The hearables market is the fastest growing wearables sector worldwide. IDC and Gartner have said it, and we’ve said it, too. We’ve covered AI-powered hearing aids, third-generation hearing assistive devices, noise blocking devices, and even hearable technology that reads vital signs. Two notable hearable devices we wrote about this year were from Alango Technology’s Wear & Hear. We covered Wear & Hear’s BeHear Now and BeHear Access hearing assistance devices, both around-the-neck shawl form factor hearing assistance devices, each with wire-tethered earbuds.

Wear & Hear recently introduced a new devices, BeHear Proxy, a self-fit assistive hearing neck speaker and amplifier. Unlike the BeHear Now and BeHear Access assistive devices, BeHear Proxy owners benefit from the product without using its tethered earbuds. The Proxy’s stereo speakers amplify and play ambient sound and streaming audio via Bluetooth connectivity. The user controls the amplification with an associated mobile app. A wearer can also extend the cables to use the earbuds for live conversations and handsfree phone calls. One of the Proxy’s advantages is the device can be used by people who already have conventional hearing aids or other hearing assistive devices in their ear channels.

In late December 2020, the BeHear Proxy won a Gold Award in the Life Assistive Devices category in the 9th annual New Products and Technology Awards (NPTA) sponsored by the Mature Market Resource Center. BeHear Access also won a Gold Award in the Communication Devices category. Wear & Hear plans to begin shipping BeHear Proxy in February 2021, with a $189 manufacturer’s selling retail price.