App-y Holidays!

The holiday season is filled with family gatherings and good cheer, but those with hearing loss can feel left out. To avoid slipping into a seasonal depression, there are a number of smartphone apps that can help those in Plano with hearing loss enjoy the festiveness of the season. Whether you are Team Apple or an Android fan, there is an app perfect for you!

iOS Hearing Apps

Cellphone on a table

Apple has long been on the cutting edge of technology. iPhone users have some great apps they can download; top picks 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 all 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

Android aficionados have plenty to crow about, too. Excellent apps for those with hearing loss include:

  • Hearing Test. Relying on pure tone audiometry – the most common hearing exam in most 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; simply highlight incorrect words and 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 gives you 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.

With new apps constantly hitting the marketplace, check with your Plano audiologist for more recommendations this holiday season.