November 21, 2018
The right hearing aid can have a hugely positive impact on a user’s quality of life. For many, these personal devices are already indispensable – but backed by the right hearing aid app, the benefits they offer can be even greater.
While there are many types of hearing aids that can connect to an iPhone, there are also many Americans out there who aren’t too fond of Apple’s flagship handset. If you are an Android user, fear not: for every iPhone hearing aid app, there’s a hearing aid app for Android, too.
Apps like these can help you measure daily sound exposure levels, connect your hearing aid to your TV, receive remote assistance from a hearing care professional, and more. The name of the game is convenience, and a hearing aid app for Android promises just that.
In This Guide:
- Finding a Hearing Aid App for Android
- Best Hearing Aid Apps for Android
- Alternative Android Hearing Aid Apps
- The Future of Hearing Aids
Finding a Hearing Aid App for Android
There was no real distinction between Android and iPhone, as far as hearing aids were concerned, until Apple released proprietary Bluetooth technology exclusive to iOS in 2013. Because of this release, “Made for iPhone” hearing aids can now communicate directly with iPhones without being a huge drain on battery power or requiring an intermediary streamer to connect.
Unfortunately for Android users, no “Made for Android” or otherwise-named technology has followed yet. However, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to find a hearing aid app for Android.
Hearing aid manufacturers are aware that Android phones represent a large percentage of the American smartphone market so it is quite common to find hearing aids with a corresponding hearing aid app for Android.
Android hearing aid apps can allow streaming of music and voice calls between the smartphone and hearing aid, and some offer additional features such as connecting to a TV.
When looking for a hearing aid app for Android setup you will find one downside however: most currently rely on an intermediary streamer to provide the full benefits, such as the ConnectClip for Oticon Opn devices or the Phone Clip+ for ReSound hearing aids. These come at an additional cost of a few hundred dollars.
Fortunately, this won’t be a concern for much longer. An equivalent of the iPhone’s proprietary technology is (finally!) beginning to be incorporated into Android phones. This means the playing field will soon be level once again, allowing Android phones to connect directly with hearing aids while maintaining full features with minimal power consumption.
Best Hearing Aid Apps for Android
iPhone hearing aid apps may enjoy direct connectivity, but there are hearing aid apps for Android that are equally capable of enhancing one’s quality of life. Many of these apps connect to Bluetooth hearing aids, but others communicate with the hearing aid via high frequency sounds or tones.
Average rating: 2.3/5 (149 ratings)
As far as hearing aid apps for Android go, this is probably one of the most loved due to the fact it operates without an intermediary.
The Phonak Remote app is built specifically for Audeo Marvel and Audeo B-Direct. For all other Phonak hearing aids, there is the Phonak Remote Control app, which has similar features but requires an intermediary (such as ComPilot II or ComPilot Air II) to stream audio from an Android smartphone.
The app has a great demo mode to get you started, with features including:
- Individual volume control for both ears
- Directly stream music and calls
- Directional microphone control
- Default and customizable programs
Although it does not offer remote assistance from a hearing care professional, you can download the myPhonak app separately to optimize your hearing aid experience and receive remote real-time hearing aid support.
Average rating: 3/5 (146 ratings)
The Starkey TruLink app is an upgrade on the T2 Remote app, which had very basic volume and memory control functions and used tones rather than Bluetooth connectivity.
This upgrade comes with a wide range of helpful tools, including the new TruLink Remote, which allows users to control memory and volume, mute your hearing aids and turn other special features on and off. Unfortunately, unlike its iPhone counterpart, the TruLink app on Android does not allow direct streaming. Features include:
- Save programs based on location (up to 20 programs)
- Automatically switch between programs based on geotagged locations
- Control hearing aid volumes and memory
- Find a lost hearing aid
The Starkey TruLink is compatible with many versions of the Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel and HTC One. It’s worth noting that the Starkey TruLink is not compatible with all Android smartphones, so be sure to check the list before making a decision.
Resound Smart 3D App
Average rating: 2.6/5 (610 ratings)
The ReSound Smart 3D app is designed for the LiNX Quattro, LiNX 3D and ENZO 3D hearing aids, but older lines such as the LiNX and UpSmart equally benefit from the ReSound Smart app.
The ReSound Smart 3D app is compatible with a number of phones, including Samsung (from S4 onwards), LG (G3, G5, V20), Huawei (Mate 8 and P9) and Sony Xperia Z3. In fact, it can run on any phone operating the Android OS 5.O (Lollipop) or later. The app’s features are identical to those that iPhone users benefit from, including:
- Find a lost hearing aid
- Tinnitus manager
- Remote assistance from health care professional
- Geotagging saved settings
- Adjust speech focus, noise and wind-noise levels
Although there is no direct streaming between your phone and hearing aid, this can be achieved by pairing with the ReSound Phone Clip+. You can also benefit from additional features, such as simultaneous connection to two devices.
Signia touchControl App
Average Rating: 3.9/5 (9,078 Ratings)
The Signia touchControl app is especially popular due to its simplicity and user-friendly design. It generates high-frequency control signals which allow control of Siemens hearing aids without an intermediary device. Features include:
- Switch between saved programs
- Easy volume adjustments
- Audio balance adjustments
- Tinnitus manager
- Adjust span and direction of microphones
- Check battery status
The app’s full functionality can be achieved by having your device configured by a hearing care professional with a better understanding of how hearing aids work. The user can then adjust various parameters within a range which still ensures maximum benefits.
The touchControl App is compatible with any Android device running Android 4.0 or higher.
Oticon ON App
Average Rating: 1.9/5 (991 ratings)
This hearing aid app for Android works with Oticon Opn hearing aids based on their TwinLink Technology. It is the only hearing aid app to take advantage of IFTTT, bringing the Internet of Things to hearing aids by integrating your hearing solution with a vast range of enabled home appliances, lighting systems and more.
The app is compatible with most major Android-based phones, including Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia, and Google Pixel. Some of its key features include:
- Find a lost hearing aid
- Volume adjustments
- Switch between saved programs
- Connection to Oticon IFTTT channel
If you use a phone or tablet which runs Android 8, recent updates of the app allow control of your hearing aid from the notification drawer. However, despite its great features, the app does not automatically switch between hearing aid programs based on geotagged locations.
Alternative Android Hearing Aid Apps
While using a hearing aid app for Android backed by an associated hearing aid can be pleasant and worthwhile, there are many more apps out there which function independently of a hearing aid. Some of these apps do not attempt to act as a substitute for hearing aids, but rather provide a complementary service, working to enhance the user’s experience of everyday sounds.
Monitoring Hearing Levels
These apps serve to monitor sound levels that the user is exposed to, warning you when your hearing is at risk. Apps like these are great for those who are conscious about protecting their hearing, or who often find themselves in environments with high levels of background noise.
Examples available on Android include TooLoud, Noise Control Pro, NIOSH Sound Level Meter (pictured here), and Noise Sensor.
Tinnitus Balance Apps
Some of the hearing aid apps discussed above come with a tinnitus management feature, helping to balance out tinnitus symptoms. Aside from these, apps such as ReSound Relief and Phonak Tinnitus Balance are uniquely designed to serve this purpose. Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds, is also highly recommended for those with Tinnitus. It comes with over 100 sounds and settings for you to select and mix.
Call-to-text apps transcribe speech to facilitate better understanding of conversations for the user. There are many apps which are capable of doing this; Phonak myCall-to-Text app can turn live speech and calls into writing, while P3 Mobile is a video service, relaying calls for those with profound hearing loss.
Hearing Test Apps
Most hearing test apps are marketed as “indicative”, and are not intended to replace the services of a hearing care professional. Nonetheless, these apps – such as Sound Meter and Signia Hearing Test – give the user an idea of what their hearing needs are. Most importantly, if hearing test apps suspect a degree of hearing loss, they can alert the user and instruct them to book an appointment with a hearing care professional.
The Future of Hearing Aids Is Here
The advancement of technology has allowed many with hearing deficiencies to continue enjoying the rich sounds of everyday life. Having any degree of hearing loss is no longer a reason to avoid social activities, with the devices’ sleek designs meaning that many users often have their hearing aids go unnoticed.
If you are experiencing hearing problems, the only long term solution is get your hearing tested properly, and to explore options with a specialist. Get started today with a free consultation from Tech.Co.
Start your journey to crystal clear hearing with a free hearing test and consultation.
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