How to Not Build Hearing Aids

Nick Morgan-Jones
March 3, 2021


I’m going to design and build my own pair of hearing aids in my bedroom.

Hi, I’m Nick. And this is actually going to be a video series on how to not build hearing aids because that’s precisely what I want to do. I’m going to design and build something, but it’s not going to be what we currently think of as hearing aids. And I’m going to document the whole process.

Prioritising visibility over invisibility

I’ve needed hearing aids since I was 10 years old and the whole way through school I completely refused to wear them because I hate how they looked. And I still hate how they look. No one wants to wear hearing aids and hearing aid manufacturers know that. They prioritise invisibility over actually making them desirable pieces of technology.

And by making them as invisible as possible, I feel like manufacturers are just implying we should be ashamed of wearing them and I don't want these companies to make that decision for me. So I’m going to redesign and try to build my own unapologetically-visible, hearing-enhancing wearable product that’s actually cool. I mean, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

Good hearing should be part of your lifestyle

So I already have a concept of how I envisioned hearing technology to be positioned on the market, not as a medical product, but instead as a lifestyle product. I think I need to rework the design until I really like it. Then I’m going to 3D print a shell of this product. I’m going to find a preexisting hearing aid or something.

Take the inner components out and put it in the shell so I should have my own pair of hearing aids. This is the first time doing a lot of things for me. I never built a hardware product before and I have next to no knowledge about the technology that actually goes inside them or the software that actually processes the sound.

First steps towards a hearing-enhancing wearable

So I’m going to be asking some friends and anyone else I can find to help me put together these bits and pieces until I’ve got a working product. I’ve also never made a video book before. So. Let me know what you think about the videos, and I will see you in the next video.

Have a great week!

Nick 🦋

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