The ubiquity of mobile audio devices today means we’re treated to a plethora of options when it comes to earbuds and headphones. Yet across the board most wearable audio shares similar form factors, many delivering marginally varying degrees of in/on ear performance. But Olive Union Founder and CEO Owen Song’s impetus for designing the Olive Pro stands out for the higher motive behind its design – one that could benefit the lives of any of the 466-million people affected by hearing loss globally.
“When my uncle first needed hearing assistance, everything from design and pricing to technology and maintenance turned him away,” says Song, “Our third generation Olive Pro was built for him and others suffering from some level of hearing loss.”
While the Olive Pro is engineered to deliver a high fidelity audio experience for listening to music as one would hope from any wireless Bluetooth earbuds (credit to Olive’s HD speakers and two-way balanced armature drivers), their form factor conceals an additional layer of functionality exceeding other earbuds – one attributed to the incorporation of artificial intelligence to enhance audio isolation and enhancement to provide hearing assistance. And most impressively the $199 ($299 MSRP), FDA-registered Olive Pro deliver this hearing optimizing functionality for a price considerably lower than traditional dedicated hearing aids, devices that typically cost anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000.
“Everyone takes a different road to healthy hearing, but no matter the journey, today’s hearing aids industry has placed unnecessary business-driven roadblocks along the way,” says Song.
Setting up the Olive Pro requires a 5-minute calibration process, after which the earbuds and its associated app creates hearing profiles bespoke to the wearer. From this profile the AI-enhanced Olive Pro is able to work their sound manipulating magic, amplifying voice clarity while negating unnecessary environmental noises. The Olive Pro accomplishes this feat using onboard mics to capture, isolate, filter and reduce distracting background sounds, effectively operating as a hearing aid under the guise of earbuds. Very impressive, but even more so with an 18+ hours of battery life for morning to evening use.
Song notes only 20 percent exhibiting hearing loss seek aid to improve hearing. The Olive Pro offers a combination of design and technology that could effectively alleviate any stigma that may prevent those in need of additional help in the hearing department, offered in a form factor that looks the part of a stylish earbud to isolate unwanted noises, enhance music, enjoy television, and improve conversational interactions anywhere and everywhere.
Too often the latest technologies offer solutions in search of problems to solve, but the Olive Pro is an example of a commendable inclusive design intent to improve the life of its users in long lasting and reaching fashion with meaningful purpose, democratizing sound.
The Olive Pro launches with a special pre-order price of $199 (33% off the $299 MSRP). To learn more, visit: OliveUnion.com.