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Siemens' new hearing aids let you zoom in on sounds with your smartphone

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Wearable technology isn’t just about smartglasses and fitness trackers — some gadgets have been around for decades but are only now getting the updates they deserve. Siemens’ new range of smart hearing aids definitely fall into this category, using connected apps and a necklace-like accessory to offer greater control than ever before for the hard of hearing.

The easyTek is like a media hub for the hard of hearing

By itself the app functions like an equalizer, letting let users control volume, bass, treble, and even create presets for different situations. Adding in the easyTek — a slim plastic puck that’s worn around the neck  — supercharges these abilities, with the accessory acting like a media hub for the hard of hearing.

Using Bluetooth, wires, or FM signals (the loop that secures the puck actually doubles as an antenna), the easyTek can connect to smartphones, computers, tablets, or TVs, allowing users’ hearing aids to function as earphones or wireless headsets. With the app and easyTek combined, users can even change the direction of their microphones or the span of its beam to precisely focus on a conversation or noise source in a crowded room. Siemens will be announcing more details at CES, but with this kind of functionality even those with regular hearing might want in.

Siemens' easyTek accessory.