Listen Longer, a joint venture between local mHealth hearing test solutions startup hearX Group and Hearing Coach International, has announced the launch of the world’s first in-ear tracking app.

dbTrack, the new technology, monitors and tracks noise exposure directly in the ear canal when listening to music. The product consists of an in-ear microphone that is built into dbTrack certified earphones that are calibrated to ensure accurate monitoring of personal sound exposure in real-time.

When connected to the free accompanying app, dbTrack indicates to the user their daily and weekly sound exposure (a combination of how loud and for how long) based on the data that is being monitored and tracked.

“Every ear canal has a unique frequency footprint and what makes dbTrack revolutionary is that it monitors sound across frequencies according to the unique characteristics of your ear,” said Listen Longer CEO, Nic Klopper.

“The mobile app promotes healthy listening and guides individuals on safe listening time when listening to music,” continued Klopper.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.1 billion youth are at risk of developing noise induced hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Hearing loss among teenagers has risen from 3.5% to 5.3% between 1994 and 2006, and for the same age group, listening to music through headphones has increased to 75%.

“It was therefore important for us to develop a product that creates awareness and educates people on safe listening levels and durations,” said Klopper.

“With the introduction of this new technology, Listen Longer will contribute to reduce the risk of hearing loss in young individuals. Our shared vision is to make hearing safe for everyone, to prolong healthy hearing and positively change healthy hearing behaviour,” continued Klopper.

Listen Longer was incorporated in February 2017 with the vision of creating digital solutions for prevention, detection and intervention in hearing care. Under the Listen Longer umbrella, in April 2018 they launched sealCheck, a solution primarily used within the Occupational Health and Safety market to test the level of the seal of earplugs.

dbTrack, the venture’s second product, will be officially unveiled on the 29th of May 2018 at the 8th annual Africa Health Exhibition & Congress in Johannesburg.

“dbTrack is a consumer product for anyone who listens to music and wants to preserve their hearing. We believe that audiologists and parents will finally have a product to recommend for their clients and children to listen to music in a safe way. It will educate people and create awareness on how loud is ‘too loud’,” said Klopper.

“dbTrack will also appeal to musicians and audiophiles who consider the conservation of their hearing essential to their career and their passion. They will be able to track their daily exposure to music more accurately without compromising on quality earphones,” concluded Klopper.

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