Under-promise and over-deliver, that is what’s happening with Nuheara’s IQbuds. Starting on Tuesday, IQbuds are shipping to backers from the crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign and will be released to the general public in March. When we first wrote about Nuheara’s hearable in December, the company wouldn’t commit to a shipping date beyond 2017, as it was awaiting certification approvals. But now the shipping cat is out of the bag for Nuheara’s assistive audio wearables.
The IQbuds’ core features include advanced speech amplification, high-end sound fidelity, blended hearing, and tap-touch control. Nuheara’s SINC (super intelligent noise cancellation) technology goes beyond just amplifying noise, and lets you control or cancel ambient noise while boosting speech so you can hear other people in loud places, avoiding the dreaded “pub deafness.” According to the company, the IQbuds also produce audio quality far above that normally expected with truly wireless wearables.
Blended hearing is just one way you can shape your audio experience. The blending takes place when you independently adjust the mix between streaming audio coming from a digital source and real-world environmental audio. For example, if you’re engrossed in a streaming soundtrack while walking down the sidewalk you won’t miss out on the sound of a bicycle on a collision path.
Nuheara’s tap-touch control lets you switch between phone calls, in-person conversations, and streaming audio with a tap to the earbud — you won’t have to drag out your smartphone to make the changes. When you’re adjusting the sound with the app, you can configure and save setting profiles for optimized hearing in a wide range of different sound environments, according to Nuheara. You can also configure the IQbuds to your personal needs and preferences — for example, you can independently control the volume in each earbud. Nuheara uses NXP’s MiGLO NFMI (near-field magnetic induction) for high quality ear-to-ear wireless transmission.
The Nuheara IQbuds come with a combination carrying case and portable battery charger capable of recharging the IQBuds three times. According to the company, if you start out with fully charged IQBuds and case, you will be set for 16 hours of Bluetooth streaming or 32 hours of hearing augmentation. You may need to take some breaks, however, as Nuheara also told Digital Trends it takes about 90 minutes to fully recharge the IQbuds from the case.
Hearing augmentation devices in various forms will be getting a lot of attention during 2017. Nuheara’s IQbuds are among the first wave targeted to serve this huge market and we are looking forward to seeing how they perform in everyday use.