Hearing machines | From animal horns to digital technology
In their modern form, all electronic devices used to treat hearing loss are commonly known as hearing aids. But for a lot of first-timers learning about this technology, hearing aids are often described in a variety of other terms ranging from the ‘hearing aid machine’ to the ‘ear hearing machine.’ They all, however, refer to the same thing: hearing loss technology.
This case of hearing aids versus hearing machines is a reminder of the evolution for both the technology and the terminology that goes back hundreds of years. Join us in this discussion as we unpack the remarkable history of different ‘hearing machines,’ their evolution until today, and how they’re increasingly accessible to the millions of people around the world who suffer from hearing loss.
Hearing devices: from animal horns to ear trumpets
The earliest devices for hearing loss were both external and monaural, meaning they could only be used for one ear at a time. Dating back to as early as the 13th century, people have looked for clever ways to amplify sound and alleviate any form of hearing loss. It’s a colorful history that includes:
- Natural materials: From hollowed out animal horns to seashells, people utilized the materials available around them to provide a basic solution for the hard of hearing.
- Ear trumpets: Starting in the 1600s, the “ear trumpet” became society’s first attempt at inventing a specialized device to treat hearing loss. Funnel-shaped and clunky, they were not all that effective but little improved until the late 1800s.
- Electric revolution: The invention of electricity and the telephone signaled a dramatic shift for hearing machines, laying the foundation for all future electronic hearing devices and sound amplification.
- Vacuum tube technology: Together with ever-improving and smaller batteries, hearing machines that used vacuum tubes made devices more convenient and portable while also amplifying sound much louder.
- The transistor: This analog technology allowed for hearing machines, for the first time, to become tinier and more discreet. With a transistor, one device could include multiple settings, which gave birth to the In-The-Ear and Behind-The-Ear designs that are still evolving today.
- The digital wave: The latest iteration began in the 1990s with Digital Signal Processing (DSP), and the results can be found in today’s groundbreaking hearing devices. Just like the Audientes Ven, today’s hearing machines are on the cutting-edge with stylish, Bluetooth-enabled, water-resistant and self-fitting technology.
From cow horns to fully-digital electronics, our journey with hearing machines has been a constant pursuit of pioneering better technology for those with mild to severe hearing loss. Lucky for us, there’s no better time in history than now to find industry-leading hearing aids that meet your precise needs.
Sustainable technology, sustainable goals
Finding the best hearing aids has long required in-person access to hearing specialists. This also meant that, whether for one or both ears, hearing machine prices were often expensive and inaccessible for the millions of people who live in rural parts of the world. If hearing loss goes untreated, it’s also known to lead to a number of mental, physical and economic challenges.
At Audientes, our primary focus is to break through these barriers. That’s why we pledged to align all our products with three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
- Alleviating hearing loss and economic hardship. We believe that treating hearing loss is the first step in bringing new opportunities in terms of jobs, economic autonomy, human connections, education and more.
- Mitigating mental and physical challenges. For SDG #3, finding solutions for hearing loss also brings extensive health-related benefits. With it comes a lower risk of dementia, anxiety and depression, plus increased situational awareness and fall detection.
- Decreasing exclusion from the labor market and society. Lastly, treatment for hearing loss should not depend on where you live or if you can access an audiologist. Better hearing leads to less exclusion from both the labor market and society at large.
From India to the United States, we’re using the latest technology and digital solutions to make do-it-yourself hearing machines available to anyone, anywhere. In other words, we’re committed to bringing a trustworthy digital alternative to traditional healthcare services.
Adjusting to a new global norm
No matter where you live, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reshape the world around us—and this includes access to much-needed hearing solutions.
With varying Covid restrictions in every country, people that needed a hearing machine were not able to visit a hearing clinic because of the potential risks to their health. And, as mentioned before, many people in remote parts of the world have never had access to quality audiologists. So, what can be done within healthcare technology to more effectively serve the public?
The rapid rise in hearing loss globally means bold action needs to be taken, and the Audientes team is already pushing towards:
- Self-fitting technology for anyone to easily access self-guided and professional hearing tests without having to visit a doctor.
- Global accessibility through innovative over-the-counter and e-commerce platforms and online access to a resident audiologist.
Let’s look at this in relation to India, a country of over 1.3 billion people. The largest remaining obstacle for those with hearing disabilities is access to nearby treatment, where only one out of every half million people has access to an audiologist.
The Audientes approach is undoubtedly changing this. With universal self-fitting devices and online access, our hearing machine price in India, from Mumbai to New Delhi and beyond, is only a fraction of most other prescription-only hearing aids. It’s an exciting time in the world of hearing health treatment.
Finding a hearing machine near me
Fortunately, taking care of your specific needs—from the smallest hearing machine to the best hearing aid machine in India—is easier than ever. The Audientes team, in particular, is making sure geography no longer stands in the way, and the all-new Ven is ready to come to you via home delivery or your nearest Audientes Experience Center.
More affordable hearing aids are coming onto the market. Learn what’s causing the shift–and features to look for when making a purchase.
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