Thursday, January 5, 2012

Panasonic uneveils new line of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids

While hearing aids aren't the best gadgets on earth, Panasonic has done something interesting. They have now included Bluetooth in their new line of hearing aids. They come packing Bluetooth for tethering to a mobile or landline phone using the Hearing Hub and have an add-on audio transmitter than can beam content from a TV or other source directly to the device. The Hearing aid also has a voice memo feature so that wearers can take notes for themselves and play them back in an easy to hear format. All that and it manages a pretty impressive 300 hours on a single set of batteries.

Below is the press release:

Panasonic Offers New Series of Receiver-in-Canal Digital Hearing Instruments

New Technologically Advanced Models are Designed with Bluetooth® Functionality

SECAUCUS, N.J., Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic Healthcare Group today announced the introduction of the R1-W digital hearing instrument, which expands on the company's line of products for people with hearing loss.

The new open fit, R1-W Series, Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) digital hearing instruments are designed for people with mild to severe hearing loss in three models, WH-R17C, WH-R15C and WH-R13C, allowing for diverse functionality for a variety of users. Offering a compact size and sleek, curved shape, the R1-W Series is designed to fit comfortably and discreetly behind a user's ear.

The Hearing Hub allows users to wirelessly connect the hearing instrument to Bluetooth®-compatible* mobile phones, landlines and Audio Transmitter, enabling sound to automatically transmit into the digital hearing device. The Hearing Hub also provides a user with the ability to record voice memos such as personal reminders and phone numbers, allowing for up to five 2-minute and 40-second recorded files.

An innovative battery management tool protects the digital hearing instrument's battery by preventing drainage when placed in a dehumidifier, which helps power last for approximately 300 hours**. For individuals with dexterity challenges, batteries are now easy to replace– a user simply rotates the dial to dislodge old batteries and replace with new ones. Additional features of the R1-W Series include a noise reduction function which makes sound more comfortable for a user, Memory Switch for storage of and easy access to set hearing programs for use in various listening settings, and Low Battery Alarm.

Supported R1-W Series accessories include an Audio Transmitter which plugs directly into a television's audio-output port to transmit sound wirelessly into the R1-W Series through the Hearing Hub, for crystal clear sound quality. The remote control allows users to easily and discreetly adjust the volume level and programs of their hearing instruments.

"With the new R1-W series, Panasonic has introduced a line of hearing instruments with sound quality design that equals or exceeds anything we have seen in the industry. With Panasonic's depth of research and design prowess in the audio field, our sights are set on new innovative solutions that are game changers for the end user and the Hearing Care Professional alike. We are building on a well planned strategy that includes the right products and business models that are attractive to forward thinking professionals. As a new player in the US hearing market and with our brand strength, we are finding that professionals are embracing our vision to deliver meaningful solutions to a broad segment of people who want to hear better," said Delain D. Wright, Director of Sales, Panasonic Healthcare Group. "The R1-W series will propel us into the next phase of Panasonic's plan for the hearing care business and allow us to better promote our products and Panasonic brand which have been well received by people seeking hearing help."

"The new R1-W Series of digital hearing instruments reflects impeccable product design to ensure comfortable fit, coupled with outstanding sound quality to create a hearing experience that is true to life," said Yoshi Yuasa, Senior Vice President of Panasonic Corporation of North America.

The Panasonic R1-W Series is currently available in eight elegant colors including dark gray, rose gray, silver, pink, purple, blue, green and champagne gold. For more information on the entire Panasonic line-up of hearing instruments, visit To become a distributor or provider of Panasonic Hearing Instruments, please call 1-888-422-6309 to learn more.

*The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Panasonic Corporation is under license.

**Measured based on the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) C5513 2000 using a standard receiver. The life of the battery differs depending on the type of battery, conditions and hearing aid set-up.

About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics brand to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking ( As part of its continuing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, Panasonic Corporation of North America will relocate its operations to a new eco-efficient office tower adjacent to a mass transit hub in Newark, NJ in 2013. Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at Information about Panasonic and its products is available at Additional company information for journalists is also available at

About Panasonic's Healthcare Group
Based in Secaucus, NJ Panasonic Healthcare Group is a business group of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Bringing together Panasonic's expertise in a wide range of health and medical device technologies the business unit develops products for the healthcare industry relating to hearing care and diagnostic machines. For more information visit or

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