Bragi By Starkey: Custom Wireless
Lifestyle gadgets, ear computers, wearable technology, oh my!
Recently, my wife suggested that I get my hearing checked because I ask her to repeat things on occasion. While I think I have what many refer to as “selective hearing,” I decided that it would be a good idea to see an audiologist, as a matter of fact the audiologist who was featured in our February edition, Dr. Alexandra Tarvin.
After testing me, Dr. Tarvin concluded that I had lost a bit of my hearing over the years, perhaps due to too many rock concerts, but my biggest issue was an increasing inability to hear where there is background noise. She made several recommendations, including special ear plugs for future concerts.
After addressing my hearing issues with me, Dr. Alexandra Tarvin told me about these revolutionary wireless earphones made by a leading U.S. hearing aid company, Starkey Hearing Technologies, in tandem with a high-end German audio company, Bragi. These earphones were custom-made, meaning Dr. Tarvin would need to take an impression of my ears so that the earphones would be a perfect fit.
It was a partnering of two innovators, Bragi, a technology startup at the time, and Starkey Hearing Technologies that combined their expertise to “transform hearable and wearable technology.” In 2016, Bragi shook up the hearing industry by introducing the world’s first wireless hearable. Soon after, Starkey announced at their 2016 Starkey Hearing Innovation Expo that a collaboration was formed to revolutionize the hearing aid industry for consumers and hearing professionals.
In a joint press release, Bragi founder Nicolaj Hviid states, “Starkey and Bragi have a shared vision that hearing aids and hearables can empower people to communicate and enhance their abilities. The partnership between the two companies creates immense value for our respective customers. Bragi’s advanced integration of sensorics provides tremendous value to hearing aid consumers, while Starkey’s invaluable knowledge of advanced audio processing and psychoacoustics expands Bragi’s potential to enable people to utilize contextual computing audible interfaces.” Together, the partners produced the world’s first custom-made wireless earphones.
High Tech Customization
I placed an order and after a couple weeks, my custom wireless earphones arrived, and it was time to determine whether they were worth the price. What’s particularly cool about the Bragi Dash Pro tailored by Starkey earphones is that they aren’t just about playing music.
Owners of these wireless ear computers can:
- Listen to music, podcasts, and more via Bluetooth audio.
- Store up to 1,000 songs and/or podcasts if you prefer to leave your phone at home.
- Make or receive phone calls.
- Carry a conversation in multiple languages. That’s right, these wireless earphones can instantly translate up to 40 different languages into English.
- Enjoy a run, swim, or bike ride with auto-activity tracking. The device recognizes the activity so users can keep track of their workouts automatically without pushing a button.
- Visualize workouts from within the Bragi app, including current performance and a detailed breakdown of past activities.
- Get wet! The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey and The Dash Pro are waterproof in up to 3 feet of fresh water.
Candidly, I love these earphones and, so far, they work flawlessly. You simply download an app onto your cell phone and use the controls to adjust the audio to fit your hearing. And I am “technologically challenged,” so if I say they are fairly easy to use, nobody should have a problem with using the various capabilities.
These earphones are not for everyone. I love my music, whether I’m in the gym, or on a plane, and I want the sound to be as perfect as possible. These earphones clearly fit the bill, but the price is a bit steep at $599, plus the cost of the fitting.
The way these hearables are made really intrigues me. They use the latest technological advances to create something perfectly suited for my aging ears. The ear impressions made by my audiologist were sent to Starkey where they were scanned and refined by their design modelers. From there a 3-D printer built up layers and created the custom shell that merges with Bragi’s EarTouch interface. After undergoing a series of rigid tests, the final product was beautifully packaged and ready for shipment.
“When you put the tailored Dash Pro into your ear, it disappears, it becomes part of you,” says Ed Pletsch, Sr. Project Manager R&D of Starkey Hearing Technologies. “It’s going to seal the same way every time. You’re going to get fantastic sound quality. The bass is rich and warm, the highs are nice and bright.”
Hviid says, “Receiving a tailored Dash Pro is receiving something made for you, made for your ear, made for your lifestyle, made for the things you want to do. That’s the experience you want to have from an ear computer.”
I’m glad I took that first step to have my hearing checked. After I started wearing my new ear computer, I couldn’t believe the difference it made. I encourage fellow throomers to have their hearing checked since our hearing may not be as sharp as it once was. Get it checked and if needed, get a hearing aid suited to your needs, or spend a little more and choose a Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, you won’t believe your ears!
For more information on these wonderful hearables, visit www.bragi.net.