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10 of the most innovative small businesses of 2013

Able Planet personal sound amplifier

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Able Planet

People who don't need a conventional hearing aid but want to enhance sounds can use a personal amplifier. Able Planet is a noise-cancelling headphone manufacturer whose personal amplifier was singled out for praise by The Wall Street Journal in September, and in Popular Science in December.

The technology uses noise-cancelling technology and is smaller than a dime. In a February CNET review, writer Elizabeth Armstrong Moore said: "I can certainly imagine putting these on regularly when I go to bars, rock shows, and soccer matches where I sometimes struggle conversing with the person right in front of me."

Photo: Able Planet