You probably know someone with hearing aids, even if you haven’t realized it yet. Hearing aids have become incredibly small and discrete, yet there are still social stigmas associated with wearing hearing aids. But as we’ve seen with the transformation from medical device to fashion statement with glasses, design can empower wearers to sport their frames with pride.
So why is there such a lack of stylish hearing aids or hearing aid jewelry that would allow wearers to take more positive ownership of their devices and potentially encourage the many who have hearing loss but fear being associated with hearing aids?
Hearing aids continue to get smaller and more high-tech, but almost no one has taken on the challenge of fighting hearing aid stigma with beautiful design. Along with Audicus, we found two designers who are taking the lead on creating fashionable hearing aids and accessories.
The Decibel by Priestman Goode
This hearing aid displayed at the Albert and Victoria Museum in London at their “Hearwear” exhibit. The Decibel came about because of a concern over commuters’ hearing. People who listen to music or stream other sounds through headphones on public transportation on their way to work put themselves at risk for hearing loss. For those who already wear hearing aids, the problem is complicated even greater. How can you compete with the ambient noises of traffic, trains, and other commuters while still hearing what you wish to hear? The Decibel connects to a key chain, making them even more convenient (and discrete) to use. Simply pop them in, and you’ll both protect your ears and hear your music better.
Blamey and Saunders’ Facett Hearing Aid
Marketed as “Beautiful. Modular. Self-fit.,” the Faeett hearing aids are attractive and easy to use. While the rechargeable batteries and magnetic closure are great selling points, many consumers are turning to Blamey and Saunders because of the aesthetics of the hearing aids. They have a geometric design that gives a modern feel, and the metallic color options are just flashy enough to draw in the eye but still maintain the coolness factor. If you take a look at Melbourne’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), their geometric buildings will look familiar. Facett’s design directly mimics the angular pattern. The design also mirrors the mineralogy collection on display at the Melbourne Museum. These hearing aids are wearable art you will want to show off.
Advanced Style X Audicus
If you’ve never heard of Ari Seth Cohen, perhaps you’ve heard of his blog Advanced Style or his documentary of the same name. Cohen focuses on people of a certain age who are rocking their beauty in their later years. He encourages confidence to take chances and show off style, which he parlayed into hearing aids. Advanced Style X Audicus was the creative collaboration of Cohen with our team at Audicus. For a limited run, the Oro hearing aids were available in leopard print, polka dot, hologram, and sparkle pink. The distinctive styles made wearing hearing aids fun and exciting.
Adding a fashion component to medical devices can foster positivity and pride in wearing them. While these companies pave the way and strive to remove any stigma surrounding hearing aids, there is still room for growth – just think of the design possibilities!