The premise is very simple: these are glasses designed to lessen the impact of mild hearing loss.
As millions of people will know all too well, this often may not be severe enough to be treated by an audiologist - or be set up with an expensive and obvious-looking pair of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids - but it does still prove a significant problem in social situations such as cocktail parties.
The Nuance Audio glasses look slick, as you might imagine from the makers of Ray-Ban's smartglasses. And while not quite as stylish, it’s easy to imagine there will be Nuance Audio versions of them down the line.
The glasses come in two colors, red and back, and there are two different styles to pick from.
Using Nuance Audio
So, how do they work?
Well, the first thing you need to do once you put the frames on is head to the partner app to start the hearing aid tuning.
There are a bunch of settings in there, where you can change the sensitivity and also aspects of the beamforming.
Once the mode is turned on, you won’t notice any difference. But as you’re in conversation with someone and turn your head to look at them, the Nuance Audio glasses pick up on that audio and start playing it back through the stems.
The first thing to note is that the latency is exceptional, and, when you think about it, really impressive. There’s no lag between hearing the person’s words and watching their lips move.
What’s more, I could hear the demonstrator’s actual voice - and the sound of the two matched up perfectly.
The Nuance Audio glasses we tried are still in production, and there are still aspects that the company needs to iron out.
Boosted voices had a tinny, metallic sound – a far cry from the warmth of the sound from the similar open speakers of the Ray-Ban Meta.
And as you turn your head around the room, there is also a distortion as the beamforming focuses.
That’s something the company will need to work on, as the promise of the Nuance Audio experience is invisible and seamless boosting, and that should come through the audio experience as well as the visual one.
What we love about this idea is that it’s aimed at a huge part of the population, and solving a real problem - not a product - like many in the halls of CES - with a feature that’s looking for an audience.
Given EssilorLuxottica’s success with Ray-Ban Meta, we have high hopes they can pull this off. However, there are aspects of the experience that need significant refinement before the launch at the end of 2024.
How we test