We’ve covered various bone conduction hearing devices on pages of Medgadget, such as the SoundBite, the BAHA, and even a pair of bone conduction consumer headphones. However, none is quite as stylish as the Cynaps Enhance, a new product recently announced from Delaware-based Max Virtual that puts a bone conducting hearing aid into a baseball cap.
The Cynaps Enhance is a full hearing enhancement system: dual microphones are built into the bill to pick up sound and provide location awareness, and bone conduction transducers in the cap transmit sound directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum and outer ear. The Cynaps Enhance also has Bluetooth built in to allow the user to receive phone calls and stream audio through their skull from mobile phones and other devices.
While the Cynaps Enhance could change the way users with conductive hearing loss (such as this editor) hear sounds around them and enjoy music, the stylish baseball cap is also beneficial for those with normal hearing, as bone conduction will allow users to keep their ears completely open for sounds in their surroundings, like oncoming traffic, while they take calls or listen to music. Users can also help preserve their hearing by bypassing the eardrum and listening to music or loud noises through bone conduction.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on this new headgear, Max Virtual will be launching a limited beta test next month on Indiegogo. $99 will get you the beta version of the Cynaps Enhance, an opportunity to give direct feedback to the company, and a $99 credit toward “Version 2”, which is set to be released in October with a 3D sound processor and FDA approval.