Tech Devices as Hearing Aids

Will We Soon Be Able to Use Tech Devices as Hearing Aids?

Until 2017, a decades-old law prevented sales of over-the-counter hearing aids, which meant that you had to go through a doctor and audiologist—as well as spend thousands of dollars—to obtain them. While federal regulators have not yet implemented the new rules, tech companies are already scrambling to adapt their existing technologies for use as hearing aids. This is all great news for those suffering from hearing loss, since nearly 16% of Americans report hearing loss, while only a third of them use hearing aids

In addition to the cost and medical hoops, one reason that so few people use hearing aids is due to the stigma. Hearing loss has long been associated with old age, but more and more people of younger ages are reporting hearing problems as a result of the increasing prevalence of loud industrial noise in our environments as well as our reliance on earbuds and headphones for our entertainment, information and communication.

While tech companies are still not allowed to market their devices as hearing aids, new regulations are expected to arrive next year. Meanwhile, earlier this month, Apple rolled out its Conversation Boost feature, which does not hear through noise nearly as well as Noopl (we put it to the test!), but rumors are flying that, in addition to other health and wellness features, Apple is working on its own hearing aid technology. According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, it is not yet clear if Apple plans to develop its own hearing aid or to optimize AirPods Pro to function as a hearing aid. It doesn’t look like either product will be rolling out any time soon, but we will be watching.

In the meantime, Noopl is still the least expensive and most effective device available to those who have difficulty hearing in noisy environments. And because it works with AirPods Pro, there’s none of the stigma associated with hearing aids.

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