV, computer, or other sources of audio. Then, download the app. Lastly, connect to an appropriate wireless network. The app will instantly stream the audio, and up to four people can listen to it at the same time.

“My hearing is significantly impaired (60% loss) and I really can't understand TV programs,” said customer Galen Stanley. “But with AudioFetch Home streaming to my Bluetooth hearing aids via my iPhone, the audio is crystal clear. I use it every day.”


Hearing aid provider Unitron launched July 13 Unitron For You, a program providing low-cost hearing aids and earmolds to patients who couldn't otherwise afford them and do not qualify for Medicaid or another program to attain them. The company is partnering with health care professionals to offer these products, which are for patients aged 18 or older who must provide the correct documents to prove they meet program requirements.

“We're so happy that Unitron can help fill a great need in the community for hearing care, care,” said Sandy Brandmeier, president of Sonova U.S. Hearing Instruments, Unitron's parent organization. “As a company, we believe cost should not be a barrier to receiving quality care and life-enhancing hearing experiences. We created this program to enable patients who need assistance to receive quality hearing aids at a low cost, providing more patients access to the entire hearing care experience from start to finish.”


Kenwood Hearing Centers, a six-location audiology and hearing aid practice located in the North Bay area of San Francisco, made history in June 2021 when they took payment for a pair of hearing aids in bitcoin, the leading form of cryptocurrency. When asked why the practice decided to accept bitcoin, Adam Jasa, BC-HIS, said, “We wanted to be forward looking and just try it.” He also noted that one advantage from a business perspective is that the transaction fees are generally lower than what Visa, Mastercard, and American Express charge for credit card transactions.

Jasa is also a practice consultant with Pivot Hearing, which aims to help hearing care professionals grow their practices with fresh, relevant mentoring and execution. The Pivot Hearing team is composed of audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, and businesspeople who provide consulting and support to other practice owners based on real-world successes and learnings.

Jasa went on to say, “As practice consultants at Pivot Hearing, we use our real-world experience at our own practice to help drive innovation that we then deliver to other practice owners. Accepting cryptocurrency is just one small example of the types of adaptations we are constantly making to stay ahead of the curve in our own market.”

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