Consider this scenario: Getting a television should be easy. Buying it isn’t hard, but understanding how to operate or program it may be daunting at best.
Having a secure internet connection for your streaming apps and updating the firmware to improve your TV's performance are some things to consider. In short, modern TVs come with their complexities.
In contrast, despite experts talking about hearing aids with noise management algorithms featuring automated technology that adapts to your environment with range and advanced customization, they will assure you that using these devices will be easy.
User-Friendly Hearing Aids
With new technology, hearing aids are easier to use than ever before. Bluetooth® hearing aids will do all of the work. They adjust to listening environments automatically or through a simple command on an app. Here are four things to think about before getting your hearing aids:
The challenging part of receiving hearing aids is taking time to adapt to all of the sounds you may not have heard in years. It can be overwhelming! Simplicity is the key to hearing aids. There is little fuss in using them, unlike with TVs. If you are experiencing issues with your hearing aids, just contact Pure Sound Hearing for help.
If you notice any hearing loss and believe hearing aids can be a solution, contact us for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
When you have hearing loss and don’t have hearing aids, the inability to hear clearly can make you feel depressed and isolated from others. When it is hard to hear, it is hard to comfortably participate in one conversation, let alone in group conversations and activities.
Hearing aids ease the stress of struggling to listen. Communicating with others can still be challenging while wearing hearing aids, but not as strenuous as before using hearing aids. You may still need others to face you when they speak, and only one person should speak at a time while making sure you are paying attention to them. Hearing aids feature directional and omnidirectional microphones. Directional microphones pick up sounds from an assigned direction, usually from those facing you. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sounds that occur from any direction.
Programmable Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist can program your hearing aids, and you can select appropriate settings for different situations. For example, let’s say you are talking to some people in a crowded environment. Maybe you only need to focus on a conversation with those people while blocking out background noises. Your hearing instrument specialist can program a setting through an app on your smartphone. All you need to do is open the app to access it.
You can also use speech-to-text apps to help facilitate conversations. If you are driving or biking in a busy area, you can place your hearing aids in an omnidirectional setting, which lets you hear in all directions to be more aware of your surroundings.
For a complimentary hearing test and hearing aid trial, contact us for a consultation with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing.
Do You Have Trouble Hearing? Check out these 5 Apps to Help with Communication and Hearing Health.
If you have difficulty with hearing, conversing with others, and find yourself feeling left out in certain situations, in addition to using hearing aids, you can try an app.
Here’s a list of five apps to help you communicate with the people around you.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Loss: Are You or a Family Member Headed Back to School? Here are 3 Tips for Better Communication.
School is almost back in session. Here are three tips to help make learning easier if you have hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulty with your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Attention Android Users with Hearing Loss: Check out Our Hearing Aid Accessibility Guide!
Google introduced Android 10 in 2019, which featured Live Caption and Live Transcribe. These apps highlighted captioning, with the purpose of providing accessibility options for Android users who have hearing loss. These two apps were developed by students and researchers at Gallaudet University - the only university in the world where students live and learn using American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
The Live Caption option is accessible on some Samsung devices - and most Pixel devices. It provides captions for any media that’s played on the device.
Some have voiced complaints that it does not have built-in auto-captioning. As a result, videos on social media are less accessible.
Live Transcribe is a popular app that became available in 2019. It utilizes machine learning tools to give users captions for spoken words that are gathered by the phone’s microphone. Live Transcribe also lets users pause, save, and search for old transcriptions. It also lets the user transcribe speech to other languages.
This was a personal investment by several employees at Google. At least one of the employees is hard of hearing.
Sound Amplifier is an app that can be found through the Google Play store. It’s pre-installed in Pixel and some Android devices like Samsung. It harnesses sound through the microphone on your phone and plays optimized sound through headphones. You can use the app to adjust volume, fine-tune, and reduce background noise. It can also be used to enhance audio for various media like videos or podcasts.
If you have different degrees of hearing loss in each ear, you can make one side louder than the other when wearing headphones or linking hearing aids to the app.
Complications with Android
Google lends its Android operating system to different smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Motorola, Samsung, and Xiaomi. Because of this, Google does not oversee which software features are used on each device. It solely depends on the manufacturer and which software they select.
Google’s Pixel is the only exception. It is managed directly by Google, allowing the company to easily introduce new accessibility features on Pixel phones.
Compatibility with Hearing Aids
Android’s Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids protocol was issued as part of Android 10 in 2019. This audio streaming service lets hearing aids that are compatible stream audio wirelessly through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) through the user’s phone.
It’s important to be aware that compatibility with hearing aids is not the same for every hearing aid manufacturer. There are lots of inconsistencies with software when it comes to Android phones. Be sure to bring this topic up before purchasing.
If you or a loved one are noticing any hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently guide you towards better hearing with their experience and expertise.
If you are new to hearing aids, figuring out how to use them can be a learning curve. Like all technology, once you get the hang of it, will be easy.
Linking up Hearing Aids with Your Smartphone
Just about every modern digital hearing aid can be paired with a smartphone. Audio files from your phone, computer, or tablet can be streamed through your hearing aids. They can basically be used like wireless Bluetooth® headphones. Not every hearing aid that features Bluetooth® is compatible with every smartphone brand. Android and iPhone are the only two smartphone brands that pair with hearing aids. It’s simple to set up because the technology automatically pairs them.
Switch on the Bluetooth® Feature
Through your smartphone, select the Settings app. Search for Bluetooth®, select it and switch it on.
Find Your Hearing Aids Listed in the Settings app
Through the iPhone, go to the Settings app. Find and select the “Accessibility” feature. Then find “Hearing Devices”, and select it. Your hearing aids should be shown. Through the Android phone, after the Bluetooth® is switched on, your phone should have started searching for other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to link up to. It should only take a few seconds for your hearing aids to show up on the list. For either one of these smartphone brands, if your hearing aids do not show up on your phone, the battery doors might need to be opened and closed, or you might need to place them back in the recharger. This switches them off and on again so that your phone can detect them.
When your hearing aids are listed as an option on your phone, select them. They will start their connection, which may take 30 seconds or more.
Pairing Additional Devices to Your Hearing Aids
Smartphone Streaming Systems
Even if your hearing aids are not Made for iPhone or Made for Android, wireless streaming is still available between your smartphone and hearing aids. You’ll just need a small, separate device known as a streamer. It can clip onto your shirt collar, or hang around your neck and be covered by your clothes.
Different circumstances - even those with smartphone-compatible hearing accessories - need a streaming device if you want audio transferred to your hearing aids. TV streamers, mini-microphones, and other devices can help you hear clearly. There are different styles of streamers that are unique to every hearing aid manufacturer. They are just as simple or, in some cases, more simple than connecting hearing aids to your smartphone.
If you or a loved one need hearing aids and/or an assistive streaming device for listening, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing The Sounds of Summer
Summertime has arrived! If you are experiencing difficulties with hearing while having fun in the sun, find out how hearing aids can help.
Participate in Group Conversations Outside
Digital hearing aids can be programmed to focus on the conversations that you are participating in, rather than hearing background noises and other conversations going on around you. Directional microphones were created to pick up sounds that you are facing toward. When you or others speak, you typically face each other. Some directional microphones will change positions based on where speech sounds are emanating from.
Background noises like the crackling from a campfire or other people talking can be filtered out, so you can concentrate on the conversation at hand or sing-alongs instead of struggling to hear through the other chatter and sounds. Listening fatigue is a common problem among people with hearing loss, so the less energy you need to use in order to hold a conversation, the better.
Your smartphone or an assistive listening device can also be used as a microphone. You can place the smartphone or assistive listening device onto a table, and while everyone is talking near it, the audio will stream directly into your hearing aids. You can also download speech-to-text apps on your smartphone, if necessary.
Muffle Sounds of Fireworks
Modern hearing aids feature noise suppression. It will automatically or you can manually, lower the volume that you hear if there’s a sudden, brief noise - like a crashing sound if something falls over. Fireworks can still be enjoyed at a safe noise level. Ask one of our hearing instrument specialists about this feature for your hearing aids.
Instantly Switch Hearing Aid Settings
All digital hearing aids are paired with a smartphone and apps. You can use them to control the volume, change your hearing aid settings, and more. Geotagging is another application that you can use. It makes a geographical “bookmark” for your favorite locations. Just optimize your hearing aids for a specific location, like a park or restaurant, and add a geotag. When you go back to that environment, your settings will automatically switch to those settings so that you can have an optimal listening experience.
Wind Blocking Technology
Would you rather enjoy the feel of an ocean breeze than hear how loud it is through your hearing aids?
With behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aids, the microphones rest over the back of your ears. As a result, they can harness lots of noise from gentle breezes to gusty winds. You can ask our hearing instrument specialists to create a special program so that you may switch to a channel on your hearing aids, so the sounds of wind are obstructed.
If you or a loved one are looking forward to an easy, laid-back summer that’s not hindered by your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation for a free hearing aid trial.
Do You have Hearing Loss? Here are 5 Apps that will Help You Improve with Communication.
Are you frustrated about communicating with the people in your life, or even with short interactions with strangers?
Get use apps as tools for connecting with people in real-time.
1. Live Transcribe
This app, which is used with Android smartphones/smartwatches, transcribes face-to-face conversations in real-time. Gallaudet University - the American school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students - developed a program that translates speech from over 70 languages and dialects to text that you read on your phone in just a few seconds. Bilingual conversations can be facilitated, and you can type your responses or prompts instead of saying them aloud. The app can also alert you if your smoke alarm, or any other alarm system you have set up, goes off.
Did you know that artificial intelligence (AI) can be conveniently accessed through a wristwatch? This smartwatch-based application can alert you when there are sounds around you. This app was specifically created for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It learns to alert users to types of sounds that can be preselected - a car horn’s honk, a baby’s cry, running water, etc. It is not for emergencies or high-risk situations but provides a general awareness of your surroundings.
3. Sound Level Meter from NIOSH
This app utilizes a compatible smartphone device with a built-in microphone to measure the ranges of sound in your environment. Across the globe, researchers stated that approximately 16 to 24 percent of hearing loss occurs on the job. Excess noise exposure is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, so it’s important to be aware of sound levels in the environments that you frequent.
4. Marlee Signs
This app can be used by children and adults to learn basic American Sign Language (ASL). Oscar award-winning actor, Marlee Matlin, who is deaf teaches the language. ASL, which is used in the U.S. and Canada, provides a connection with others no matter what range of hearing they may have. The app can be very helpful for anyone who has hearing loss or if you have friends or family members with hearing loss. There are a number of different kinds of ASL instructional apps, so explore forms of communication with finger-spelling, conversational signing, helping babies communicate, building vocabulary, and more.
This app features a decibel meter that is paired with the ability to upload results to a user community through a searchable database. Users can discover gyms, restaurants, subways, and other areas that are designated as “quiet”, “moderate”, “loud”, or “very loud”.
If you are noticing any changes in your hearing and need a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
What Should You Take into Consideration when choosing Apps for Your Hearing Aids?
There are so many useful apps that can be paired with your hearing aids. A remote control for your home security system, washing machine, lights, and various reminders are just a few we can name.
Hearing aids are devices that you wear to hone in on noises and conversations that you want to hear while reducing background noises that you don’t want to hear. Using hearing aids also provides the benefits of changing and managing features and settings based on your specific needs. App selections should be based on:
The Ability to Adjust Your Hearing Aids
Your hearing aid provider should have explained how to adjust your hearing aids when you move from one type of environment to the next. The volume levels may change, noise filtering features may be used, and adjusting the bass, treble, and other sound features to your preference may be implemented.
When pairing an app with your hearing aids, the app’s features and settings are controlled via smartphone or tablet.
Get an App that Streams Your Favorite Sound Files
Since hearing loss is a gradual process, it can lead to problems with comprehending speech sounds, specifically when there’s too much background noise. This is why it's crucial to have sound files that assist you so that you can hear someone speaking, even if you’re in a busy environment.
You can Monitor Your Hearing Aids’ Status
You don’t always need to take your hearing aids to your hearing instrument specialist. You will quickly be able to determine the appropriate situations when they are due for service, when the batteries need to be recharged or replaced, and other important problems.
Maintenances, such as cleanings, replenishing batteries/recharging the hearing aids, or replacing domes and keeping the devices in an overall good condition will lower risks of any glitches, which can negatively impact your hearing. Apps are also useful so that you can get advice from the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Hearing aid apps are a great help to hearing aid users, their family members, and caregivers to keep them organized and up to date. They can access notifications in regards to new features, updates, appointment reminders/rescheduling.
An App for Easy Access to Audio Sources
Apps allow you to directly link to music and other audio files. Stream your favorite music, videos, or podcasts through your hearing aids. While these sounds are streaming through your hearing aids, other people who are with you in your home can listen along on other devices.
Before selecting your apps, take your hearing aid needs into consideration. Think about the style of your hearing aids, and then look for apps that pair best with them. Use your hearing instrument specialist’s recommendations. Learn more about the different hearing aid styles from our article “What are Hearing Aids, and How do they Work?”
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If You have Hearing Loss, here are Tips if You Need to Prepare for a Hospital Stay
Do have hearing loss and experienced the frustrations of communicating with people at a hospital? Here are some tips for managing your hearing loss during a hospital visit.
Hearing loss can be equally as important to address as the healthcare emergency that landed you in the hospital. Not being able to completely understand the medical professionals who are taking care of you can be just as scary as your health emergency.
Hospitals can be busy and noisy. People rush in, there are loud machines or announcements over the intercoms, and all sorts of people - from personnel to other patients and their loved ones - are around you and talking all at once. From masked staff members to healthcare workers with unfamiliar accents, it can be overwhelming.
It’s important not to guess or tell people who are helping you that you understand what they are saying when you don’t. An incorrect response could put your entire health at risk.
A lot of people, particularly the older population, go to the hospital without hearing aids. Many people with hearing loss don’t even have hearing aids due to financial reasons, or denial about their hearing loss.
When you are in a noisy and busy environment, like a hospital, your hearing loss can lead to more problems.
People who have Hearing Loss are More Prone to Hospitalizations
Approximately 40 million adults in the U.S. have some range of hearing loss and are more likely to require hospital care. According to research from Johns Hopkins, of these 40 million adults, untreated hearing loss has a 17 percent higher risk of visits to the emergency room. They are also more likely to stay in the hospital, spend more days in the hospital, and have a 44 percent risk of being readmitted within 30 days.
Practices the Hospitals can Implement
Hospitals can help patients with hearing loss by:
Make sure to Advocate for Yourself, or Get Help from a Loved One
Let staff, personnel, and other medical professionals know that you have hearing loss. If necessary, caregivers may need to take on this role.
It is very important that you speak up about your hearing loss, and ask for accommodations. Hearing loss is an invisible disability. On rare occasions, patients have been sent to the “behavioral health” unit where individuals with mental health issues go after misunderstanding or mishearing a question, or even misspeaking.
Wearing Hearing Aids in the Hospital
Even though it is recommended to wear hearing aids from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, some people leave them at home because they are afraid of losing them.
If you decided to do this, alert the hospital staff about your hearing loss. Ask for a hearing amplifier. Plan ahead of time and practice using captioning apps. Otter is a great choice. With this app, conversations can be transcribed in real-time on your smartphone. For legal reasons, hospitals cannot provide this for you, but you may use it yourself.
If you choose to bring your hearing aids, and they need to be recharged, bring your charger along. The hospital that you go to might be able to track down a charger for you. Remember to carry extra batteries. You can always ask staff members if they have hearing aid batteries available for you.
Hearing is Important to make Proper Medical Decisions
Making medical decisions can happen at any stage during your hospital visit, especially if you arrived for an emergency. Whether you can hear or have trouble with hearing, it can be difficult to understand complicated or unfamiliar medical terms/procedures.
Whenever possible, have a friend or family member with good hearing and concentration involved in your decision. You may also use a transcriber on your phone. Make sure it’s accurate, and get help from the medical staff to verify its accuracy. If you find it too distracting to listen and watch at the same time, record the conversation and read the transcript at a later time.
Remind doctors, nurses, and other staff members that you are hard of hearing and ask them to speak up or repeat themselves when necessary.
What if Your loved one won’t Admit They Have Hearing Loss?
You cannot assume medical staff members will notice that your loved one has hearing loss. On average, only about half of the staff employees will be able to recognize this. Make sure that you inform staff members during the initial admittance and when seeing new medical staff members that your loved one has difficulty with hearing. This is especially important in hospice care and nursing homes.
If you or a loved one, experiences hearing loss and want an easier experience interacting with medical staff, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer assistive listening devices that can help make your emergency visits pan out better, or we can show you how to use transcription apps.
Trending Hearing Aid Technology
Whether you follow trends or not, it’s still a good idea to keep up and learn about what’s new when it comes to hearing aid technology.
Hearing Aids: The Multifunctional Devices
Hearing aids have changed, and continue to change each year. Hearing aids are not only meant to help you hear better but they also help users communicate easier with others.
Hearing Aids for Android Users
Google revealed that they are developing technology that will be compatible with Android. Anyone who wears hearing aids will also benefit from additional features with their smartphones, such as allowing them to use Google Assistant and other services. This feature is already available on iPhones.
Artificial Intelligence and Hearing Aids
Every industry in the field of technology uses AI, and that includes the category of hearing aids. AI is currently used to make sure all devices are upgraded and offer the best experience to its users. For example, hearing aids have already been using AI. The devices learn to adapt to your different environments and automatically adjust them to provide an optimal listening experience for you.
If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulty with hearing and need a solution, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Today’s doorbells, sound systems, refrigerators, and even washing machines can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It’s obvious that today’s hearing aids, most of which feature Bluetooth® technology, can also be connected to your smartphone through an app.
Apps can help new hearing aid users adjust to their hearing devices, by combining something familiar with something new. Hearing aid apps can help novice hearing aid users personalize their devices and smoothly transition into experienced hearing aid users.
Everyone who wears a hearing aid is different, and they have unique listening needs. Apps let each person customize the devices to their particular needs.
Hearing aid apps
There are so many different apps that can be paired with your hearing aids to improve how you experience listening in different environments. Decibel meter apps can show you how loud an area is. There are other apps that record how often and how long you use your hearing aids, while providing brain exercises that are related to hearing. Brain health is important to monitor. The ability to hear is crucial, to reduce risks of cognitive decline or brain atrophy due to lack of stimulation.
Apps for Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids are available on Apple and Android phones.
4 Features on apps
Features that are available on hearing aid apps include:
Learning how to use Your Hearing Aids
The best guidance on how to use your hearing aids will be through your hearing instrument specialist. You can review the manual instructions, or learn about the features of your hearing aids through our Pure Sound Hearing website. On our homepage, hover the cursor over the “Products” tab, and select the brand and style of your hearing aids to learn more about them. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Keep a Hearing Journal
When you have another visit with your hearing aid provider, bring along any important notes that you made if there were any problems with the device or while using the apps.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our providers will discuss your results and hearing aid solutions for your specific listening needs.
Hearing aids have come a long way, in regards to their technology. Just about every modern hearing aid is Bluetooth®-connected to your smartphone. Here is our compilation of articles for recommended apps that can be used to have an optimal experience with your hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, would like a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our providers will patiently work with you to ensure the best possible listening experience.
Technology is an ever-changing endeavor, with improvements and modifications to make your life more comfortable and convenient. Over the years, advanced developments in technology give your hearing instrument specialists a chance to recommend and program state-of-the-art features and settings that improve the way you hear.
Advanced hearing aids are essentially the same as your basic hearing aids, except there are more features that can benefit the user in different situations. While basic hearing aids can amplify sounds and help you hear, they do not have the same variety of features and setting options. When choosing the best option that works for you, you must let your hearing instrument specialist know what you are looking for in terms of how you communicate with others on a regular basis, what type of environments you frequent, etc.
Basic Hearing Aid Features
The main difference between basic and advanced hearing aids is the remote settings and manual controls. As mentioned earlier, basic hearing aids can still help you hear better but they might not be able to effortlessly change channels. You will probably need to manually adjust the settings as needed. For example, to raise or lower the volume, you may need to remove the hearing aids from your ear and then press a button on them.
Basic hearing aids usually only feature two channels. These channels process distinct types of sounds. This makes it difficult to customize settings for various environments. You’ll need more channels in order to truly customize your hearing aids.
Basic hearing aids may not provide advanced speech processing or be able to reduce distracting background noises. These hearing aids generally have basic directional microphones.
Advanced Hearing Aid Features
The great thing about advanced hearing aids is that they have various features and settings, and they automatically switch to these settings based on where you go.
There are more channels, so sounds can be isolated. This gives users a more natural listening experience where sounds can be heard more clearly. Just about every modern, advanced hearing aid is connected with Bluetooth®. This lets you link your smartphone, TV, computer, sound system, or any other Bluetooth®-connected device with your hearing aids.
With help from your hearing instrument specialist advanced hearing aids can be programmed to reduce noises, like the wind. This makes them easier to wear if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Data logs are also available in these hearing aids. A lot of information can be stored in these devices, including volume settings and preferred listening environments. This helps make a personally tailored experience for each user.
The convenience of pairing a digital hearing aid with your smartphone cannot match that of simply using a basic hearing aid. Downloadable apps make it easier to adjust the volume and streaming options directly into your hearing aids.
If you are unsure as to what type of hearing aids you should use, consult your hearing instrument specialist to learn about available options. They will help you determine the best options for your specific listening needs. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
When you are trying to enjoy a movie or TV show, engage in conversations, or participate in a class, you are probably expecting, or hoping, that the caption service you use is accurate.
Captions are very convenient, but only if they are accurate and in sync with the person who is speaking. Inaccurate captions can be ineffective and lead to confusion. This is why standard captioning is necessary.
Everyone Reaps the Benefit of Quality Captions
Whether you have hearing loss or not, everyone can be helpful for everyone. Studies have demonstrated that captions make comprehending videos easier. There have been more instances of remembering facts, the ability to draw conclusions, defining words, and summing up main topics. More time is spent focusing on captioned videos. Captions allow videos to be shown while muted, which is how many people view videos on social media.
This is only useful if the captions are accurate and of good quality. The interpretation of quality is different for everyone, so there should be a universal standard.
The Need for Standard Captioning
Every form of media should have a standard quality captioning service. Whether it’s on social media or during a video conference or a live stream.
In the U.S., according to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, telephone services that have captions are free for anyone with hearing loss.
Again, this service is only useful if it’s accurate. So far, there are no quality standards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the body of government that oversees captioned telephone service.
What can You do?
Be an advocate. Request captioning before meetings, classes, on websites, and anywhere else that you need them. Exercise your rights by educating others on providing captioning and other accommodations for anyone with hearing loss.
Check out these caption apps for your smartphone.
If you or a loved one needs hearing aids or learning how to use captioning apps on your smartphone, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Sound Recognition is a feature on iPhones that lets users who have hearing loss receive visual alerts for sounds such as smoke alarms, sirens, door bells/knocks, and dog barks. Internet connection is not necessary in order to use this feature. It uses onboard intelligence (the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, that is found in the device).
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it.
On the screen, there will be a list of different sounds. Yours may feature:
After making those changes to your Sound Recognition settings, tap “Back” once, then exit Settings.
You can test out the app’s Sound Recognition feature by searching for “Dog” or “Baby crying” videos on YouTube. When it’s triggered, the Sound Recognition will give you an alert notification at the top of your screen.
If you need help with setting up this feature, our hearing instrument specialists will be happy to help. If you need new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Google’s Live Transcribe app has revived the topic of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). With the many technological advances available, there’s always a new and better version that’s more helpful and convenient than the previous app.
When the app was first launched, it was only available on computers. Now you can use your smartphone and tablet with this app. Speech Recognition Software recognizes spoken language and translates it into a text format. Each of these software and apps functions in a different way. Some can only recognize certain words and phrases, and other more advanced versions can understand and transcribe live speech.
Here are some well-known apps:
Live Transcribe (Google)
The objective of Google’s Live Transcribe app is to make things more accessible for individuals who have difficulty with hearing. Users can remain part of conversations in real-time through the app on their smartphones. Even if words are missed, users can still understand the conversation with surrounding text and other context clues like facial expressions.
Live Transcribe Features:
Texting, WhatsApp and video conferencing apps have changed how people with severe hearing loss communicate, but a human voice is still the predominant form of communication.
Rogervoice provides captions in real-time for voice calls. The person with hearing loss must have the Rogervoice app downloaded on their smartphone.
TextHear is a speech-to-text app that translates conversational texts on your phone, tablet, or computer. This works via computer voice recognition software.
The Ava speech to text app focuses on the ability to maintain group conversations. Everyone who participates in the conversation must download the app onto their devices and choose the conversation group that they want to be a part of. The group’s conversation will appear in text form on their device underneath each participant’s name. Ava can also be used in one on one conversations by placing the phone’s microphone near the speaker.
Live transcription features are still fairly new but can work smoothly in most situations where the transcriptions and usage is automatic without too much effort from the users. The main issue that is frequently encountered is transcription accuracy. It’s difficult to accomplish this with all of the different languages and accents that need to be taken into account to make the app useful anywhere in the world.
At any rate, it’s still a great technological advancement that these apps are available. With more improvements and changes, it will get easier to use these in everyday situations at home, at work, and in everyday situations.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you select the right hearing aids for you and help you get comfortable with using speech recognition apps that are compatible with your smartphone.
Check out the latest smartphone app from CaptionCall. This free app lets people who experience hearing loss make phone calls and receive them through the Android smartphone.
This app makes it easier for users to understand others when they speak to them and gives people a more independent life.
Easy Access to CaptionCall
As long as they have decent Wi-Fi service available, the CaptionCall Mobile app can be easily accessible. Features include:
The app is currently available to download at the Google Play store. It can be used with Android smartphones that have an Operating System (OS) 7.0 or newer and the Jitterbug Smart2 smartphones that have the Android 7.0 OS or newer.
The app can be connected to your hearing aids via Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to enhance your CaptionCall by:
Smartphone Usage with Bluetooth®-compatible Hearing Aids
People of all ages experience hearing loss, but the aging population is more likely to experience it. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that more and more seniors are using smartphones than ever before. About 46 percent of individuals who are at least 65 years old use smartphones.
The CaptionCall Mobile app (for Android smartphones) is convenient for anyone who relies on smartphones to communicate with others - whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers, or the general public.
If you or a loved one are interested in Bluetooth®-compatible hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Just about all modern appliances, from your doorbell to your washing machine, can be connected to your smartphone through an app. So it’s obvious that hearing aids can also function with the use of an app.
Nearly everyone uses apps these days. They help make something new become familiar in an effortless manner. For hearing aid users, there are many features within each app to make wearing hearing aids more customized to a person’s unique experiences.
Hearing Aid Apps
There are many hearing apps that can be used with smartphones. For example decibel (dB) meter apps can measure how loud your environment is. Remember, the average hearing threshold is 85 dB. Anything higher than that can lead to hearing loss.
Other apps can perform a basic hearing screening, or can even help train your brain with listening exercises.
For anyone who currently wears hearing aids - or is thinking about getting hearing aids - you should look into apps that were created by your hearing aid manufacturer. For example, there’s the Oticon On app which has a remote control, HearingFitness (hearing training), tinnitus sound support, and other features that connect to an IFTTT network (this is a network that stands for “if this, then that”.) It helps you connect all of your apps and devices when you engage in certain practices. For example, if your coffee maker is connected via Bluetooth®, your Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids will also turn on when you switch your coffee maker on to start making your coffee - as long as everything is in its place.
These apps can be linked with the hearing aids that you wear via Bluetooth® by using an Apple or Android phone.
Available App Features
There’s a range of apps for a range of different features. Here’s a list of the most common features on popular hearing aid apps:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
Many hearing aids can automatically adjust their volume and settings based on the environment that you are in. If you prefer controlling the bass, treble, and volume, smartphone apps give you a more discreet option - instead of reaching your hand up to your ear to press a button. It’s like changing the volume or setting on a remote-controlled stereo.
Personalized settings can be saved.
If you frequent a certain area or building that is difficult to hear in, you can make adjustments that provide the best listening experience and save those settings when you go back to that place. Some settings may already be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist.
You can monitor the status of your device.
Apps let you know what the battery life is on your hearing aids - that way, you can check when they need to be recharged or when you need fresh batteries. There’s also a “Find my Hearing Aid” feature in most hearing aid apps if you lose your hearing aid. You can also see how many hours you wear your hearing aids each day/week/month. This is great to monitor your cognitive health. Remember, it’s important to wear your hearing aids each day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed.
Hearing aids can have a direct connection to audio.
You may use an app and connect straight to sound sources. This lets you stream music, phone calls, and TV through your hearing aids.
Hearing aids have become so advanced with new features that help make your life easier. Contact us at Pure Sound for a hearing aid trial and more information on these incredible pieces of technology.