I predict good things for people with hearing loss in 2016, especially in the field of technology, where new kinds of devices to improve hearing are booming. In fact, as the Washington Post recently noted, the hearing device market is in the midst of a “profound disruption”, from traditional hearing aids to lower-priced, nonprescription devices, that is making it easier and cheaper for people with hearing loss to get help.
But first I want to note a surprising trend: The U.S. private hearing aid market grew 9 percent last year, despite the grumbling about prices, more than $2,300 is the average price for a hearing aid,  and a shortage of audiologists.
Some of the uptick in hearing aid sales may be due to two new(ish) hearing aids, the Halo by Starkey Hearing Technologies and the ReSound LiNX2, both of which work with an iPhone or other i-device to allow precise manual tuning to a particular environment and then saving that setting so you can automatically go back to the same program the next time you’re in that space.
Another potential piece of good news in the traditional hearing aid market is the expected entry of tech giant Samsung, which has applied for a trademark registration for a device it calls the Earcle. Six big manufacturers dominate the hearing aid market. The entry of one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world may help consumers by bringing down prices.
But the really big news is in PSAPs, or Personal Sound Amplification Products.