Cupertino, Calif. — Start-up Soundhawk has introduced a Bluetooth earpiece system that uses adaptive audio processing to enhance key sound frequencies, allowing the wearer to choose what sounds to enhance while reducing background noise.
The Soundhawk system, trademarked as "the first Smart Listening System," combines a lightweight (6 grams) in-ear speaker called the Scoop, a clip-on wireless microphone and an app (iOS and Android) to customize settings.
The settings include four Sound Scenes to accommodate different acoustic environments: indoors, dining, driving and outdoors. Each uses an algorithm to enhance some sounds while suppressing others.
The presets can be further personalized via the app on a smartphone or tablet screen by dragging a finger across a virtual soundfield map, which adjusts the clarity and volume of the high and low sound spectrums.
The included omnidirectional Bluetooth microphone can be placed near the source of sound — in front of a TV a speaker or on a table, for example — to enhance the sound and deliver it to the Scoop.
The system adds hands-free direct access to Siri and Google Now functions.
It comes with four different sizes of ear tips and gets eight hours of battery life. The microphone gets about three hours.
The Soundhawk system is not designed to replace a hearing aid but is being marketed as a personal hearing device, which does not require approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
Pre-orders are being accepted now at a retail of $279. Shipping will begin later this summer.