Beltone Imagine hearing technology breakthrough uses the ear’s acoustics to deliver tailored, more natural sound

August 18, 2020

Every person is unique, as are their ears and the way they hear sound. People with hearing loss need a solution tailored to their needs. Yet, today, most hearing aids pick up sound behind the ear, providing an unnatural sound experience, with less depth and direction. Beltone Imagine introduces a new breakthrough with a microphone placement inside the ear canal to solve these challenges and deliver a next-level hearing solution with the person at its heart.

GLENVIEW, IL — Beltone, the nation’s leading hearing care retailer with more than 1,500 locations in North America, today announced Beltone Imagine™ (, a truly made-to-measure hearing aid. This innovative solution is the first to combine a microphone and a receiver in the ear, a breakthrough that enables an unprecedented natural sound experience, addressing one of the biggest issues of hearing aid users: “unnatural” sound. Now every patient can enjoy the benefits of superior sound quality and hear conversations better in noisy environments.

Currently, a hearing aid worn over the ear captures sound with two microphones placed outside and behind the ear. While sound is amplified, it’s not the way sounds are naturally picked up and channeled to the eardrum. The result is what people with hearing aids describe as an unnatural sound with less depth and direction.

Beltone Imagine places a third microphone directly in the ear canal to collect sound, taking advantage of the natural and unique acoustics of each person’s ear, a feat previously impossible without creating sound-distorting “feedback.” This engineering achievement represents a new style of hearing aids; the first Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear (M&RIE). M&RIE (pronounced Marie) provides a naturally immersive hearing experience with greater depth and sound localization while significantly reducing wind noise. The most immediate way people will notice the breakthrough is the sound of their own voice.

“One of the unexpected disappointments for many hearing aid users is the unnatural sound produced by popular Receiver-in-Ear styles,” says Dr. John Nelson, vice president, GN Audiology & Medical Affairs. “By figuring out how to eliminate feedback, we were able to add a microphone directly in the ear canal. This delivers sound the way we are more naturally accustomed to hearing. Even our own voices sound ‘normal.’ We think this advancement will get more people to use hearing aids.”

Nelson says it took 10 years of research and a deep understanding of a person’s unique needs and lifestyle to develop Beltone Imagine technology.

“Until Beltone Imagine, hearing aids used algorithms of the “average ear” shape when delivering sound,” Nelson says. “But Beltone Imagine is not a one-size-fits-all hearing aid. Most of the time, it will be collecting sound using the microphone in the canal, delivering that individualized sound. It truly lets each person experience the world with their own ears.”

Beltone Imagine connects to Apple™ devices and Android™ smartphones to directly stream audio and is available with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 hours on a three-hour charge. Its enhanced ergonomic design comes in eight new natural colors to match a variety of skin and hair colors. Every purchase automatically includes BelCare, a lifetime care and protection service available only with Beltone.

Beltone Imagine will be available from August 27 exclusively at Beltone hearing centers nationwide. Every Beltone location has put stringent COVID-19 precautions into place.

For people who are limiting travel outside the home during pandemic restrictions, Beltone Remote Care Live gives the ability to consult with their hearing care professional via video and make hearing aids adjustments in real time, without them having to come to the office.

Learn more at a Beltone Hearing Center Location near you.

About Beltone

Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Chicago-based Beltone is part of the GN Group. Beltone provides industry-leading products, services and support for its hearing care network that operates in more than 1,500 offices across the United States and Canada. Beltone remains the most trusted brand for quality products and care among its patients and adults aged 50 and older.

About GN

The GN Group enables people to Hear More, Do More and Be More through its intelligent hearing, audio and video collaboration solutions. Inspired by people and driven by our innovation leadership, we leverage technological synergies between our hearing and audio divisions to deliver unique and increasingly individualized user experiences in our products and solutions.

150 years ago, GN was founded with a truly innovative and global mindset. Today, we honor that legacy with world-leading expertise in the human ear, sound and video processing, wireless technology, miniaturization and collaborations with leading technology partners. GN's solutions are marketed by the brands ReSound, Beltone, Interton, Jabra, BlueParrott and FalCom in 100 countries. Founded in 1869, the GN Group employs 6,500 people and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (GN.CO).

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