Hearing aids have come a long way, and the new iHEAR HD is said to be the "world's first high-quality hearing aid you customize and fine-tune at home." The idea behind the aid, created by iHEAR Medical, a California-based startup, is to save consumers time and thousands of dollars.
The patented device is the size and weight of a kidney bean and is easily programmed for a number of hearing loss types, including including flat, reverse slopes, high frequency, mild and moderate to moderately-severe losses. It is not meant for those with severe hearing loss.
It comes with a USB device and is adjustable to personal preference using the iHEAR online tools.
In the past, hearing aids ordered online or via snail mail were widely considered ineffective, while the high-quality ones easily cost users thousands of dollars. A single iHEAR HD Device is currently offered for $199 via Indiegogo and includes a one-month supply of batteries and seal tips.
Another cool part of the campaign? iHEAR is offering a free unit to an economically disadvantaged individual for every hearing device ordered. The company is working with Hearing For All and other hearing advocacy groups and will give away up to 1,000 devices.
"What we discovered is that the advanced technology we developed really ends up being a luxury item for most users. So we've created iHEAR as more of a mission than a company to reach out to those who can't afford hearing solutions," company founder and biomedical engineer Adnan Shennib, told TechCrunch
Those who purchased the "early bird" deal on Indiegogo, which is currently sold out, will receive their devices in August. Customers who order a devices now can expect delivery as early as September. The company will currently ship only to the U.S. but says it is working on getting the device to international markets in 2015.