Australians are great at technology, over represented for our population size and now its headphones that are being improved. According to a report by the Hearing Care Industry Australia, around 3.6 million Australians are affected by hearing loss, with more than a third (37%) of cases being preventable, at a cost to the Australian economy of an estimated $15.9 billion, there’s clearly much work to be done.
A group of Brisbane doctors and engineers created the Audeara A-01 headphones to help prevent hearing loss and protect hearing health whilst delivering individually tailored sound. They feature the only in-built hearing test in personal headphones that has been endorsed by Australian audiologists.
In 2015 the World Health Organisation warned that some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events. We’ve all probably seen that audio warning on our phones about extended exposure to high volumes can damage hearing, then carried on anyway.
CEO and co-founder of Audeara, Dr James Fielding said, the greatest danger was that many people were not aware that they were suffering from hearing loss because they continually turn up the volume on their devices to compensate for the damage.
“Audeara’s headphones are unique thanks to the in-built, sophisticated, laboratory-grade hearing test run by app and compatible with any smart phone that lets users map the sound output of the headphones with their hearing,”
“The A-01s will identify if people have any hearing loss in either ear and use this information to create an optimised acoustic landscape.
“The calibration gets stored in the headphones themselves, so it works with any input they are attached to, to provide individually tailored sound for making phone calls, movie viewing, every day applications and of course, listening to music.”
Firmly positioned within the growing trend of ‘at home health technology’ for long term preventative tracking, Audeara was founded in 2014 by Dr Fielding and Dr Chris Jeffery while the two doctors treated patients with hearing issues in the Queensland public health system. They observed that the wait for an appointment could be six months or longer and patients were turned away because they didn’t have audiogram results.
The doctors became determined to make hearing tests quicker and more accessible, so they created a medical-grade, inexpensive and easy-to-use audiogram that could be put inside headphones – then calibrated by Bluetooth to be operated by any smart phone.
Dr Fielding and his Audeara co-founders are driven by a focus on hearing education, preservation and wellness.
“With a growing number of 30 year old’s having the same hearing health that you would expect in 60 year old’s based primarily on lifestyle factors, products such as Audeara headphones can prevent further hearing loss by making the sound better rather than louder, which prevents the ongoing cycle of hearing damage.”
“Importantly, the A-01 headphones can be worn with hearing aids and cochlear implants so people who are managing damaged hearing and those who are preventing hearing loss can use the increasingly popular device.”
Already purchased and being enjoyed by over 2000 buyers around the world thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the Audeara headphones cost A$499 and can be purchased online at Audeara.com. The headphones are also stocked in 70 Attune Hearing clinics around Australia.