What is that sound coming through my hearing aid? Styx?!?

August 16, 2017

Irony alert. It was announced today that wearers of Oticon Opn hearing aids will be able to listen to the first-ever live broadcast of a rock concert in real time via their Internet-enabled device. A live feed of rock band Styx’s final concert of its summer tour in Holmdel, NJ, will be captured by audio engineers and delivered, via a dedicated website, to wearers of Oticon (Somerset, NJ) hearing aids. So, the millions of Americans who suffer from some form of hearing loss, mostly as a result of attending rock concerts during their misspent youth, will be able to tune in (and, in some states, legally turn on) on Aug. 22 via their hearing aids. Hmmm.

Styx in Las Vegas
Styx performing at the Venetian in Las Vegas earlier this year. Image courtesy StyxWorld.

This new milestone in rock-and-roll history is designed to “illustrate the high-tech capabilities of a new generation of Internet-connected hearing aids that are transforming from sound amplification tools into wearable personal productivity and entertainment devices,” according to a press release distributed by Oticon. 

More than 48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. But “it’s estimated that only 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids seek help, with many waiting up to 10 years before they purchase a hearing aid,” said audiologist Sheena Oliver, Oticon Vice President. “By partnering with Styx and their millions of loyal fans, we’re helping to take the stigma out of hearing aids and allowing people with hearing loss to enjoy a quality of sound they may not have experienced since their youth.”

Sounds good, except for one thing: Why partner with creaky prog rockers Styx? Just my humble opinion, but there are so many more-worthy aging bands out there that helped to maim the auditory system of an entire generation.

That said, I do like the concept of branding classic rock bands to align with the medical conditions confronting their fan base. If the Rolling Stones decide to do one final tour, they should skip the Budweiser sponsorship and call up the folks at Viagra. Who says we can’t get no satisfaction?

If you have an Oticon Opn hearing aid and want to listen to the Styx concert, contact your local hearing care professional to receive instructions and login information to access the audio feed.

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