- Published on 23 March 2021
The reality that hearing aid stigma may best be vanquished by using a form factor that resembles trendy earbuds seems to be dawning. The WS Audiology brand, Signia, is the latest to announce a fashionable shape for its technology.
Back in January 2020 (before panic over a certain spiky virus drowned all talk of developing trends and paradigm shifts), Sonova announced its Phonak Virto Marvel Black, a custom-fit earbud-shaped hearing aid that looked as cool as any snugly-nestled hi-tech brand personal wireless listening earpiece. In other words, camouflage: a hearing aid in the shape of an earbud can make you look just like a well-conected tech savvy dude or dudess, triggering no embarrassing associations with hearing loss.
Now it is Signia that is bud-wiser, its Active X hearing aid resembling just another earbud. Says the brand, it can ˝be worn comfortably all day for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss˝, and the ˝earbud form factor allows wearers to pop them in and out as needed for those with normal hearing but who may have difficulty hearing in certain environments˝.
Furthermore, WS is smart in also getting the jump on the urge among those noticing hearing loss to think about the kind of amplification device offered by the coming over-the-counter revolution in hearing devices. ˝Signia Active is also ideal for consumers considering the basic over-the-counter hearables that ultimately fail to sufficiently improve one’s hearing. Signia Active performs like an industry-best hearing aid, yet looks like the familiar earbuds that are increasingly ubiquitous in today's world,” reads the press release from the Denmark-based brand.
So, are we now going to see the majority of hearing aids produced in a form factor that breaks with traditional design to mirror the streetwise earpiece? Barring technical reasons why not to foment that shift, it looks like finally eliminating the stigma would give manufacturers plenty of incentive.
"Signia Active isn’t just a new product. It’s an entirely new category of hearing device that allows our hearing care professionals to reach a new, untapped, and unserved category of wearer,” stated Dr. Tish Ramirez, Vice President of Professional Relations and Product Management. “Consumers want hearing aids that are disguised as earbuds – that improve their hearing without the stigma. Signia Active delivers on this need by providing users with a device that looks as good as it performs.”
Active X features a lithium-ion rechargeable battery; a convenient, portable charging case; Qi charging technology; and Bluetooth connectivity for easy-streaming. It can use ClickSleeves 2.0 technology to enable a quick fit, while ensuring the hearing aids remain firmly and comfortably in place, says Signia.