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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

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Hack your hearing with SoundHawk
AFP
June 27, 2014
First Published: 10:34 IST(27/6/2014)
Last Updated: 10:45 IST(27/6/2014)
The SoundHawk Smart Listening System. Photo: AFP

Don't mistake it for a hearing aid, it's a smart listening system and one that is meant to boost certain frequencies and fill in the audible gaps that develop in our hearing as age, concert-going and constant headphone use finally catch up with us.

The little wedge-shaped device, which the company calls the Scoop, comes with a set of different-sized earbuds so that it should fit comfortably in the ear of most wearers. It links wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smartphone and an accompanying app and can be used as a hands-free kit for taking phone calls or for voice commands in Google Now or Apple's Siri.

But none of that is why it's smart. What elevates it above being the digital equivalent of an ear trumpet is that it can be tuned in, like a radio, to filter out certain sounds while upping the volume of the things that you want to focus on, a feature that is taken to another level when paired with the wireless mic which also comes as part of the package.

It can be placed at the center of the aural action and will ensure that you catch every word said. So it could be great in a noisy restaurant setting or when watching a mumblecore film.

"We designed Soundhawk's Smart Listening System for people who want to hear, communicate, and connect better in everyday situations and environments," said Michael Kisch, CEO of Soundhawk. "As our world gets noisier, many people are hearing less of what matters most. At Soundhawk, our mission is to transform the listening experience simply and affordably, and empower people to hear the world the way that they want to."

The Scoop earpiece and the wireless mic both pack away into a specially designed case that also serves as a battery charger, while the app allows users to set up a list of default sound settings -- say for driving, dining, or concert-going as well as access to the sound tuner.

Announced this week, the designed Soundhawk Smart Listening System will retail for $299 when it officially goes on sale in the US in 2015 but, for a short period only, consumers who pre-order it directly from the company's website can reserve one for $279.


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