Tech Talk: Beltone First - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Tech Talk: Beltone First

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There are many things we take for granted, such as the sound of music. So, imagine if you'd never really heard it before. Beltone recently released a one-of-a-kind hearing aid, and it's giving one man a new outlook on life.

It's a sound that's music to one man's ears.

"I can understand every word. I can listen to the beat. I can hear everything just like it's right there next to me," says Beltone First customer Jason Barr.

Barr has had a hearing impairment for as long as he can remember. But now, he's hearing better than ever before thanks to a new hearing aid. The Beltone First pairs with several Apple devices and an app allows users to customize settings based on personal preference or location.

"The other thing that's extremely exciting is the ability for people to stream music, movies, those types of things directly into their hearing aid. It eliminates the need to wear earphones or earbuds, which those individuals who are hearing impaired can't do," says Beltone Hearing Care Practitioner Cheryl Engh.

"He'd put in headphones and turn the music all the way up. So, the person in the other room could hear his music, and he still couldn't hear it. But, he would feel it. That's how he heard music was by the feel of the bass, the bumping," says Barr's sister Heather Barr.

The new technology is also making it easier for him to talk on the phone.But it's about more than that. Jason says growing up he struggled to fit in, because people treated him differently when they saw his hearing aid. And he couldn't always understand what people were saying. But now, he can hear sounds as quiet as a whisper.

"Now, with this hearing aid, I can overcome it. I won't get a lot of reaction or different looks. So, I can just go on with my days," says Barr.

Jason says he's excited to go to the movie theatre and eat at a loud restaurant. The Beltone First was released about two months ago. It sells for around $3,000.

Right now, the Beltone First only works with select Apple devices. But a similar app for Android devices is in development.


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