Eargo has been reliably announcing a new model of its smart, near-invisible hearing aids at CES for the last few years now and 2022 is no exception with the introduction of the Eargo 6. As usual, the small black buds take the same completely in canal (CIC) form factor which is what allows them to remain almost entirely out of sight. The “new” stuff is on the inside.
The flagship feature with the Eargo 6 is called “Sound Adjust.” No prizes for guessing what this does, but the company claims its proprietary algorithm can automatically sense your surroundings and the hearing aids will automatically optimize themselves to give you the best settings for it. Profiles are a fairly standard feature on most hearing aids, but automatic switching is usually something reserved for the pricier models, and they all do it with different levels of success, in my experience at least.
The difference here is that the Eargo 6 is much smaller than most of the other products that offer similar technologies. Being tiny is great, and the main selling point here, but it also means there’s much less real estate to fill with sensors and chips. Regardless, Eargo seems to be figuring out clever ways to bring their offerings up to feature parity with their (physically and metaphorically) larger competition.
Of course, it wouldn’t be CES 2022 without a few COVID-related influences. For the last two years, those with hearing loss have faced a new challenge: Conversing with people who are wearing a mask. Not only does this remove any visual feedback, it also muffles sound — a double blow for those struggling to understand you. As such, the company has introduced a “mask mode” that aims to resolve some of the changes in sound that face coverings create.
Other tweaks this time around include revised noise reduction with the company claims further reduces background noise allowing the voice to punch through. The Eargo 6 is also rated IPX7 for water resistance. This means they can be submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of one meter without water damage. In practical terms, this means you can probably leave them in while you shower or go for a quick swim. Or, more logically, you can get them a bit when while cleaning them.
As we’re not physically at CES this year, we haven’t been able to test them like we normally do, but if previous years are anything to go by the plucky little hearing aid is only getting smarter and more useful. As usual, the Eargo 6 is being sold direct to consumers and will retail for $2,950. In hearing aid terms that’s about the going rate for higher-end models, though the company does offer financing options too.
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