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Meet Linner Nova – Hearing aids disguised as full-fledged earbuds

Depending on your age and your background, you may have experienced some degree of hearing loss. Maybe it’s subtle or only at specific frequencies, but it’s there. And that’s tough stuff.

Growing up I always thought that you had to get to your 70’s and 80’s before you became “hard of hearing”. As I’m in my mid-40’s I now know that’s hardly the case. I’ve lost some of my hearing and some situations are harder than others to pick up sound.

I recently learned of the Linner Nova, a pair of true wireless earbuds with hearing aid capabilities. That is to say they look and feel like standard Bluetooth earbuds but they have added smarts and features for hearing assistance.

Having spent a few days playing with these, and using them in various scenarios, I’ve come to really like these. Not just because they amplify conversation or help me hear the TV better, but because they do so in an unassuming way.

You can’t tell by looking at these that they amplify sound, let alone just how well they do it. From the moment you turn them on you’ll notice how effective they are in boosting audio. Text, in particular, sounds incredibly clear and crisp, and subjects come across as being much closer in proximity.

Take a few minutes with the mobile app and do the hearing test and you’ll find that the experience only gets better. You can opt for individual ears or the binaural test to find out how different each ear might be. It’s possible that one of your ears is more sensitive to specific frequencies than others.

You’ll spend maybe five minutes doing the test but once your profile is set up, you’ll have finely-tuned earbuds that offset any audio shortcomings.

Moreover, there are four listening modes that you can toggle to tweak things based on your environment or scenario. Standard conversations in quiet environments, restaurants, traffic, and outdoor settings each have their own level of background noise or distraction, but the Linner Nova adjusts to help bring human voices forward and balance the other sounds.

As far as standard Bluetooth earbuds go, the Linner Nova has quite a decent selection of features. They’re IPX5 rated against water so you can wear them without worrying about summer rains catching you off guard.

Battery life is list at eight hours per charge with the carrying case providing another 32 hours. That’s 40 hours of battery which, for most people, could be a full week’s worth of usage. When it comes to charging you can use the USB Type-C port or any Qi wireless charging pad.

The Linner Connect accessory plugs in via a 3.5mm cable to help broadcast and boost the audio from a specific source. Or, place it on a table and you’ll find it pulls double duty as a wireless microphone.

Rounding things out, the earbuds have an antibacterial coating and the charging case houses a UV-C light. There’s also in-ear detection, feedback suppression, and noise reduction at play, too. Oh, and they also color each earbud differently so it’s easy to identify when it’s time to charge them up or when picking up from a table.

The Linner Nova is currently in its last days of Indiegogo funding where it’s already hit roughly 20x its initial goal. From the looks of things you can get them for $219 if you act fast. Also available are ‘Lite’ version (no Connect transmitter) which comes in around $179.

After having tested these out I can see why it’s done so well already. They’re as good as pretty much any other earbuds in the $100-$130 range and the hearing assistance is well worth the extra asking price. Best of all, nobody is the wiser that you’ve got hearing aids in your ears.

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