In 2016 before the innovative IQbuds were first shipped, Nuheara gained attention from a successful Indiegogo campaign which raised more than AUD$1M. The first prototypes of IQbuds used during this campaign proved they could do one thing incredibly well – boost conversations in noisy social environments.
In January of 2017, Nuheara commenced shipping for the 1st generation of IQbuds. During that time, Nuheara introduced the world to the concept of “intelligent hearing,” using speech-in-noise control technology to enhance hearing. From the outset, IQbuds provided the ability to improve the clarity of conversation, boost speech, and reduce ambient noise.
Beyond happy customers, Nuheara earned numerous industry accolades, including multiple awards at CES 2017 following the debut of IQbuds. At that time Lewis Wallace of Cult of Mac wrote the following about his initial experience with IQbuds:
“Nuheara’s IQbuds are smart, truly wireless earbuds that do more than just make calls and deliver high-fidelity audio to your ears. They make it possible to carry on conversations in noisy environments like restaurants, bars and even massive Las Vegas trade shows.” – These smart wireless earbuds make AirPods look dumb | Cult of Mac
Augmented Hearing Innovation From the Outset
Following this update, customers could configure how different tap touches changed their auditory environment. Furthermore, they could control the sound of their world without opening the smartphone app.
Exhibiting game-changing innovation at the time, the original IQbuds used external microphones to capture surrounding audio. This audio was then split into many different frequency components, processed and analyzed. Based on the processing, IQbuds then suppressed background noise to boost conversation.
The Debut of IQbuds BOOST (March of 2018)
A little over a year later, the first shipments of Nuheara’s 2nd generation of earbuds, IQbuds BOOST, went out to customers. With the addition of a built-in hearing assessment (Ear ID) using the NAL-NL2 prescription formula, BOOST took another step forward. With the buds auto-calibrated based upon the user’s hearing profile, crowded or noisy places became less daunting.
In the initial weeks following the fulfillment of IQbuds BOOST pre-orders, customers raved about the abilities of the earbuds.
Below is an example of a customer review, voluntarily posted to YouTube, that details the experience of using IQbuds BOOST. Beyond the conversation boost functions of the product, this reviewer noted hearing sounds such as chirping birds that he’d been previously missing.
The addition of the Focus feature through a July 2018 firmware update cemented Nuheara’s place in the hearables market. Between the speech-in-noise controls (SINC), Focus, and World EQ, IQbuds BOOST offered a superior blend of conversation boosting technologies.
Senior Contributor Mark Sparrow of Forbes immediately recognized the market demand for IQbuds BOOST in his 2018 review, writing:
“Nuheara are a great idea if you struggle with hearing in certain situations but aren’t ready for a fully blown hearing aid.” – Nuheara IQbuds Boost: An Ingenious Blend Of Wireless Earphone And Hearing Aid For Anyone Who Needs Help With Hearing | Forbes
IQbuds² MAX Bring Smart Hearing to a New Level
Following the launch of a pre-order campaign and product announcement at CES in January of 2020, shipments of IQbuds² MAX began in June. Unlike IQbuds BOOST, this 3rd generation of IQbuds featured an entirely re-designed form factor.
Building off the success of the core components of the previous iterations of IQbuds, MAX offers additional features:
- Active noise cancellation to reduce distracting sounds and in-ear occlusion
- Triple-core digital signal processing (DSP) system for optimal hearing fidelity and conversation boost capabilities
- A 450MIPS signal processing engine in each earbud for an optimal natural sound experience.
- A large 9.2mm dynamic driver with vented acoustical design for pitch-perfect sound fidelity
While IQbuds² MAX are not a hearing aid, nor are they intended to be, their efficacy as a situational hearing device is notable. Consider the experience of Mike from Bunbury, Australia in the video below. Note his observations on how MAX boosted conversations and reduced background noise in crowds at his daughter’s birthday.
The Current Hype Surrounding “Conversation Boost”
Perhaps you’ve heard the term “conversation boost” mentioned with regards to other earbuds recently. You certainly did if you followed Apple’s 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Amongst a slew of new accessibility features slated of the upcoming iOS 15, they announced the addition of “conversation boost” feature coming to AirPods Pro. Like “transparency mode” before it, this feature is nothing new if you’re familiar with Nuheara products.
The gist of this new feature is the ability to focus on sound by direction, and to reduce ambient background noise via the AirPods Pro settings on an iPhone. Ultimately, having a global giant like Apple recognize the value of hearing enhancement features built into earbuds is beneficial to all. In conclusion, greater awareness benefits everybody.
Lots of hype around @Apple conversation boost and ambient noise reduction. @Nuheara pioneered these technologies in an earbud years ago. Awareness is everything. Thanks @Apple for helping us out and welcome😄
— David Cannington (@cannostake) June 9, 2021
As the pioneer in conversation boost technologies for hearables, Nuheara looks forward to continuing to lead with even greater enhancements. Want to experience the gold-standard in current hearable technology? Then try IQbuds² MAX risk-free for 30 days.