Sometimes, competition makes for some strange partnerships. Nuheara, an Australian company known best for its hearing-enhancing wireless earbuds, has announced its first set of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. But instead of marketing these devices under its own name, it has chosen to license Hewlett Packard’s HP brand. The new hearing aids will be known as the HP Hearing Pro, and they’ll sell for $699 when they become available at Amazon and other major retailers later this year.
The announcement adds another player to the OTC hearing aid space, following similar debuts from Sony, Jabra, and Bose.
The HP Hearing Pro will combine some of the most popular wireless earbud features, like active noise cancellation (ANC) and IPX4 water resistance, with the benefits of a true hearing aid. Nuheara says the earbuds have been “clinically proven to be substantially equivalent to a professionally fit hearing aid,” and offer a 30% improvement in speech in noisy environments, improved ability to follow conversations, and “clinically validated, natural sound quality.”
Those who are familiar with Nuheara’s previous products will note the similarity between the HP Hearing Pro and the $399 IQbuds2 Max — both earbuds have a similar shape, and the charging cases are essentially identical. Nuheara hasn’t yet said how much capacity the Hearing Pro’s case will carry, but we do know that each earbud is expected to last for up to eight hours on a full charge.
All of the Hearing Pro’s functions will be controlled by an HP-branded companion app for iOS and Android. The app will also be the key to personalizing the buds — a process known as self-fitting. Nuheara’s own Ear ID software is used to test the wearer’s individual hearing thresholds from low frequency to high frequency in each ear, then automatically programs the HP Hearing PRO hearing aids for each ear.
The process allows for a quick and easy acclimation experience, according to Nuheara, with the entire acclimation experience taking about 10-15 minutes from unboxing through customization.
The full details about the Hearing Pro are available at www.hphearingpro.com, but as of the time this article was published, the site was still displaying a “Something new is coming … ” message, without any other info. We are expecting a full set of specifications from Nuheara in the coming days.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the HP Hearing Pro support wireless charging.
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