The holiday season is filled with family gatherings and good cheer, but those with hearing loss in Wilmington often feel left out. Worse, they may avoid social interactions altogether, leading to isolation and loneliness—a recipe for seasonal depression. To counteract this, there are a number of smartphone apps that can help those in Delaware hear more effectively and appreciate the joy of the season. There are apps for both Apple and Android users; check out our list below.
Hearing Apps for iOS Users
Apple has long been known for cutting-edge technology. Top picks for iPhone users include the following.
- Test Your Hearing. Seeking a simple but effective way to test your hearing? This app’s got you covered. Simply push a red button every time you hear a sound. At the end of the test, you’ll be given a “hearing age” assessment based on your score. If your approximate hearing age is significantly older than your actual age, you might be experiencing hearing loss.
- Bose® Hear. If you use Bose® Headphones™, this companion app helps enhance conversations, letting you hear more clearly in noisy environments. It also allows you to stream music and phone calls directly from your phone.
- TapTap. Deaf and hard of hearing users won’t miss audio cues with the TapTap app. It causes your phone to flash and vibrate, alerting you to sounds that might otherwise go undetected by your hearing aids.
- Braci. Similar to TapTap, Braci lets you record sounds in your home and converts them to visual and sensory notifications and alerts. Doorbells, smoke alarms, phone calls and more can be programmed, giving you a sense of security and peace of mind.
- Pedius. Taking advantage of synthesis and speech-recognition technology, Pedius allows those who are deaf or hearing-impaired to make phone calls. Built-in voice recognition software translates speech, converting it to text and eliminating the need for third-party translation services.
Android Hearing Apps
If you’re Team Android, you haven’t been left out, either. There are plenty of great apps for you to choose from in the Play store; great selections include:
- Hearing Test. Relying on pure tone audiometry—the most common hearing exam in Wilmington audiology offices—and predefined calibrations, this app measures the quietest sounds you are able to hear to accurately determine your hearing threshold.
- AllDeaf. This social networking site for the deaf, hard of hearing and ASL users lets you post messages to the All Deaf forum, upload pictures and have private conversations with like-minded users.
- Sound Alert. Made by the folks behind Braci, this app records sounds in your home environment and converts them to visual and sensory notification alerts, turning your smartphone into an alerting device, providing safety and comfort.
- Ava. This app relies on your smartphone’s microphone to pick up sounds and translate them instantly into word-for-word captioning and subtitles, giving you the ability to participate fully in conversations. Ava utilizes AI technology to “learn” from mistakes; by highlighting incorrect words, you can teach Ava to get them right the next time.
- Easy Talk. This transcribing app utilizes voice recognition software to transcribe conversations. Its offline functionality provides access in areas with poor cell service and is available in both free and pro versions.
- Sprint Relay. Sometimes a traditional relay service is your best bet. Sprint’s app allows you to type what you want to say to an operator, who will then relay the message to the person you are calling and provide a typed response.
There are always new apps hitting the marketplace. If you’d like some recommendations, call a Wilmington audiologist. You might even be able to download an app mid-conversation. What an amazing time to be alive, right?