German audio brand Sennheiser recently sold off its consumer audio arm to a company called Sonova. This company specialises in hearing-based medical tech, which is why it’s hardly surprising that the next in-ear products to launch from the brand are… over-the-counter hearing aids.
Don’t get too excited, however. The new All-Day Clear and All-Day Slim hearing aids with their attendant high-end audio branding are only due for launch in the States this July. Other locations will likely follow. When they do, don’t expect German-engineered audio assistance to be cheap here.
The idea behind these products is that they’ll allow the hearing-impaired to better tackle conversations and other audio-based situations using “intelligent scene detection that monitors the person’s environment for seamless optimization of dialogue”. That’s fancy talk for ‘these’ll boost conversations so you can hear what’s going on’.
As with many high-end in-ear buds, these can be specifically tuned to a specific user, an operation Sennheiser says should only take five minutes via the app. Besides helping with making conversations clearer, they’ll also perform the same tasks as your average set of in-ears — at the expense of some of the battery power.
Handily, Sennheiser’s ‘All-Day’ name is a bit of a giveaway. The hearing aids are optimised to supply around sixteen hours of function on a charge. It’s not immediately clear whether this total includes the battery in the portable charging case. For the price the company’s looking to charge, it better not. These babies should last an entire workday, and then some.
The company’s All-Day Clear hearing aid will cost R25,600 ($1,400) before tax, while the Slim version will cost R27,400 ($1,500). That’s quite a steep price to pay for in-ear headphones but it sounds about right for hearing aids you can buy over the counter. That last point is a bit of a pity though. It would be just a little bit cool to ask your doctor for a Sennheiser prescription.