A new kind of hearing aid will be able to block out any background noise, and allow the users to plug in directly to mp3 players, all the while being anchored to the bone of their ear.

On Friday Mr Hughes had tiny titanium screws drilled into bone behind each ear during a 90-minute operation under general anaesthetic. Once the wounds heal and the screws have fused with bone, abutments will be screwed into the implants, and the processors, about the size of a postage stamp, are clicked into place.

As the older style of hearing aids amplify all sounds, it makes it impossible for users to hear conversations in noisy environments. The hearing aids are also interfered with frequencies used by mobile and fixed phones, and often produce high-pitched whistling sounds.

But this new generation of hearing aids, costing about $6,000 each, block out background noise, and gives users up to 25% better hearing. It can be attached directly to music players or wireless headsets for talking on the phone.

[via Neatorama]