The second-gen Amazon Fire TV Cube is the first streaming device with Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) capabilities.
People with hearing loss that use the Fire TV Cube would now be able to connect compatible Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids to the streaming device. According to Amazon, “improving TV sound quality” was the top-requested feature among hearing aid users.
— Fire TV 📺 (@amazonfiretv) April 28, 2022
Compatible hearing aids would be able to connect to the Fire TV at the system level, allowing users to experience audio not only from their favourite apps but also from Alexa, music, navigational sounds, and more, by pushing encoded audio data from the streaming device directly to the hearing aid’s antenna receiver.
Compatible hearing aids include the Bluetooth models from American hearing technology company Starkey.
Here is how you can enable the feature on your Fire TV Cube:
- To pair your hearing aids, visit Fire TV Settings, Accessibility, select Hearing Aids, and follow the on-screen instructions to connect them, much like you would with Bluetooth headphones.
To control the streaming volume, use the Fire TV remote like you otherwise would.
- For an optimal experience, we recommend customers connect over a 5Ghz wifi network, within 10 feet and in line of sight to Fire TV Cube. Due to the small size of hearing aids, their radio antennas require closer proximity for the best connection. Customers with 2.4GHz wifi can still enjoy the feature, with range that varies depending on spectrum congestion.
Amazon aims to expand Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) support to more of its devices.
It’s worth noting that Starkey’s hearing aids are available in Canada, though we are not sure if the new feature is limited to the United States or not. MobileSyrup has reached out to Amazon and will update the story when said information is available.
Learn more about the new hearing accessibility feature here.
Image credit: Amazon