Amazon has just partnered with Cochlear to provide a better TV-watching experience for those who are suffering from hearing loss.
With this partnership, the customers with Cochlear Nucleus 7, Nucleus 8, Nucleus Kanso 6, and Baha 6 max hearing aids will be able to connect hearing aids directly to Fire TV devices.
After the connection, the users with the hearing aids can enjoy a personalized private listening session.
That is, the audio from the TV will be fed directly to the sound processor of the hearing aids. And all of this will be done through the open-source Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) protocol.
In case you missed it, the ASHA protocol that the hearing aids of Cochlear utilize works with Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen and 3rd Gen), Fire TV Omni QLED Series, Fire TV 4 Series, and Fire TV Omni Series.
The hearing aids mentioned above will connect through a dedicated system on the TV, which will make a system-level connection.
As the connection will be system level, the private listening experience the customers will get will be phenomenal.
Also, the mentioned hearing aids from Cochlear will work directly with Alexa. That means the users can give voice commands directly through their hearing aids.
And the audio connection also works for games and plenty of different apps. Michael Forzano, an Amazon software engineer, tested the technology and ensured that the integration on the Cochlear hearing aids was perfect.
In case you didn’t know, Michael Forzano was born blind and has utilized hearing aids since he lost his hearing capabilities in early childhood. He understood all the trouble people with hearing loss have to go through to watch TV.
And according to him, the Amazon integration of the technology in the hearing aids “takes the strain” out of watching TV. There are no issues regarding the sound quality either.
Besides that, this is not the first time Cochlear has started audio integration for their hearing aids.
In 2019, the brand began to offer the ability to stream audio directly from smartphones. However, this move towards TV integration is undoubtedly a big one.
According to the Director of Nucleus Product Management and Marketing of Cochlear, “We get our news and information through television, entertainment, sports, and music. When we started to work with [Amazon], what really came to light was their dedication to accessibility, effective communication, and collaboration on how we can combine these technologies. At Cochlear, we were really proud to be a part of this.”
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.