Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Consumer Hearing Devices
Consumer devices are a new option for patients experiencing hearing loss. These might include apps that you can download on your smartphone, new kinds of “hearables” that combine headphone features with specific hearing assistance features, or assistive devices that can be integrated into different aspects of your lifestyle. We sell some of these consumer devices at Mass. Eye and Ear.
Hearables are a growing class of hearing products that can be purchased without a formal hearing evaluation. These devices do more than just amplify sound, many use the same directional microphone and sound processing technology as hearing aids, which can improve hearing in background noise. Additionally, some hearables are able to stream music and phone calls from your smartphone. They may even include a smartphone app that allows you to customize the sound to fit your individual hearing needs.
We know about hearing-enhancement hearables and recommend a select set of them. We will continue updating our recommendations as new hearable devices come on the market and are evaluated by our team.
- Sound World Solutions CS50+, used with the CS Customizer app (for iOS and Android), helps you hear more and get back in the conversation. You can take phone calls and stream music.
- SonicTechnology SE9000 is a simple device that amplifies sound using standard headphones. It uses rechargeable batteries and three-position tone selection.
These devices can be purchased from the manufacturer, online, or at the Mass. Eye and Ear Hearing Aid Centers for the same price.
For patients who are interested in hearables, we offer a Communication Needs Assessment after a comprehensive hearing evaluation where we will introduce you to these devices based on your needs.
For those who already use a hearable, we offer professional counseling, troubleshooting, and programming services to fit the device based on your hearing needs and to ensure that you are getting maximum benefit from your device.
There are many apps for your smartphone that can be useful for those who want to hear or communicate better. We know about these apps and recommend a select set of them. We will continue updating our recommendations as new apps are available and are evaluated by our team.
- hearWHO is a self-hearing test released by the World Health Organization. The WHO promotes World Hearing Day every March 3 to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
- Ear Machine for iOS turns your iPhone into an assistive listening device. This free app enables you to use your iPhone (or iPad/iPod) to amplify and adjust sounds picked up by the phone or headphone microphone. You listen to the sound using plug-in headphones. This app does not work with Bluetooth headphones or on Android-powered devices.
- SonicCloud is a smartphone and computer app that will either let you import hearing test results you’ve had measured or perform a hearing test within the app. It will then apply the same signal processing that modern hearing aids do and play them through your headphones.
- Ava brings captions to your mobile deivce by using your smartphone microphone to show you word by word what is said. The app is free to download and you can use it for free for a limited amount of time per month. You can also purchase an unlimited plan through the app.
- Mimi Hearing Test for iOS and for Android is a self-hearing test. Unlike an audiogram that is used to diagnose hearing loss, a self-hearing test may be beneficial to compare your hearing to others’ and to track your hearing over time. Mimi Music for iOS and for Android uses this self-hearing test information to make your smartphone sound better.
There are also a variety of assistive devices that can alert you to sounds and alarms with light or vibration, amplify telephones or televisions, and remote microphones to help hear through noise. Assistive device resources: