Beyond Hearing Aids: Innovations Shaping the Future of Hearing Care

Thanks to a new range of cutting-edge digital technologies, monitoring and preserving your hearing health has never been easier. From intuitive hearing test apps to sound level meter apps and stylish ear protection, there are a number of companies creating innovative and easy-to-access solutions that are shaping the future of hearing care.

Hearing Test Apps

Hearing Test Apps provide a convenient and accessible means to assess your auditory health using nothing more than a smartphone and a set of headphones. These applications offer a range of functionalities. From conducting comprehensive hearing tests, to monitoring fluctuations in your hearing abilities over time. With personalized recommendations and insights into your hearing status, you can proactively manage your auditory wellbeing and explore suitable interventions as necessary. 

  • Hearing Test and Ear Age Test – iPhone Only: The Hearing Test can test frequencies of 125hz to 8000hz, and will plot your result on a personalized chart. The Ear Age Test  can help test the age of your ears and plays tones up to 20000hz to determine which high frequencies you can still hear. 
  • eargym –  Android and iPhone: eargym provides immediate access to in-depth hearing assessments, support from healthcare professionals, and evidence-based training games to improve your hearing.
  • Soundly – Android, iPhone and Web: Soundly worked with audiologists and sound engineers to create a simple and quick hearing test. The test begins with a short questionnaire with “red flag” symptoms. Using your answers, the test will indicate whether they suggest you see an audiologist immediately.
  • Mimi Hearing Test App – Android and iPhone: Mimi Hearing Test App is the #1 digital hearing screening tool. The user-friendly test is easy to complete and is the perfect application if you are curious about your hearing health.

Noise Monitoring Tools for Public Spaces

The best method for monitoring noise in a public space is based on a dedicated sound level meter (you may see them on the wall at a live music venue). However, several sound level meter apps are also available on both iOS and Android platforms. These apps allow you to measure the noise levels in your environment yourself. These applications can help you to make informed decisions concerning your exposure to noise. You can use them to take proactive steps to reduce your noise exposure and protect your hearing health. Some popular sound level meter apps include:

  • Decibel X: This app turns your smartphone into a professional sound level meter,  detects harmful environmental noises, and helps protect your hearing health. 
  • NIOSH Sound Level Meter: Developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app can measure workplace noise to determine if workers may experience hazardous noise exposure.The app was created to empower people to test noise levels in their workplace and prevent occupational hearing loss.
  • SoundPrint: Designed to crowdsource noise data, SoundPrint enables users to measure noise levels in various venues and contribute to a global database of quiet spaces.

Ear Protection Going Mainstream

Traditionally associated with industrial settings and sleep aids, earplugs are undergoing a renaissance, with more brands targeting younger demographics and lifestyle-oriented markets. These modern earplugs combine functionality with style, offering sleek designs, customizable fit options, and advanced features tailored to the needs of active and music-loving individuals.

One notable example is Loop earplugs, which feature discreet, low-profile designs and innovative acoustic filters that preserve the clarity of sound while reducing volume levels. These earplugs are popular among concert-goers, musicians, and frequent travelers who seek effective noise protection without compromising on audio quality.

Smartphone Features

In addition to dedicated hearing care apps, smartphone manufacturers are incorporating innovative features to enhance accessibility and assistive listening capabilities for users with hearing impairments.  

  • Apple Live Listen: A feature that turns compatible iOS devices into remote microphones, streaming audio directly to airpods, hearing aids or cochlear implants. This feature enables you to amplify conversations in noisy environments, enhance speech clarity, and customize your listening experience according to your preferences.
  • Apple Headphone Accommodations: It customizes headphone audio settings to amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies for your hearing needs. You can also use your audiogram data from the Health app to customize audio settings.
  • Google Sound Amplifier: It makes everyday conversations and surrounding sounds more accessible among people who are hard of hearing, using just your Android phone and a pair of headphones. You can use Sound Amplifier to filter, augment, and amplify sounds around you and on your device.

The Power of Mobile Technology for Hearing Care

By leveraging the power of mobile technology, smartphone manufacturers and app developers are making significant strides in creating inclusive and user-friendly solutions for individuals with hearing loss, and those interested in learning more about their hearing health.