Latest in Gear

Image credit: Darunechka via Getty Images

Android 10 transforms hearing aids into Bluetooth headsets

Like a Bluetooth headset, a variety of hearing devices will be able to stream music and voice calls.
324 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Darunechka via Getty Images

In addition to features like a system-wide dark mode and more granular privacy controls, Android 10 is adding new accessibility features. One of the highlights is designed to help those who wear hearing aids to get the most out of their Android smartphone. Using a new protocol called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA), hard of hearing individuals will be able to use their Pixel smartphone to stream audio, including both music and calls, directly to their hearing aids -- essentially making them function like any other Bluetooth headset. What's more, the streaming is done over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), so both hearing aids and phone can have enough battery power to get through an entire day.

At launch, the functionality is compatible with the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL in conjunction with ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids, as well as the Cochlear Nucleus 7 sound processor. Google is also open-sourcing the platform, which should hopefully mean a greater number of Android devices and hearing solutions will support the feature in the near future.

Over the last year, Google has put significant effort toward making Android more accessible to hard of hearing individuals. In February, the company released an app called Sound Amplifier that essentially transforms an Android smartphone into a hearing aid. This past July, the company expanded the availability of the app to include non-Android 9 Pie devices. The need for these type of apps and feature is clear. According to the World Health Organization, some 466 million people globally suffer from disabling hearing loss, with that number growing by the millions every year.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
324 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
The Morning After: Preparing for Google's Pixel 4 event

The Morning After: Preparing for Google's Pixel 4 event

View
Fortnite's new 'Party Hub' feature gives mobile players a voice

Fortnite's new 'Party Hub' feature gives mobile players a voice

View
Intrigue at the Nurburgring as Tesla unofficially beats Porsche's fastest lap

Intrigue at the Nurburgring as Tesla unofficially beats Porsche's fastest lap

View
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has 23 percent more battery capacity than the Pro

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has 23 percent more battery capacity than the Pro

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr