first_imgMost hearing aids live next to your ear, and use microphones to pick up sounds around you, and a tiny amplifier to pump up the volume so people who are hard of hearing in one ear can discern what’s going on around them. The SoundBite Hearing Aid from Sonitus Medical is a little different: it still uses a behind-the-ear microphone to pick up sound, but instead of piping that sound through your ear, it uses a tiny transmitter to send the sound to a bone conducting audio device that’s worn next to your back molar. Bone conduction isn’t new: a number of headphones manufacturers and medical technology companies have used them to help people who are hearing impaired or people looking for audiophile-quality sound without jamming earbuds in their ears. The technology isn’t perfect, and the SoundBite is one of the first being used for medical purposes that doesn’t require a surgical implant. Sonitus has received preliminary approval from the FDA to go forward with clinical trials with the SoundBite. In coming years, we could see more people with mild hearing loss popping their hearing aids into their mouth in noisy areas instead of behind their ears. [via BoingBoing]last_img