Keeping up with all the new apps and hearing-related media can be overwhelming, but you’re in luck because we’ve done the searching and sorting for you! Our app recs below can help make life much easier for those coping with hearing loss. And we also threw in a rec for an equal parts informative and entertaining podcast about environmental noise.
National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) developed NALscribe to facilitate speech understanding for people with hearing loss. The easy-to-use captioning tool comes in handy in daily chance encounters, whether at a store, on a loud subway, or in the street. The website notes that NALscribe is especially beneficial when the person speaking is wearing a mask or face-shield, since lips are hidden and sound is muffled. The app is also available with language translation on iOS 15.
“Like Yelp for noise,” SoundPrint’s decibel meter allows you to measure sound levels in any environment, as well as to find quiet places and venues based on other users’ reviews. You can even submit excessive sound complaints to venues via the app. Per their website, “Noise-induced hearing loss is a serious public health issue and encouraging venues to mitigate their sound levels helps protect the public’s hearing health (and reduce Covid transmission).”
If you use Apple EarPods or AirPods, the Mimi Hearing Test is a useful first stop in assessing hearing loss. In only 6 minutes, it will test your hearing in a wide range of frequencies, and then allows you to print the results to share with healthcare professionals (which you should always do!). It also allows you to track changes to your hearing over time.
For a deep dive into all things concerning harmful environmental noise, take a listen to this brilliant weekly podcast that branched off from the equally great blog. Taking on everything from leaf blowers to city helicopters to noisy neighbors, it also looks into the science of acoustics, sound’s impact on wildlife, soundscape art, noise activism and other related topics.
If you have a recommendation for an app or any helpful noise-related content, please let us know!