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OT - using AirPods as hearing aids?


Mike Davis
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How?

 

I"m not quite sure I understand it myself! But apparently there"s an audio mode in iOS 14 that can work as a lower cost alternative to regular hearing aids. My wife has some mild hearing loss, and so we"re exploring options.

 

Here"s an article that explains it better than I just did:

 

https://www.nuheara.com/news/how-people-try-to-use-airpods-as-hearing-aids/

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As a hearing aid wearer I wouldn't recommend consumer buds of any kind. Hearing aid manufacturers have been cranking these things out for ages and have the science nailed. Modern digital aids use real-time analyzers and multiband compression to do what they do, which is define speech and suppress background noise. They're also directional so you get a sense of spatial location. You don't necessarily need to lay out $6500 for a set with the bells/whistles, but at least go to a trained professional for an exam and see where you stand. Costco has decent deals on last year's models and they have an audiologist on staff. My current set is six years old and I paid $5500 at an audiology practice. That's ~$2.50 a day. Is my ability to discern speech worth $2.50 a day? Absolutely. I also discovered that no two practices are alike. My folks offer a 3 month trial. Another offered only 7 days. That's not enough time for your brain to learn to use them.

 

Before shelling out the big bucks I tried using my Android phone and IEMs and found that the latency was unacceptable. I don't know how well and iPhone/buds combo would work. I assume that's what you're planning. What I like about hearing aids vs IEMs is that I hear everything below my loss naturally. I perceive bass and low mids as I always have. The aids begin to work around 1k and it's a smooth transition, mostly. Somedays I'm more aware of them than others depending on a number of factors like if my TMJ is acting up or if I didn't get all the water out of my ears after a shower. Oh, and I've accidentally worn them in the shower. Yanked them out quickly, of course, but they lived through it and continue to.

 

All that said, I understand that Bose has gotten into the game and is offering a set for $850, FDA and HSA approved. They may be worth looking into. Personally, I'm sticking with what I've got. A piano sounds like a piano and my mixes translate.

 

Edit: Samsung also has an enhanced mode in their accessibility settings. I've got it on and maybe calls are a little crisper, but I wear aids and the difference may be lost on me.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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This topic is of particular interest to me,

 

I'm starting to develop a bit of mild hyperacusis, causing me problems with certain notes when playing my acoustic grand. As I'm limited on how I can adjust the sound level and very limited in being able to EQ out the offending notes, I've started wearing my airpods while playing.

I find they are incredibly effective in providing me with comfort while playing.

 

Without the Airpods, my tinnitus gets worse after playing, I don't last long as it fatigues me very quickly, and the mid freqs of the piano drown distort and drown out the higher harmonics. I was amazed, the first time I tried them, as the detail I could hear was incredible. So I basically use them as in ear eq's.

 

The only thing I find, is that being active noise cancellations with some "intelligence", they tend to dynamically change in one ear occasionally, when I stop playing for a few seconds, then start with a different tune, but once I get going they settled down again.

 

I know the purpose of hearing aids is also to provide some some for of equalisation, and they work well for loud sounds like acoustic piano, but I'm not sure how useful they would be in everyday lower level sounds, as they would noise cancel out a lot of what you're trying to hear.

 

Just my thoughts from my own experiences :)

The companions I can't live without: Kawai Acoustic Grand, Kawai MP11SE, Kronos2-73, Yamaha Montage8, Korg D1
Other important stuff: Novation Summit, Studiologic NC2X, NI Komplete Ultimate 11, Omnisphere, Sonuscore Elysion and Orchestra, Pianoteq 7.5 Pro

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Just to add to what I last said. Forgot to mention that I use the Airpods without any connection to a device, and just with noise cancelling on. I didn't read the article properly, but with a hearing aid app on the phone, I'm guessing for day to day use it would be quite useful, given how effective it is without an app.

The companions I can't live without: Kawai Acoustic Grand, Kawai MP11SE, Kronos2-73, Yamaha Montage8, Korg D1
Other important stuff: Novation Summit, Studiologic NC2X, NI Komplete Ultimate 11, Omnisphere, Sonuscore Elysion and Orchestra, Pianoteq 7.5 Pro

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How?

 

I"m not quite sure I understand it myself! But apparently there"s an audio mode in iOS 14 that can work as a lower cost alternative to regular hearing aids. My wife has some mild hearing loss, and so we"re exploring options.

 

Here"s an article that explains it better than I just did:

 

https://www.nuheara.com/news/how-people-try-to-use-airpods-as-hearing-aids/

 

Wow ok interesting! I know Apple are doing lots of work with directional audio etc so could see things getting interesting :thu:

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There's this:

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/olive-pro-2-in-1-hearing-aids-bluetooth-earbuds#/

 

Don't take this reply as an endorsement. I'll admit I did get caught up in the excitement when they were first announced & ordered a pair but they haven't even shipped yet. I doubt they can live up to the hype in their ad but I'll give them an honest evaluation when they get here.

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