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New Hearing Aids, iPhone Apps, Tech Mean More Hearing-Loss Options--but Also New Struggles


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A human ear.

The variety of low-cost products for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss is expected to increase as a result of a new law.

Credit: Getty Images

Today's hearing aids range from extremely small in-ear devices and "hearables" that look like wireless earphones to iPhone apps that work with standard earbuds.

The variety of low-cost products for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss is expected to increase due to a new law that would allow for the purchase of over-the-counter hearing aids without a visit to the audiologist.

Many hearing aids leverage the processing power of smartphones to allow wearers to adjust their hearing to different settings.

Hearing-aid company Signia's Brian Taylor said, "The real value of machine learning and neural networks is that it allows people more automation and the ability to make personalized adjustments through their hearing-aid apps at any time."

However, even after selecting a hearing aid, it can be difficult to get older people, in particular, to use the apps, which provide them with the full benefits of sound customization.

From The Wall Street Journal
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