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072 – Abram Bailey, AuD & Steve Taddei, AuD – The Hearing Health Market Heats Up: Sonova + Sennheiser & Bose Hearing Aids

This week on the Future Ear Radio Podcast, I’m joined by the guys over at Hearing Tracker, Abram Bailey and Steve Taddei. Abram started Hearing Tracker roughly 8 years ago with the intention of creating an online resource for hearing aid wearers to research and discuss hearing aid options with one another. Since that time, it has grown into one of the premier destinations and online resources for hearing aid wearers. Last year, Steve joined the Hearing Tracker team to head up and host Hearing Tracker’s own podcast.

I wanted to bring these two on the podcast this week to discuss the recent news making waves in the hearing health industry, which is that Sonova bought Sennheiser’s consumer audio division and that Bose introduced its self-fit hearing aids that it’s bringing to market.

Before jumping into the news, Steve and Abram shared the backstory of The Hearing Tracker Podcast, which pivoted away from its original long-form interview-style format, to something more akin to an NPR-type show. I cannot say enough good things about what this group has done with their show and as I mentioned in the episode, it really speaks to what I think this industry is capable of from a media standpoint as our own industry creator economy blossoms.

The bulk of the conversation explores these two big recent announcements and the broader implications. As we discuss, we’re in this weird limbo period prior to the OTC legislation being fully implemented. Therefore, we’re effectively seeing a peak behind the curtain as the board is being set before the game has fully begun. So, as we talk through, it’s about using this holding period to try and figure out what exactly is the best way for hearing professionals to prepare themselves for the next phase of hearing healthcare.

We speak to how hearing professionals might be able to insert themselves into this burgeoning area of the market catering to the mild end of the hearing loss spectrum. When considering whether or not to service this part of the market, one of the biggest questions hearing professionals will face is around what their audiology practices would need to do in order to cater to a patient base that might be higher in volume (more patients) but lower in revenue per patient. This obviously ties into the discussion around unbundling and itemizing, as time then becomes the critical component of success.

A lot is happening right now and we’re sure to see even more big moves on the horizon as the hearing health market continues to heat up.

-Thanks for Reading-
Dave

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dave Kemp:

Hi, I’m your host Dave Kemp. And this is Future Ear Radio. Each episode, we’re breaking down one new thing, one cool new finding that’s happening in the world of hearables, the world of voice technology. How are these worlds starting to intersect? How are these worlds starting to collide? What cool things are going to come from this intersection of technology? Without further ado, let’s get on with the show.

Dave Kemp:

Okay, so we are joined here today by two great guests, two new guests, I’m very excited. We have Abram Bailey and Steve Taddei. So, why don’t we go one by one. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. We’ll start with you, Abram.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, so my name is Abram Bailey. I am a doctor of audiology. And I run a website called hearingtracker.com. Probably a few of your listeners have heard of the website. It is primarily a consumer resource for hearing aid shoppers. So, people who are trying to understand the lay of the land with the products that are available and where to go for services and what services matter, that sort of thing.

Abram Bailey:

And I don’t know how much background you want from me, but I practice clinically for five years in New Zealand after going to Vanderbilt in Nashville. And then I moved back here to start up the website. And I’ve been doing that for the last seven or eight years.

Dave Kemp:

That’s perfect. Well, we’ll definitely interject some Hearing Tracker talk throughout this because it’s a really cool website that you’ve built. And I think it’s going in a very interesting direction that ties into some of what we’ll be talking about today. But before I get ahead of myself, Steve, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Steve Taddei:

Sure. Well, thanks for having me, Dave. So, my name is Steve. I’m also an audiologist. Background is in audio engineering as well. And I’m kind of in this interesting part of my professional career right now where I’ve been working in clinics since graduating, so, coming up on five years now. And slowly over the process of working in clinic, I’ve taken more and more of an interest in the educational realm.

Steve Taddei:

So, currently, I’m still in clinic a couple days a week. I’m teaching in a couple different colleges and universities, spanning things like audio engineering, acoustics, hearing conservation, just general kind of ear and sound stuff, which I absolutely love. And also, for the past eight months now, I’ve been working with Abram in Hearing Tracker as a podcast host through that platform.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah. No, the Hearing Tracker podcast is awesome. I’m a big fan. And for those of you that are listening, be sure to check that out. It’s really cool what they’ve done because initially, they had a podcast somewhat similar to this, where kind of interview style. But Steve and Abram really took it in a different direction this year. And I wanted to kind of kick things off before we do talk about kind of what’s in the news and some of the big high level topics that pertain to this industry right now.

Dave Kemp:

I wanted to take a minute though and hear it from you all about this pivot because what they’ve done is they’ve kind of transitioned to more of an NPR style approach where it focuses on a particular topic, and they get a couple different … They get maybe like a patient and then like an expert, maybe a clinician that specializes in whatever topic that they’re talking about.

Dave Kemp:

But the production quality is really, really high. And I think it just sets the … What’s so cool about it, in my opinion, is I think that this format that I use is definitely one of the more popular formats for podcasts. But I think that podcast as a medium is so new.

Dave Kemp:

And I think that it’s so exciting to see even in our niche of an industry that you have some creatives out there that are taking the initiative to kind of introduce a new format and show that it’s not like the MPRs of the world aren’t limited to these kinds of things. I think that it’s you have the opportunity to kind of take these types of new forms of content and do with them whatever you please. So, can you just share with me, Steve, a little bit about how that transpired, how you decided to pivot? Because I know it was, I think, at the start of this year, so just share with us like what that’s been like.

Steve Taddei:

Sure, and thanks for the plug in, the nice words about it, too. So, we started the Hearing Tracker podcast last year, and it wasn’t this traditional two-way format, just like a conversation like we’re having right now. And the reason why we ended up switching is personally, I wanted to get a little bit more into the sound design elements of it having music in there, different sound effects that can help elaborate on elements that you’re talking about.

Steve Taddei:

So, for example, if we’re talking about pure tone audiometry and I say something like 6000 hertz, that’s not going to mean much to an average person listening. But if you can then also have a little frequency sweep behind it or play a 6000 hertz tone, it now extends the educational level of the content that we’re providing. And hopefully, that also makes it more interesting.

Steve Taddei:

So, the goal for it was really to, my goal for us, I guess, has always been to recreate in a way what it’s like to be sitting in a clinical setting with an audiologist, except it’s not one on one. It’s now one person, five people, however, many are on the podcast being able to reach as many ears that is listening. So, to make it as interesting as possible, as educational as possible, I really want to reach out and try this more audio documentary or audio narrative format.

Steve Taddei:

And it’s been lots of fun in the process so far. I think I drive Abram crazy with some of the requests I have, the transcription and all the other stuff. But it’s been a great experience so far.

Dave Kemp:

Abram, you want to weigh in at all?

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, I mean, I’ve been a big, big podcast fan for the last few years. I found that as I’ve had more children, podcasts are one of the rare forms of media that I can still consume. I can find time in the day, like when I’m on my bike going back and forth from the office or when I’m doing dishes, or your frequent guest, Andy Bellavia, whenever I’m out doing yard work and picking up leaves and stuff like that.

Abram Bailey:

These are all good times for podcasts. And you can’t be reading a book when you’re doing all these things. So, it just kind of fits into my life really nicely. And I’ve just kind of fallen in love with some of the podcasts that I listen to. Just an example, Hidden Brain, I don’t know if any of you guys have heard of that one. But it’s just exceptional. The quality, the stories that they tell, the amount that you can learn in these really short sittings.

Abram Bailey:

And I think I enjoy the interview style podcast. But what I really wanted was I wanted a podcast that I would actually want to listen to. And so, that’s where I kind of started to think, is it possible. And me and Steve just sort of started having this conversation of is that something that’s way out of the realm of possibility? Or would you be interested, willing, able to actually go to the next level with this thing.

Abram Bailey:

And Steve was like, “Yeah, I would love to do that. I’m all about it.” And he even sent me a list of books that he thought would be informative in terms of leveling up. And it was a bunch of basically how to produce journalism through podcasts and that sort of thing. And I ordered all those books as soon as he sent me that list. And I don’t know how many he read. But I mean, I think the quality speaks for itself.

Abram Bailey:

I mean, and I remember he sent me the very first one, which was, I think it was The Cochlear Implants with Chad Ruffin. And I was just instantly hooked. I was actually on my way to go and get some tacos for the family in the van, in the minivan. And I put on the podcast. And I was like, I actually want to keep listening to this. So, it was cool. I’m really excited about it. I enjoy listening to it every time. I want to listen to the whole thing.

Abram Bailey:

And I mean, I don’t like to say that I didn’t like it before. But it just felt like more of something I had to set the time aside for and now it feels like something I look forward to and enjoy. And I think it is impactful. The people that are listening to it, we started getting more people reaching out to us having questions or saying that they appreciated the content or whatever. So, I think our reach is still pretty limited. But I think the quality has gone up. We’ve started to reach more people with it. And the people that we are reaching I think are enjoying it more and getting more prominent. I don’t know if I told that story well, Steve.

Steve Taddei:

Oh, yeah, that’s about right. Yeah. And my background is in audio engineering and recordings. So, I really jumped at any opportunity to introduce some of those other audio elements into it.

Dave Kemp:

I mean, but this this gets at I think what’s probably one of my favorite things that’s happening in this industry. I’ve been in the industry full time since 2016, which is probably I mean I feel like we always sort of everything comes back to Cliff a little bit. But Cliff, I think did, he sort of was a revelation, I think for the industry, which is that this industry is very much capable of, from a media standpoint really sort of capturing people’s attention through these new methods of media and new forms of media.

Dave Kemp:

And I think that it’s only been cascading since then. And I mean, I see it all the time with that audiology creators group that you made, Abram, where you have people that are … There’s all kinds of new YouTube channels. Your podcast is another great example, where I think that the most exciting thing that’s happening is that there really seems to be this sort of grassroots groundswell movement of creation around education.

Dave Kemp:

It’s such a widespread issue, hearing loss. But it’s one of those things that it’s kind of hard and opaque to really gather information, whether it be where to find support and how to actually treat it, and all the opaqueness that comes along with that, which I think Hearing Tracker has done a really good job of breaking down and making things more transparent.

Dave Kemp:

But then again, I love the … I think that your podcast does a great job of complementing the interview style where you could go and you could hear the 60-minute conversation that I had with David Eagleman, where Jacque Scholl on there, but she was talking about her daughter who actually uses the device, which I thought was pretty, pretty cool to have that real world firsthand experience.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah.

Dave Kemp:

But then you have in addition, you have your episode where it’s like Steve said, you have the audio engineering, it’s this journalism where you really get the opportunity to play the noises and give people a sense of this is what we’re actually talking about in real terms with the different sound effects. I think that everything is complementing each other really nicely, where what this ultimately is translating to is just a whole lot more information in education for the patient base and for the potential end users, which I think is just a huge net positive.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah. And that’s probably one of the, I guess, limitations of the format that we’ve gone with is that I think Steve has these wonderful, long form conversations with the guests, and then has to sort of trim that down. And there’s a lot, obviously, that’s missed in that process. So, it is really good to have your podcast, Dave, where that long form interview with David Eagleman is available for those that are interested in hearing more from him. He has a lot to say, a lot of interesting stuff.

Abram Bailey:

So, yeah, I agree with you. And it’s kind of interesting to going to that whole creator community that’s springing up. I mean, I think a lot of people are just trying to really engage their own sort of local customer base or potential customer base when it’s audiologists, I’ve seen a few YouTube channels like that where I think they’re not trying to go full Cliff and get-

Dave Kemp:

Full Cliff.

Abram Bailey:

I don’t know how many subscribers he has now. What is he like, up to like 30,000, 30,000, I can’t remember. He’s got a lot.

Dave Kemp:

All over, I think 100 now.

Abram Bailey:

Is it? Yeah, I lost count. But obviously, he’s an international audiology superstar. But you don’t to … Sensation. You don’t have to go that far with it. I mean, I guess what I’m trying to say right now is that if there’s anybody here on this podcast right now listening, that this thinking about being creative. You don’t have to be reaching the entire globe to make an impact. You could reach your local community, even if it’s just posting videos on your own website.

Abram Bailey:

Because people are out there searching for help. And they might stumble on something really helpful. And you can take that opportunity to educate and maybe even build a relationship and find a new customer. So, absolutely encourage that.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah. And again, like Dave, you said, and real good information, too, because we’re all flooded with so much content and we’re in the field, obviously. So, we have a background in science and understanding of what might be a little bit more accurate. But if you’re someone who has a hearing loss or a family member if someone has a hearing loss, you have no clue what is pseudoscience, what is actual science, good research, poor research, just marketing, marketing angles and information in that sense.

Steve Taddei:

So, I love the fact that we have all these people now who are actually taking the initiative to make content that is useful, directed not towards selling anything other than just genuine information directly from a person who has the experience.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah, I mean, I think that this actually kind of segues perfectly into what we’re going to be talking about today. The real meat and potatoes of this conversation is going to be kind of what’s happening right now in this whole sort of industry, this ecosystem, which is the competitive environment is just really starting to heat up. And to Abram’s point, I think that it’s all going to come back to if those that are listening today, some of you are maybe practicing audiologists or you own a clinic or something like that.

Dave Kemp:

It’s always sort of been how do I stand out, but that it’s like the game is now being played by more people. And I think the competitors are just growing in their prowess.

Dave Kemp:

And so, a lot of sort of the traditional, I don’t want to say dismissiveness, but some of the old adages that existed as to why these things weren’t necessarily threats or opportunities, but that there was almost a sense of you could dismiss them for any number of reasons, whether it be the regulatory hurdles, which we know to be in the process, extremely long process of being broken down through OTC or it just be that they’re not well funded, or whatever that might be. But a lot of this stuff is kind of going out the window.

Dave Kemp:

And so, I think that what we’re … To kick things off, let’s talk through some of the big things that have happened. And then I want to come full circle talking about what as a provider, as a professional in this industry, how can you still make sense of this and do well with it, actually really succeed and be successful off the back of what I think is actually a growing set of opportunities.

Dave Kemp:

So, let’s start with the first of the two big news, Sonova buys Sennheiser for roughly $241 million. So, quick takes in what was your initial thoughts with this when this came out? Because I think this was a really interesting. One is, Sennheiser is a big consumer brand and I know that for where I stand with kind of one foot in this industry, but then I also in the voice space, that took a lot of people by surprise, because everybody was just under the impression that well, wouldn’t Sennheiser buy the hearing aid brand. And this is what I’ve kind of been trying to say is that, these hearing aid brands are big, and they’re cash rich.

Dave Kemp:

And so, I think that it just speaks to this macrotrend that’s happening right now where it’s acquisitions and spending sprees I think are on the horizon. And I think that this just feels like a pretty big shot across the bow of, okay, here we go. Game on.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah, and Sennheiser, I looked it up, they actually have been around since 1945. So, they beat out Sonova by a few years. You said Sonova ended up purchasing them. And to answer your question, the first is this is really selfish. But the first thought I had when I found out that Sennheiser was purchased, I was disappointed actually. I love Sennheiser. I use their equipment. Some of the first studio headphones I’ve ever had were Sennheiser headphones. Love their shotgun mics. I use them all the time.

Steve Taddei:

And traditionally, I don’t necessarily think hearing aid companies know how to approach sound quality from a consumer standpoint, consumer being pro audio, someone who is looking for high fidelity sound quality. So, my selfish first thought was, “Oh, no, all this audio gear that I’ve learned to love and use, they might be having a downturn.” And this happens all the time with audio companies, too, where a big one will be purchased. And then it changes in the capsules and the way some of the equipment is manufactured.

Steve Taddei:

But on a more positive note, and I think that is one of the biggest or not one of the biggest, but a big issue with hearing technology is I don’t think there is as much focus on what good sound quality can be. And there are many reasons for that with different fittings and needing to leave the ear canal more open. And we can always get into stuff like that a lot more with some of the other devices.

Steve Taddei:

But hopefully then, this pairing is a little bit of both worlds where then from the distribution side that Sennheiser has and the brand awareness and loyalty, maybe that does improve accessibility for people. And then on the other end, maybe they can take their understanding of sound quality and what is a pro audio, a good sonic experience and deliver that then through some of those now hearing devices.

Dave Kemp:

That’s really interesting. I hadn’t really considered the pro audio angle like you described there, but I do think there’s probably an element of truth to that. And that’s going to be really interesting to see is I think there’s a lot of kind of exciting applications when you think about Sonova’s technology being embedded inside of these consumer oriented devices, but kind of goes the other way is like, well, does that then somehow depreciate maybe the pro audio side of these devices and somehow degradation that element of things.

Dave Kemp:

So, what about you, Abram? What’s your thoughts from this?

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, I have some thoughts. One question I had about what Steve said was with the pro audio side. I guess I don’t really know their business that well in terms of the Sennheiser consumer audio division is effectively what was sold. Does consumer audio do the shotgun mics and the types of headphones that you were … I guess that’s the part I don’t understand is I don’t know what products from what part of their portfolio, what’s in the consumer division and what other divisions do they have? I guess I don’t know the company that well.

Abram Bailey:

I know that Sennheiser has a collaboration with Demant. But that’s more pro audio. So, there’s many things going on with Sennheiser and the hearing aid pro. But yeah, so, do you know, Steve, how that all works? Or what does the consumer audio umbrella looked under that? Is that just like headphones? Or does that include mics and things?

Steve Taddei:

You know, I didn’t do a bunch of research. And that was my gut reaction. I had to really quickly push that away. No, these are all great audio. They’ll make it work. But yeah, I would assume maybe it is more directed towards their headphones and ear bass technology, and not so much the pro audio level with the shotgun mics and some [crosstalk 00:21:56].

Abram Bailey:

Well, now, you’ll be able to sleep.

Steve Taddei:

I know, you just saved me. Thank you.

Abram Bailey:

Sorry. So, yeah, I don’t know. So, I guess the first one was GN, which owns ReSound. They also have Jabra. And I guess with Jabra, that’s more office ear level stuff. I think I might be wearing Jabra right now. I’m not sure for this conversation. But it’s a lot of office mics and headphones and things like that.

Dave Kemp:

And enterprise, a lot of enterprise sales.

Abram Bailey:

But of course, there’s a lot of questions there of what will Jabra represent for GN once we get into this less regulated OTC world. Will Jabra become a brand that has some relevance or for consumer headphones and things that are going to be equipped with the hearing aid technology, or are they going to just put everything under ReSound, and then Demant obviously came to market with the Philips brand for Costco.

Abram Bailey:

And again, you have to wonder, is that something that maybe they had started when OTC was expected a lot earlier. And once OTC hits, are we going to start seeing Philips hearing aids at Walmart and Best Buy? I don’t know. It certainly makes sense from that perspective of, well, Sonova was kind of behind in terms of where the competitors were, in terms of having a household brand that they could sort of use as their third DTC, direct to consumer solution.

Abram Bailey:

Potentially, that’s what this is going to be about. I don’t know. I have no insider knowledge. But you can kind of see how everybody’s gearing up. And I don’t think Sonova wanted to be left behind on that. I think probably along with that purchase, they’re going to be getting a lot of the people that were involved in the previous business. So, all the Sennheiser engineers and stuff, I would anticipate that probably, you’re not going to start getting crappy headphones anytime soon, Steve. I’m sure they’re going to still hopefully produce the same quality and hopefully still produce those products and focus on those consumer products.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, and I mean, I guess time will tell sort of where that’s all headed. And can they take some of their high quality audio and import that into their hearing aid business or not. Because like you said, you have the open ear, you have the power limitations. There’s all these issues that limit the driver size and how much power you can send to the driver and stuff. So, I guess it’s a new world.

Abram Bailey:

I guess like the Bose Hearphones, they’re an example of something like a hearing aid that used a more closed fitting or the Nuheara IQbuds. There’s some products out there or I guess even the AirPods now. And so, if that’s going to be a popular category for people that want a more closed fitting and a consumer brand, maybe Sennheiser starts producing things like that instead of what we commonly think of as a Rick traditional type hearing aids. Yeah, that’s all I got.

Dave Kemp:

No, I think those are great thoughts. I mean, it’s great. Now, it’s like everybody’s just sort of trying to kind of put the pieces together to figure out what’s going on. It’s like I said earlier, too, where it’s like one of the things with the next piece of news is we’re going to talk about the Bose thing in a minute, the Bose hearing aid, that’s coming out. But it’s like it mentions how it’s only going to be available in five states initially.

Dave Kemp:

And it’s like, well, obviously, with the way that the OTC Bill is structured right now, we’re in this really weird limbo phase, but it’s like we’re kind of getting equal parts a peek behind the curtain of what’s coming. It’s like you said. I mean, you have to imagine that the reason that Demant bought Philips is exactly as you described, that at some point, they’re going to utilize it as their consumer brand. It seems like Sonova with Sennheiser, it’s kind of along somewhat of the same vein.

Dave Kemp:

But again, it’s like we’re in this kind of weird holding pattern right now, where it’s tough to really be able to say, it’s like we’re kind of seeing the board being set. But the game can’t really start. And it’s kind of started, but not really. So, it’s just this really weird period of time right now that is like it’s one foot in both worlds, it feels like, so it just kind of bizarre.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, totally.

Dave Kemp:

And so, I wanted to read this though because I thought this was really interesting. So, I pulled this from the Sennheiser press release or the Sonova press release when they bought it. And so, I just want to kind of talk through this piece because it says, “This acquisition supports an important element of Sonova’s strategy to reach ever more consumers, whether their journey towards better hearing begins. Personal audio devices have become an integral part of everyday life as people interact with their digital devices increasingly through sound.

Dave Kemp:

Sonova believes that such complementary solutions will ultimately expand the traditional hearing aid market by increasing adoption rates. This acquisition significantly accelerates Sonova’s own efforts in this area.”

Dave Kemp:

So, I mean, I think this makes sense. But I do think that it’s interesting. Again, it goes to this whole idea that hearing aids historically haven’t really catered to these people that we always hear about. The listeners are probably getting tired of me always talking about this seven-year gap or the 10-year gap. But I mean, it really feels like that’s who is being addressed with all of these moves is, it’s not really targeting the people that would be buying hearing aids. It’s the people that are apprehensive for whatever reason and they’re trying to cater to these people, whether it be in year two or year five before they actually would have made that move.

Dave Kemp:

And so, I think that ultimately sort of begs the question, is this just entirely new business for everybody? Or is this going to somehow cannibalize that early end of the market? Because if you’re getting your first device and it’s one of these introductory devices, does that somehow cannibalize the hearing aid sale down the line? It just seems like that’s the biggest thing that’s really being addressed by all this is this gap in getting people to just take action sooner for one reason or another. What do you to think about that?

Steve Taddei:

Yeah, and that’s really interesting. I do think a lot of these devices, it’s almost like their approach isn’t, okay, we’re going to sell you a device specifically to aid your hearing. It’s almost like, here’s a device to listen to music, to stream phone calls, stream television. And by the way, since it’s already in your ear, let’s help you hear a little bit better, too, with some type of in situ audiogram or tilt shift spectral adjustment to it.

Steve Taddei:

So, yeah, I don’t think it would be any type of cannibalism at this point. Obviously, we know there’s very low penetration or just acceptance of hearing aids across many different, across different countries, whether they are offered free through insurance or not. So, I think it just comes down to it’s really hard to create a one size fits all solution for hearing.

Steve Taddei:

And there are many different types of hearing losses, different types of ears, lifestyles, needs. So, yeah, I think it’s just this this kind of yin and yang between some companies like the hearing aid manufacturers that are currently there. They’re trying to create devices that can fit the majority of people. Let’s say, 80% of the population just a device, it’s as good as possible for as many people as possible.

Steve Taddei:

And I think some of those other people who are excluded by that, these other devices, like the Nuheara, the Apple AirPods Pro, they can facilitate that a little bit more, too. So, I don’t think it’s cannibalism. I think like you said, Dave, it is just a different kind of piece of the puzzle for you.

Dave Kemp:

Because I feel like with this, there’s so much fear it seems like. And maybe that’s not the right word, but I feel like it’s like people are … And when I say people, I think that there’s an overall mentality in the hearing health industry that these sort of are going to erode the current business model or they’re going to somehow displace this business

Dave Kemp:

And, again, if you look at, if you kind of really look into what they’re talking about, what they’re saying is we’re trying to expand the market. And so, the question then becomes, how does the provider, how does the professional actually involve themselves in some of these offerings. Like the Bose piece, which also was introduced. So, last week, Bose came out, they’ve been sort of in the mix for a little while. They had this de novo status that they have at the FDA, where they went and they kind of in the interim before this OTC legislation is passed, they got approval to have a self-fit device. And now, we see what it looks like.

Dave Kemp:

And it’s, again, it’s kind of one of these things where you have to look at it and it’s self-fit and it’s bought online. So, for these kinds of things, it’s sort of like where does the provider fit into that. And what I’ve been really trying to kind of get to the bottom of it is maybe there isn’t really a play. And that’s the point is that these aren’t meant to be something that you’re necessarily involved with.

Dave Kemp:

It’s just that it might ultimately usher them to you soon than if they have this go on checked and they just don’t treat them with anything. So, it’s almost a catalyst to sort of get them to you sooner. Maybe that’s five years instead of seven years. I mean, that’s sort of where my head’s at. And I want to kick it to you guys to get your thoughts on this. Because I just don’t necessarily see the play with the way that the provider fits into some of these real self-fits sort of direct to consumer offerings.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah, I love this discussion of how devices like this will affect the field of audiology, the practice of audiologists and the traditional model. And I don’t know if it’s just a soapbox discussion, there’s so many different avenues in this. But something that I will say is I think all audiologists would agree with this, just because someone doesn’t want to come to your facility for hearing out, it doesn’t mean you don’t want them to have good hearing. So, if there was another device that works out for them, of course, use it.

Steve Taddei:

If it helps you out, then that’s great. And I think the sticking point for a lot of people is are these at home self-fit devices, are they accurate? Are they actually proving benefit? And are they going to catch something more serious like an ear infection? Or are they going to catch something more serious like a mass occupying lesion or something that could be treated more appropriately through another measure.

Steve Taddei:

And I think that leads perfectly to where audiologists can be. And that would be, we can take a step back from viewing ourselves as clinicians in the standpoint of we fit hearing aids and that is our day-to-day model. And it can be, “Hey, look, we have this entire platform of that that is our scope of practice.” So, if there are devices and there are other providers who can fit these devices, why don’t we then focus on those other areas, which arguably are more appropriate, I would say, for audiologist to be focusing on.

Steve Taddei:

Like tinnitus, hearing conservation, vestibular, there’s lots of auditory processing disorders or rehabilitation. There are lots of areas that I think fall short because currently, there’s not good reimbursement for them, so they aren’t fit well into the business model.

Steve Taddei:

So, I would personally love to see that if hearing aids cannot be taken off of our plate. But if we can have a little bit more space and then reimbursement to focus on these other areas, I think that would be a wonderful boon to the field of audiology and just hearing health care in total.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, I mean, I realistically looking at where the technology is, the sum total of it, this Bose fitting, this self-fitting hearing aid from Bose, it’s legit.

Dave Kemp:

It’s legit.

Abram Bailey:

At least if you believe this study which Bose was involved, people at Bose were involved in, the self-fitting software. And it’s not the first study that that fitting software has been involved with. So, you know that your machine app on Apple on iOS?

Dave Kemp:

Yeah.

Abram Bailey:

That software is sort of the foundation. That was the original app that essentially Bose bought. And it’s now the foundation of how their audio hardware works, right? You drive it through this app which has these two wheels. And what they found is that people, when given this app and these two wheels, as long as they have mild to moderate hearing loss, and no worse than that, they are able to get themselves on average to a similar place that they would be if they had had real ear measurements from right.

Abram Bailey:

And there’s more than that in terms of they did speech noise testing, they did sound quality subjective sound quality questionnaires and stuff. Basically, on every dimension, these things work. And people even prefer the sound over the sound they would have gotten if they had done the perfect REMs fitting. So, these devices are definitely competitive for those who have mild to moderate hearing loss and who are inclined to use an app like that to self-drive things.

Abram Bailey:

So, to your point though is that removing that part of the market or are we just talking about creating a new market with these people that were in this holding pattern for seven years, or what, I think it’s a little bit of both. And so, I think there’s going to be a lot of hearing aids still on the plate for audiologists. I mean, there’s going to be people who have more severe hearing loss. There’s going to be people who have complex needs. There’s going to be people with dexterity issues, people who just want to have their handheld for whatever reason, there’s still going to be a lot of people left.

Abram Bailey:

But I do think that as this technology improves further and further, as we start to see the artificial intelligence, machine learning stuff become more robust, if you look at what Whisper Hearing is doing right now with the noising. having a perfect best audibility gain curve becomes less important, because now you’re able to accurately separate out background noise and produce clear speech.

Abram Bailey:

Having audibility is still important, but a decibel here and a decibel there, it’s not such a big deal. People are just going to raise the volume and they’re going to get clear speech, and it’s going to be okay, for the most part. And those things aren’t even in the self-fitting market. Now, imagine the marriage between a Bose hearing aid and a Whisper, where you could get the Bose hearing aid, you can essentially give yourself audibility pretty easily, and you’ve got the noising built in.

Abram Bailey:

Now, that’s the question is, why do people who can use that solution, why do they need to see an audiologist to have real ear measurements run? I’m not saying that there aren’t other reasons that an audiologist should be involved. I still think that the audiologist should be the first stop in terms of getting a diagnostic, assessing a whole hearing health situation. In the future, I think sometimes people might decide to go and get a Bose hearing aid after doing that.

Abram Bailey:

Or maybe you’re going to find some people get a Bose hearing aid, but then they still have problems with maintenance. Maybe they sweat a lot or maybe they have ear wax. And a lot of the audiologist job right now is kind of like a service technician with all of the stuff that goes wrong with hearing aids. You guys know that. It’s like half the visits, not half the visits, but so many of the visits that you have when you’re practicing audiology is people coming in for troubleshooting with wax issues or things breaking or whatever.

Abram Bailey:

And so, the question I have right now is this is a really new market for company like Bose, what are they going to experience out there in the real world with people trying to use these devices on their own? How many people are going to be fully capable of doing all of those day-to-day maintenance things without any help from hands-on assistance from a professional.

Abram Bailey:

So, I think there’s still going to be even when the technology is perfect, I still think there’s going to be a role for somebody to play in that. And then of course, like I said, you’ve got all of those classes of people who this product is not going to be intended for them. So, I think hearing aids aren’t going to be completely off the table anytime soon. But I took Steve’s point, I think now is the time to start trying to figure out how do we expand the scope of practice? How do we work to our full scope of practice? How do we get reimbursed on the full scope of practice?

Abram Bailey:

For me, personally, I love hearing aids, I really love hearing aids. And you can tell, that’s why I started Hearing Tracker. I was really fascinated by the technology. I really love how the technology can change people’s lives. It’s this amazing treatment that we have. And so, I personally am not envious of those who are like myself really into hearing aids, who are watching this all unfold, because there are so many questions.

Abram Bailey:

I personally wouldn’t have wanted to go into tinnitus counseling or vestib or anything like that. I loved working with hearing aids. So, it’s a hard thing. I don’t think we have a full complete answer yet. But I would say take it seriously.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah, I mean, because I think that this, obviously, is a lot of what has been discussed on this podcast before. But I think that it just continues to become more pronounced every episode because there’s just something new that happens that sort of continues to add to this whole notion in this narrative. And it’s just as Steve said, it’s like, I think that there’s such an impetus now on decoupling from the hearing aid sale itself and going more toward a service-based model.

Dave Kemp:

Because the fact of the matter is that there’s nothing that suggests that the demand for the audiological component of this, the service and then in the expertise is going anywhere, but up. I firmly believe that as a market expands just like you said, a room where whether it’s that initial diagnostics piece or it’s the followup in the service element, and all of the auditory processing, our rehabilitation, tinnitus, everything that you listed there, Steve, it’s like, these things that are truly part of that medical acumen that this particular professional, it’s in their domain.

Dave Kemp:

The question is, how do you make it so that you can compensate and you can sort of pivot back toward a model that is a little bit more medically oriented I think, especially for the audiologist because I don’t think that there’s any real threat to that particular job security because I think that demand is going up. What is in jeopardy is this business model.

Dave Kemp:

Because I think that if you’re looking at a future that seems to be coming quicker and quicker every single day, that is like you have this option of getting something that is maybe quite suitable for you that doesn’t necessarily require the high price tag that a premium level hearing aid does. And if your entire business is dependent on that, I feel like that that’s the real crisis that needs to be navigated right now is to figure out, I think it started with the conversation around unbundling and even itemizing services not long ago.

Dave Kemp:

But I think that now, it’s accelerating in a way where you have to really come up with, and this is where I was trying to get at before is, with the Bose product, if you completely invert your business model to where you are rather than low volume, high premium, if you flip it and that your high volume, so you’re seeing a whole lot of people.

Dave Kemp:

And that’s a big question as to like what does that look like? Is it a very much online centric thing? Do you have to hire technicians so that you can sort of outsource some of that actual in clinic work, so that you don’t occupy the audiologists so much and that maybe they’re playing more of that dentist role, where you have that hygienist doing the bulk of the work and the dentist comes in. They come and they actually look at a particular aspect of the teeth or something like that.

Dave Kemp:

Again, these are just lots of ideas that I have going on in my head right now, which is again, it all comes back to the same thing, which is I think that the actual demand for the medical expertise and the domain expertise of this professional is that is going nowhere but up. And it’s a matter of how do we as an industry properly recalibrate ourselves so that this element is able to compensate for what I think will just inevitably be a little bit of a depreciating revenue stream of device sales.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, I mean, I think that unbundling is something that I, I guess, we’ve been talking about that for years, Dave. And I thought by now what is it, 2021, that we would be further along on that. I know that there are more and more audiologists offering unbundling all the time, but it’s still, I would assume a small minority of practices that are doing that.

Abram Bailey:

But it seems to make sense to me because if you think about a Bose device, if somebody does need help with a device like that, why should it be any different for a person to come and get your help with whatever aspect they need help with? Why should it be any different than if they came to you and got hearing aids?

Dave Kemp:

Exactly.

Abram Bailey:

I think that’s the decoupling that needs to happen. I honestly think it adds more trust into the whole thing anyway. I just had a phone call with a colleague of mine, a LinkedIn contact of mine. We had a phone call. And he was asking me about his wife. And he said, “Oh, my wife went to the audiologist and she’s got a test. They said it was mild to moderate. And they said that she could get hearing aids or she could just write it out for a little bit longer.”

Abram Bailey:

And I was thinking to myself, if that audiologist didn’t have a conflict of interest in making a sale, he would have never said that. He would have never, or she, I don’t know if it was a guy or girl, they would have never said that. Because any audiologist knows that mild to moderate hearing loss is serious. We’re not talking about mild hearing loss. People with mild hearing loss have problems. Mild to moderate, you’re the next level up. You’ve got problems. You should do something.

Abram Bailey:

And you can’t make that kind of confident recommendation as easily when there’s that conflict of interest of I’m trying to sell you something right now. I hate to say that, but that’s just the way it is. And it would be really nice if for example, audiologists were like, “You know what, go get the Bose hearing aids, and then you can buy a service package with me, or you can come and pay by the hour.”

Abram Bailey:

As long as your time is compensated for as long as you’re being paid your professional rate for your hours, as long as you can work that out, you shouldn’t have any problem. You shouldn’t have any deteriorating revenue streams. Because like you say, there’s just going to be more and more people out there needing help with devices, wherever they bought them.

Abram Bailey:

And I think people are still going to be willing to buy devices at an audiologist. But I think that the pricing pressure, it’s going to go hard. It’s going to start hitting really hard. And I don’t know that people are still going to be okay with looking at even two, three, four, $1,000, much less five, six, seven, which is happening all the time today. But, anyway, Steve, what do you think?

Steve Taddei:

I agree with you in that these devices can definitely fill that void. What I always come to though, I know this is slightly different though. Dave, I believe on your previous episode, you had Dr. Natalie with you. And we graduated in the same class.

Dave Kemp:

Nice.

Abram Bailey:

And I love what she has to say about student debt and it can be crippling in my mind goes to is it really a viable business plan then for you to go to school for that long if you’re facilitating basically then these other devices? And I think that question will come up more from the consumer side. And potentially, why am I going to go to a facility and get some of these services done if I can get it done automatically through a hearing aid, like a hearing test for example?

Abram Bailey:

I’m not saying that they’re as accurate because in situ are not. But it all depends on the coupling with your ear canal, the environment. And then also from the standpoint from audiologist and audiologist to be, is that a viable career path for them? So, like you said way back, Dave, this is unchartered territory, and how do we figure out where our role will be? And yeah, I can’t imagine if you are a student at this point in first year, even if you’re finishing up your collegiate career and entering graduate school, this is a lot of uncertainty for you to just entering in.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah, I fully agree. I mean, I think that there is … Again, I feel that this is all sort of we kicked the can down the street for a long time because we could. And I’m saying we, as in the industry, so I really don’t mean to generalize because I’ve talked to so many people that are so inspiring with their just sheer ability to really get a handle on this and are doing awesome.

Dave Kemp:

And so, this isn’t meant to be directed at any one person in saying that writ large, this industry is failing or anything like that. I think it’s more of just like this sort of existential fear of we, as an industry, I think need to really get together here and figure this out. Because I think that there’s a possibility that this domain that the professional really should own gets sort of hijacked in a way, whether it be through consumer technology companies that come across as being very medically oriented.

Dave Kemp:

And maybe, it goes back to what we were saying before about the education piece and the misinformation that exists out there. So, I think there’s a huge imperative on just the collective education that comes forward from this industry from within the industry.

Dave Kemp:

But I think that the fact of the matter is what in three to five years from now, when OTC is fully in, in the market, you have these hearing aid companies buying up all kinds of different consumer audio companies that are fleeing the consumer audio space because they’re getting attacked by Apple, and Samsung, and these companies that have the handset manufacturers that have a whole lot of either vertical integration or they have the ability to package their headphones with the handset device.

Dave Kemp:

So, I think that there’s a huge impetus for Sennheiser to move more into an area that’s maybe a little bit more medical. So, I think this makes a lot of sense. But then, again, it kind of comes back to, okay, so, you’re going to basically get into this period, sure seems like it at least, where you have premium hearing aids and then you have hearing aid companies consumer offerings, more or less, which will be hearing aids targeted toward mild to moderate type losses, I would think, that are whether they’re going to be self-fit.

Dave Kemp:

Or, the point of the matter is, is there’s so many new things that are going to come in. And so, it’s a question of are you willing to really think differently than we’ve ever thought before. And what I mean by that is it’s probably going to mean that if you really want to participate in this more mild to moderate Bose self-fit market that’s really going to be getting tackled at scale, you have to probably come at it from an entirely new approach.

Dave Kemp:

And you have to even ask yourself, do I want to be a part of that? Does that fit into what I want? So, I just think that we’re moving into this period where the person that really is going to benefit is the end user I think. But I think that the audiologists and the hearing professional has a huge opportunity to make it very well known that they exist and that there is this option.

Dave Kemp:

Yes, you can go do it yourself. Yes, you can do self-fit. But for many of you, you might want an expert. You want that lifelong expert that can help to guide you through this. And I think that’s probably what most audiologists were in this to begin with. And I think that this sort of is shaping up to give you that opportunity I think at a scale that we’ve not seen before because we’re, I think, getting closer and closer to a point where you’re going to just see a giant increase in the amount of people that are treating these things from an early stage onward.

Dave Kemp:

And I think that it just all kind of compounds on itself like a snowball because you had somebody that’s not treating this. You got a set of people that’s trained 10 years prior than they would have. And so, you add all of that in all those incremental people and it just creates more opportunity I would think, but it’s a matter of you have to think differently. It’s not just like these are going to be, I’m going to be able to treat this just like I had been treated or the people that came before me. That’s their business model and they did it.

Dave Kemp:

Everything feels like it’s changing in many ways.

Abram Bailey:

What the popular stat I believe is what every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 or older. And that’s on one side of the scale. And then if you look on the other side, we see hearing injuries skyrocketing in school-aged children and kids, preteens because of the use of earbuds and just how loud our environment is. So, you’re right, there’s going to be such a flux of people in need of hearing help.

Abram Bailey:

And I like what you said, too, that in three to five years, this isn’t a contingency. This is just a waiting game, it’s going to happen. These direct to consumer devices are not going anywhere. This is just the next stage in the evolution of hearing technology. And just medical care, too, we see it across the board with vision, with dental, that it’s this platform now of you’ll get something delivered to your door.

Abram Bailey:

And maybe it isn’t a guided process of rehabilitation that is guided by a doctor. And I see this all the time with the dental field. And the braces, it used to be this thing that you had to go there on a weekly basis and I don’t think anyone really wanted to do that. But now, you can have it mailed directly to your house. But you have the confidence of knowing that at least there is a dentist who’s behind whatever your plan is for your dental health.

Abram Bailey:

So, I think there are definitely good signs like that and the growing need for hearing help. Yeah, it’s just a matter of not kicking the can down any further. It’s just, yeah, taking it taking a stand to see how we can embrace this with our full knowledge.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah, I mean, I think as we sort of come full circle here, like I said, I wanted to talk through sort of the change that’s occurring and the potential trajectory that we’re on right now that seems to be being validated each and every week, which is there’s going to be more complexity in the market. There’s going to be solutions that are tailored to different ends of the spectrum of the hearing loss spectrum that hadn’t really been there before.

Dave Kemp:

And I think that, again, it all comes back to what Abram said at the beginning where it’s like, what’s exciting and where I think a big opportunity exists is if you are that local provider and you want to really own your local market or you want to extend some of your services online, I think that it’s on you. And I think that this is what’s exciting is that it ties into everything that’s happening kind of at large with the creator economy.

Dave Kemp:

I had this conversation with Natalie and Ashley last episode where it’s like, I think that there’s a lot that you can learn from some of the people that are starting to do this where they’re recognizing, start a YouTube channel and make it something where it’s geared toward the people that are in your local area, so that they can go to that as a source of information, and Instagram page.

Dave Kemp:

These things, they might sound kind of trivial. But if you really understand this is the way that most people gather their information today, and it can be in any different thing, just find whatever works for you but start thinking about what are the ways that people would maybe even search me out in the first place and meet them in the middle to some place where you know, all right, yeah, then these are the frequently asked questions, these are the things that I have that typically I encounter on that first visit where people said, “This is the reason why I came to see you.”

Dave Kemp:

So, just put yourself in their shoes a little bit and start using these tools that are at your disposal. And I don’t mean this to be something where it’s like this like, we all need to become YouTubers or anything like that. The broader point is, is that I think that if your core value is yourself and your expertise, you have to sort of be aware that many consumers out there don’t even know that you exist. They might not even know that an audiologist exists, what that profession is.

Dave Kemp:

So, there’s a tremendous opportunity from an education standpoint. And I just wanted to get your thoughts there as we kind of come to a close here. Because I feel like this can help to bring things a little bit full circle about where, again, staying upbeat, staying positive and thinking about this as an opportunity. Again, if the idea is that things are, the market is expanding in a big way, that does present opportunities, I would think.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, I want to respond about that. Because I think one thing that’s really interesting about Dr. Cliff’s approach is that he talks about the products that are direct competitors or threats to his business all the time. He makes videos about Costco and even talks about how wonderful Costco is for consumers. He’s reviewed numerous direct consumer products on his channels for.

Abram Bailey:

And his approach is basically, look, these are the things that people are already out there looking for. That this is going to make an inroad into our expertise. We’re the experts. We can tell people about these products in a way that no one else can. We can tell them the pitfalls that they may not be aware of. And we can tell them what gold standard care looks like and what the things are that they might be foregoing by going around the traditional channel.

Abram Bailey:

And so, he’s used that and leveraged that almost a superpower to draw in an audience. And not only does that leveraged his own business, people fly in from all over the country to go and be treated by Dr. Cliff. And, generally he tells me that most of them do buy premium hearing aids and package and everything like that, but he’s also got a network of providers that he’s able to draw consumers into and they’re getting customers.

Abram Bailey:

So, Cliff’s approach, I think he’s proven that we should be having those conversations. We shouldn’t be scared of these threats. We shouldn’t be trying to ignore them. Consumers want us to be honest with them. They want honesty. They value that above all else. If we’re willing to talk about those things that are a threat to us, I think that that builds that relationship of honesty.

Abram Bailey:

And they’re more willing to listen to the things that we have to say about our services and about the importance of our care. So, those are just some points. Because Cliff and I have had this conversation a bunch of times. And he’s just always frustrated that when he makes a video about Costco or about a Bose hearing aid or whatever, he’ll start getting emails, angry messages from audiologists saying, “Why are you telling them that? Why are you giving away these secrets?”

Dave Kemp:

As if that information is somehow going to never reach the hands of the-

Abram Bailey:

Exactly.

Dave Kemp:

You’re able to shape the narrative that way at least.

Abram Bailey:

Exactly.

Dave Kemp:

You can involve yourself and I fully agree with Cliff and you here.

Abram Bailey:

Yeah. So, I mean, so there’s an opportunity, that’s low hanging fruit. Anybody can buy a pair of Bose hearing aids and review them or whatever, we’re just talking about it. It’s not going to be the end of the world. And it will pull people off of the internet. That’s one thing about the internet that’s really interesting.

Abram Bailey:

If you go to Google and you search for the Bose hearing aid, if you have an audiology expert in your area who’s written an article or made a video about the Bose hearing aid, Google is more likely to surface that for that person because there’s a local ranking dimension on Google. So, there’s really some novelty there for people who are trying to stand out.

Abram Bailey:

So, you don’t have to be at the Cliff’s standard because you’ve got Google’s local working for you, to service you. So, anyway, that’s all I’ve got on that. Pass the mic to see, Steve.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah. And I liked what both of you said about just general education. And we shouldn’t run away from the new technologies that are out there. We shouldn’t run away from the studies. I believe it was Andrew Sabin in 2020 with the Bose Hearphones. It was before the earphones where they just tested the technology to see how close it is. I think this is where our meat and potatoes is, understanding what research is out there, what technology is out there. And then we can be like the arbiters of all that information to consumers and people with hearing injury.

Steve Taddei:

And it’d be fantastic to see a clinic that had a full range of just technologies and resources available. I know there are plenty of places that do this, where you have areas that have the hearing conservation different earplugs because they’re as varied as they are for eye protection as well.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah.

Steve Taddei:

Many people try and wear the equivalent of like a welding mask when they go to the beach with hearing protection. And there’s a whole area there. There’s a whole area with hearing technology and the traditional hearing aids model. And then there’s now all this new area of OTC and the Bose sound control, and Nuhearas, the Apple AirPods Pro. So, yeah, I think it’s just learning about all of it, understanding how it can be utilized to help people hear better and that’s just what it comes down to.

Dave Kemp:

Right. I think that, and not being so adversarial to something that maybe if you feel threatened by, even though it could really stand to benefit your patient, and understand that the patient can be your … It can be your customer in many different ways. And whether that’s just through all of the different services that you can provide or like you said, if you have a little bit of a retail offering that goes beyond hearing aids into hearing conservation and into different streaming devices, whatever that might be, I mean, there’s so much value there.

Dave Kemp:

And I think that understanding that these are the things that people are actively looking for help for, and they’re usually defaulting to the internet and strangers on the internet. And they’re piecemealing their opinions through all these different things. And so, who better to help them to inform their decisions than an expert?

Dave Kemp:

And I just continue to think that that is this industry. And so, in my eyes, it’s like you can either just cross your arms and say, “I’m not going to participate in this,” and fine, maybe you’ll be okay. But I think that for those that are really willing to carpe diem a little bit and actually seize the opportunity, I think they’re going to do really, really well because again, I think people are massively underestimating how big this market could really be when it opens up to the mild to moderate section when just as you noted, Steve, you have these macrotrends that influence that as well.

Dave Kemp:

The way in which baby boomers are aging, these are going to be totally different types of buyers than the generation before them in terms of hearing aids. We always talk about the beige banana and stuff like that. The notion of what these people are going to want to wear will change in time.

Dave Kemp:

And so, I think just being open to meeting them to where they’re at and recognizing that the real value and the real, I think, reason that you fit into this is that you’re the person that they’re seeking out. They’re seeking your knowledge and your expertise and your services. And it’s a matter of making those a little bit more accessible in today’s times.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah, I completely agree. I think anyone in clinic nowadays, they’ve had the patient come in with a folder, sometimes like a binders’ worth of newspaper ads, things that they’ve printed out online. And I love what’s behind the curtain on that. It’s that they’re coming to you to help dispel the fact from fiction. And yes, people, they are looking for help. They want help. People understand the limitations of online research. And yeah, there’s a lot kind of behind the scenes that.

Dave Kemp:

Fully agree. Okay, well, as we wrap up, why don’t we share YouTube, tell us a little bit about where we can connect with you, learn more about the work that you two are doing with the Hearing Tracker podcast, all that. Abram, what about you?

Abram Bailey:

Yeah, hearingtracker.com, that’s a place to go, backslash about if you want to read about me and the other people that are helping and working on that project. I don’t even think I put Steve on that page, but I need to.

Dave Kemp:

You have to put Steve in,

Abram Bailey:

He’s obviously a keeper. He’s still here. So, I need to do that. That just crossed my mind. But yeah, there’s a lot of information on there that tells you about the history and how we make money and all that sort of stuff. So, it’s an interesting page.

Abram Bailey:

And obviously, backslash podcast will take you to everything that we’ve done from our early interview style to our NPR style episodes. And I guess, the podcast is everywhere. Right, Steve? I mean.

Steve Taddei:

Yeah, we’re on all major streaming platforms. The podcast thing is wherever you get your podcast. So, wherever you get it, it’s accessible. And yeah, and anyone with ideas, thoughts for new contents, information like Bose sound control, I think, Dave, you’d agree, this is all of us. This is what we love doing, providing this information in different modalities that people can get it, so they don’t have to fish through the internet like we’ve been talking about. So, as always, anyone with information, questions, good stories, we’re here. The people are here to try and help you out and share it with others. So, never hesitate to reach out.

Dave Kemp:

Absolutely. This has been so fun. Great job on each of your debut on Future Ear Radio. You guys killed it. So, great stuff today.

Abram Bailey:

Thanks for having us, man.

Dave Kemp:

Yeah, no problem at all.

Steve Taddei:

Thank you.

Dave Kemp:

So, thanks to you, for everybody who tuned in to the end, and we will chat with you next time. Cheers.

Dave Kemp:

Thanks for tuning in today. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Future Ear Radio. For more content like this, just head over to futureear.co, where you can read all the articles that I’ve been writing these past few years on the worlds of voice technology and hearables and how the two are beginning to intersect. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll chat with you next time.

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