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Hearing aid apps offer a convenient way for people to adjust their Bluetooth hearing aid settings and receive advice and support from manufacturers. Some hearing aid apps may even help amplify sound without the need for hearing aids.
This article discusses what hearing aid apps are, who may benefit from them, a list of these apps, and why hearing is important to health.
Hearing aid apps usually connect with a range of smart devices via Bluetooth to allow individuals to control hearing aid features such as volume and sound profile programs. A person who uses a hearing aid may use different programs when they are in different environments, such as a quiet room or a stadium. Apps can also indicate to a person the battery life of the hearing aids.
As the hearing aid devices usually connect to the app via Bluetooth, the apps can also connect directly to compatible devices such as televisions, computers, and phones.
People can also use some apps to contact a hearing care professional directly.
Other hearing aid apps, such as amplifier apps, may help individuals who believe they have a form of hearing loss. A person can use their earphones or headphones with these apps to pick up and amplify sounds.
However, people should not use these apps as a replacement for hearing aids. Amplifiers make noises louder, while audiologists program hearing aids to suit each individual. Amplifiers may be more suitable for those who require louder noises during recreational activity, such as birdwatching.
Apple products also have hearing accessibility features, having worked with hearing aid manufacturers to create Made for iPhone hearing aids. They may also include a feature where individuals upload their audiograms or undergo a series of hearing tests to turn certain headphones into hearing aids.
People can download hearing aid apps directly from Google Play or the App Store. The app will provide instructions on connecting any compatible devices and setting the app up for use.
A hearing aid user with a compatible smartphone may benefit from these apps, as they can use them to adjust hearing aid volume and other settings. Additionally, apps can allow people to use their hearing aid as phone receivers, while others can amend hearing programs through the app.
However, if a hearing aid user does not have a smartphone, they will not be able to use a hearing aid app. Additionally, many apps require a particular smartphone software version, meaning certain older smartphone models are not compatible with some apps.
Below is a list of some of the best hearing aid apps that individuals can use with their hearing aids.
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
MDHearing offers nonprescription hearing aids that a person can buy via their website.
The company offers a hearing aid app, but it is only compatible with their MdHearingAid CORE product. The app is compatible with iOS version 10 and above and Android devices with version 5 or higher.
MDHearing states that they design their app to be suitable for everyone, with large text and a simple layout. They also have a tutorial section and a tool that allows a person to set personal hearing goals.
This app is free to download and does not require a subscription.
Other features of the MDHearing app include:
- free hearing test
- customizable programs for each ear
- volume control
- listening program control
- battery level monitor
- remote assistance from specialists
- tutorial section
- “find my device” feature
The Signia App is compatible with most of the company’s hearing aid devices. It is compatible with Android version 7 and higher and iOS version 11 and above.
The app features a Signia Assistant, which offers 24/7 support, answers common questions from users, and helps personalize settings.
The Signia app is free to download and use.
Some other features of this app include:
- mask mode
- program and volume control
- sound balance adjustment
- battery life status
- managing audio streaming accessories
- virtual appointments or texts with hearing care professionals
- hearing lessons
- adjust tinnitus therapy signal
- adjust directionality of the microphone
Starkey features several apps, but their Thrive app reportedly has the most features. It is compatible with their Livio range of hearing aids and can run on iOS 14 or higher and Android version 7 and above.
Starkey states that this free app is easy to set up, use, and navigate.
Features of the Starkey Thrive Hearing Control app include:
- volume controls
- allowing users to switch between memories and programs
- geotagging places, so devices automatically adjust their settings depending on location
- Thrive Assistant to help answer questions
- mask mode to help understand those wearing masks
- automatically sending fall detection alerts to a nominated contact
- language translation feature
- transcription feature
- find my device feature
The Smart app by ReSound is free to download and compatible with six of ReSound’s hearing aids. Apple devices must be running on iOS 12 or later, while Android devices must be on version 8 or above.
ReSound states that everything a person needs on the app is accessible via the home screen for quick and more user-friendly functioning.
Other features of the ReSound Smart app include:
- program control
- volume control, including a mute option
- sound enhancer adjustments
- personalized settings and programs
- battery life monitoring
- tinnitus management
- saving settings for specific locations
- find my hearing aids feature
- help from hearing care professionals
Oticon’s ON app is compatible with all of the company’s Bluetooth hearing aid devices. It is available on iOS version 13 and higher and Android devices running version 8 and higher.
To use this app, a person needs to create an account with Oticon and create an If This Then That account, which provides a third-party service that Oticon uses within their app.
This app is free to download and use.
Other features of the Oticon ON app include:
- volume and program control
- audio-streaming and streaming equalizer
- find my device feature
- HearingFitness feature, which measures daily hearing aid usage and creates personalized goals
- low battery notification
- tinnitus relief feature
With this in mind, it is vital to protect hearing. The
- avoiding noisy places
- using protective hearing devices when in loud environments
- keeping the volume down when listening through earbuds or headphones
- having regular check-ups with the doctor
Individuals should see a doctor for hearing loss if they experience the following symptoms:
- having trouble hearing over phones
- finding it difficult to follow conversations when two or more people are talking
- having to ask people to repeat what they are saying
- needing to turn up the volume of the TV to a higher volume than normal
- finding it difficult to hear if there is background noise
- hearing another person’s speech as a mumble
- ringing in the ears
- hypersensitivity to sound
If a person does have hearing loss, there are various hearing aid devices available that are suitable for most levels and types of hearing loss.
There are various hearing aid apps available to download on a person’s smartphone. Most hearing aid suppliers have their own versions of apps that are compatible with their hearing aid devices.
All hearing aid apps’ features vary, so a person may wish to consider all brands and features before purchasing a hearing aid device.
Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.