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3 Types of Hearing Apps Audiology Experts Recommend

Expert Chats

In a previous post, the Audiology department at Mass. Eye and Ear introduced Focus to a few online tools to help people measure their hearing and to determine if sounds happening in every day environments are dangerously loud. Here, Kevin Franck, PhD, director of Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear, shares smartphone apps that can help people hear and communicate better.

  1. SonicCloud

SonicCloud is a smartphone app (available on both iOS and Android platforms) and computer app (available on MacOS and Windows) that allows users to import hearing test results (such as those that patients have had measured at Mass. Eye and Ear) or perform a hearing test within the app. It will then apply the same signal processing of modern hearing aids and play personalized sounds through headphones. Headphones often have a wider bandwidth than hearing aids, which result in better sound quality when it comes to listening to music, radio, podcasts and phone calls, according to users. Dr. Franck advises users to operate their hearing aids during conversations with people, and SonicCloud while listening through the phone.

 

  1. Ava

Also a smartphone app, Ava turns spoken words into text, also known as live transcription. If someone is talking, the app turns the voice that the microphone picks up into text on the screen. The app can even translate that text from or to another language, and save the transcript of the conversation. This app is similar to real-time captioning, or CART. According to Dr. Franck, what’s special about Ava is that it was designed by people with hearing loss specifically for people with hearing loss.

  1. Control Apps for Hearing Devices

This class of apps enables conveniences that the smartphone platform uniquely provides. For example, apps with big screen buttons make volume adjustment easier and less obvious than pushing tiny buttons on the hearing devices themselves. Apps can provide options that would otherwise have to be enabled or disabled by an audiologist, like a telecoil, which is a small copper wire coil located within some hearing aids. They may also change how streamed content is mixed with live sounds from the microphone.

Mass. Eye and Ear supports many device manufacturers who supply smartphone apps to expand the functionality of their hardware, including implanted hearing device company Cochlear Ltd, hearing aid companies Oticon, Phonak and ReSound, and hearable companies Bose and Sound World Solutions.

About Our Expert

Kevin Franck, PhD, MBA, CCC-A is the director of Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear. The author and the department have no conflicts of interest when it comes to recommending these apps.

For more information and to make an appointment with an audiologist at Mass. Eye and Ear, call 617-573-3266.

11 Comments

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  1. Avatar

    Dr. Won Bae

    How may I get more detailed information regarding “SonicCloud”? I have Bose Hearphone and Widex Beyond, but I am frustrated because I am not able to comprehend such as sermon at the church, in a small gatherings. I have hearing test done at your office, Mass Eye and Ear a few years ago when I lost partial hearing during an auto accident where the airbags depleted. Thank you very much for your help.

    • Avatar

      Ryan Jaslow

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. You can get more information on SoundCloud from their website: http://www.soniccloud.com. Dr. Franck adds, “As for sermon in a church, the best solutions for environments like that include telecoils or remote microphones, which are receivers integrated into hearing aids.” Whoever sold the hearing aid would sell these accessory items. We don’t sell Widex hearing aids.

  2. Avatar

    Phill Emerson

    would like to make an appointment with you ASAP

    • Avatar

      Ryan Jaslow

      Hi Phil, thanks for reading. You can make an appointment with an audiologist by contacting us at 617-573-3266. Thanks.

  3. Avatar

    Juan Astorga

    I struggle with my hearing.

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    kathy saunders

    I live in Albany but see Dr. Jurkonas for my Fuchs (corneal dystrophy) Can I be evaluated for a hearing exam at Mass Eye and Ear. Do you precribe treatment a hearing aids and specify the name and type? Can I get an appointment that coincides with my yearly eye appointment?

  5. Avatar

    R.Cebula

    Need to know more about newer hearing aides that will help my Problem. My 2019 test results are in your system.

  6. Avatar

    Richard Callahan

    Current patient of Dr. de Venecia for at MEE but live in FL currently and return to MASS for 4/5/months yearly (May thru mid October)Completely deaf in left era from a series of Mastoid surgeries at ages 6-14.Have used aids for maybe 50 years. I have good insurance . Currently using a phonax aid. For various reasons I am opposed to a cochlear implant. I will read the sonniccloud web site and perhaps see you in June when I see Dr deVenecia Thanks

    • Avatar

      Ryan Jaslow

      Thanks for your comment Richard, you can call the Audiology department at 617-573-3266 should you want to to arrange an appointment when you visit next.

  7. Avatar

    Cynthia Bedard

    I’ve had a surgery for a full replacement of the three bones in my right ear By Dr Daniel Lee , and my hearing has declined to the point where I have lost most hearing in that ear. I’m currently using Apple Buds as hearing aids, and they seem to work pretty good, but I’d like to have help to find a very good doctor to help me find what I should do. Can I make an appointment with you for advice as to what I should do next?, or can you give the name of a Dr that can help me