Amazon Fire TV Cube Now Connects With Starkey Hearing Aids on Bluetooth LE

From CNET: People with hearing loss can now pair their hearing aids with the Amazon Fire TV Cube streaming device, improving the experience of watching their favorite TV shows.

The Fire TV Cube, now in its second generation, is the first streaming device from a US tech company that can turn a hearing aid into a Bluetooth headphone that's calibrated to an individual's specific hearing needs, the e-commerce and smart home giant said on Thursday.

The feature makes Fire TV Cube compatible with Audio Streaming for Hearing Aid, an open-source protocol for communicating with hearing aids. The streaming device will pair with hearing aids from Starkey, which manufactures products marketed under under the Audibel, NuEar, MicroTech and Audigy brands. To enable the compatibility, Amazon, Starkey and the makers of the device processors worked together to adjust their technology to work together.

Connecting a streaming box with hearing aids was a challenge, says Peter Korn, Amazon's director of accessibility for devices. That's because people generally sit farther away from their televisions than they do from other devices, such as mobile phones. (Apple iPhones and Android-powered phones already pair with hearing aids.)

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