The new RCA Symphonix model RPSA10 defines a new class of Personal Sound Amplifier Product, or PSAP, and brings the category ever more closer to the average consumer while providing an invisible hearing aid type experience.
Coming in at a price point of around $300, and available at retail outlet Radio Shack, this new hearing aid device boasts digital technology and practical invisibility without the need to visit an audiologist or get a prescription.
We think devices like this are going to drastically change the hearing aid and audiology market in 2012, especially for the 60-year-old segment of the market, many of whom have mild hearing loss issues to overcome.
According to Audiovox Accessories, which markets the RCA Symphonix, the RPSA10 features 3-step progressive volume control and on/off switch in the earpiece, along with thin sound tubes that won't alter mobile phone usage or those with eye glasses.
The Symphonix is designed by RCA to be used in a variety of the most challenging listening environments, including large groups of people, crowded city streets, television viewing and restaurants.
Eliminating the need for and expense of external batteries, the light 0.25-ounce unit features rechargeable batteries which operates for a reported 15 hours before needing a recharge.
The Upgrade-APSA15In addition to the RPSA10 Model, Acoustic Research is manufacturing an enhanced model called the APSA15, at a price point of around $349. Look for this upgraded version of the standard to have automatic adjusting of background noise and greater noise reduction capabilities. It'll have four step volume control, as opposed to the RSA10's three, and reportedly is more discreet for "people on the go." This premium Personal Sound Amplifier Product has a mini-USB power cable for recharging, which last 15 hours of active use between charges.
Symphonix RPSA10 Features
- Rechargeable battery
- Comes with different sized tubes and domes
- 6-month warranty
- Can be used in either ear
- Layered noice reduction and speech specific amplifying
- Compression circuitry for even audio flow
If more devices like these begin appearing on the market--and every indication is that they will--we can imagine the PSAP segment making huge inroads into the consumer market, especially those who would otherwise not pursue or consider a traditional hearing aid.