Amazon’s Fire TV Cube gets a handy new feature

This is great news for hearing aid wearers. Amazon’s Fire TV Cube now supports audio streaming to hearing aids, a first for a streaming box.

The Fire TV Cube is establishing itself as the go-to solution for watching 4K video content and it’s going to get even better. Amazon wish improve the daily lives of those who watch their TV while wearing hearing aids. The second generation of the small streaming box will now support audio streaming for hearing aids, also called ASHA (for Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids). The measure first targets the United States and those who wear hearing aids from the Starkey laboratory.

The ability to stream audio from a TV to a hearing aid isn’t new, but it most often requires a third-party device. In addition and as Engadget reports, not all Smart TVs are Bluetooth compatible; requiring hearing aid wearers to go through an adapter or their smartphone. Amazon’s initiative is therefore interesting and makes it possible to connect directly a hearing aid to the Fire TV box.

A revolution for streaming boxes

On the surface, Amazon’s new feature doesn’t really seem groundbreaking. However, it marks a turning point since the Fire TV Cube will be the first device dedicated to streaming to support ASHA. The giant Google is at the origin of this initiative and has been offering audio streaming for hearing aids using Bluetooth since 2020. We can expect other platforms to be compatible soon.

© Amazon

To pair their hearing aids to the Fire TV Cube, users simply need to go to “Settings” from the home screen. Then select “Accessibility” and “Hearing Aids” and follow the on-screen instructions. For best support, users should stay a short distance away (3 meters or so) and it is recommended to connect to a 5GHz wifi network.

Our smartphones are already compatible

For information, it is already possible to connect hearing solutions to an Android or Apple device. On the help website dedicated to accessibility on Android, Google specifies that this option is available on devices with Android 10 or newer. You must go to the “Settings” of your device to associate a hearing aid. Google also offers a dedicated page to this support for its Pixel smartphones.

For its part, Apple noted that it is possible to connect “Made for iPhone” hearing aids to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It becomes possible to stream audio content, answer phone calls or adjust certain settings. This support concerns all iPad Air, mini and Pro, iPads from 4e generation or iPhones from model 5.

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Source: Journal du Geek by

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