This is a humorous news spot, but I’d expect nothing less from Fox. What I find the most humorous is how Stuart Varney misunderstands the functionality of both the hearing instrument and how it works with the iPhone. But this is also an example of how little is understood or known both about hearing loss and the devices we use to compensate for that loss.

It is, however, generally classic poor journalism indicative of the profession’s demise in this country where the anchor has done no prior research, knows little about his subject and is merely a puppet reading from the prompt.

Ron Burgundy come to mind?

Ron Burgundy: You stay classy, San Diego. I’m Ron Burgundy?

Ed Harken: Dammit. Who typed a question mark on the Teleprompter?

Watch the clip and see what I mean:

In the beginning of the clip, he keeps referring to how the hearing aids “sync” with the iPhone. The correct term would be “link” – a lot like the instrument’s name LiNX. The Bluetooth connection is what allows the phone to control settings in the hearing instrument. There really isn’t any syncing going on.

There is also his mention of how the sound “goes straight into your ear at maximum volume.” Has this guy ever used a set of earbuds? The principle is about the same except the music “streams” to the device instead of using a wire. And, the sound does not go into your ears at full volume. It streams and you can adjust the volume. Stuart’s misconception is a classic example of skewed mental models.

This all reminds me of another clip where Vince Vaughn can’t seem to get it right in “The Internship.”

The icing on the cake is when Stuart doesn’t understand that these are real hearing aids and instead assumes they merely “sync” to the iPhone and use the microphone from the phone to amplify sound. Yes Stuart, these are 2-3 thousand dollar streaming headphones that only connect to your iPhone and don’t amplify sound.

Kim did well at managing the entire interview and especially his off-color comments concerning “those Danes.” And while I can certainly recognize a joke, I am also enamored with the innovation that has taken place in Denmark. Perhaps Stuart is unaware of the design genius not only found in Denmark, but in that general region of the globe (Sweden, Germany). There has been a lot of innovation in this area of the world. The first loud speaker was invented in Denmark by Peter Jensen – an early device to assist in amplifying sound. We Americans would do well to curb our egocentric nature.

A few other Denmark inventions:

  • The typewriter
  • The o-ring
  • The Danish pastry
  • C++ programming
  • LEGO
  • Existentialism

Just to set the record straight: The LiNX is, indeed, a hearing aid – a very powerful one. It has small microphones and works like any other hearing aid in respect to amplifying sounds. It also has Bluetooth capability that allows a user to connect to their iPhone. This allows extended functionality. More on that extended functionality can be found in my previous post on this topic:

GN Resound Made For iPhone (MFi) Hearing Aids, sneak preview

For more information about the ReSound LiNX visit the LiNX website.

 

 

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