Technology can improve your life in many ways, and make daily tasks a lot easier – even if you’re touched by the inconvenience of hearing loss. There are many aspects of daily life that are much more difficult to navigate without the ability to hear, which is why we’ve compiled this list of helpful apps that can assist with hearing impairments. Using these apps can help you hear things better, or can assist you with communication if you have complete hearing loss.
Read on to learn about the best hearing impairment assistance apps, or jump down to learn about our tips for finding the right hearing impairment app for you.
5 apps to assist with hearing impairments
1. Dragon Dictation
This is popular software that you can easily get for your computer, but is also now available in an Android or iOS app. This software is the most accurate speech recognition software, which means that you can use it to listen to others while they speak, and it will dictate their words on your device. It is used in many schools and offices as well, so it’s entirely possible that you could have this integrated into your workspace, and help you hear what everyone is saying.
2. Tap Tap
This is another app that unfortunately, is only currently available for Apple devices, but Tap Tap is very useful for alerting users that loud noises have been made around them. It can help you notice things happening around you, and draw your attention to people you may not have otherwise noticed. Simply enable the app, and your device will vibrate when a loud noise has been made around you. You can also adjust the sensitivity and personal comfort level, so you can be notified even in quieter areas of noises around you.
Download It Now: iOS
Skype is an amazing app that can help you make video calls instead of standard voice calls. If you know sign language, or just prefer more visual forms of communication because hearing is difficult for you, Skype is an awesome solution. You can make video calls (with sound) for free to any of your contacts, using only an Internet connection; as long as you have a connection to Wi-Fi or Internet data, you can make calls and add video to them.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our free course on how to use Skype.
4. ASL Dictionary
This app helps to teach you American Sign Language (ASL), and has images and videos with over 5000 signs that can help you communicate better, look up signs you don’t know, or simply start learning how to sign. This is a great tool for those who are interested in sign language, whether you have the hearing impairment, or you know someone who does.
5. TV Louder
This useful app allows you to use headphones to listen to your TV. You can then hear the television much better in your own ears, without needing to turn the volume on the TV way up. Not only will it help you hear better, but it will also help you stop driving everyone else in your home mad with how loudly you need to listen to the TV in order to hear it properly. Unfortunately, this app is only compatible with Apple iOS devices, and is not currently available for Android.
Download It Now: iOS
Now that you know which apps to use, be sure to read on for some great tips on making good use of apps that help with hearing, and what to avoid doing to protect your safety and privacy.
Tips for finding the right hearing impairment app for you
1. If it’s not working for you, look for a similar app or a trial.
Many of these apps are great ideas, but they are developed by people who have had similar issues themselves and know how difficult it is to get through life with a hearing impairment. Some of these developers simply don’t have the resources to develop a big app and promote it, so an app that is possibly better and more accommodating may not have a lot of ratings or be difficult to find – but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it.
You may be able to find another app that is a huge improvement over the ones you’ve been using, so look for “similar” apps in your app store. In addition, many apps when first developed (if they don’t have a large budget) are only released on only one platform (either Android or iOS, but not both). If they become more popular, be patient, as they will probably eventually come out on the other platform, or in the least, a comparable app will pop up from another company on the platform you need.
2. Try to use your hearing-aid apps in a quieter area for optimal performance.
Many of these apps that assist you rely on hearing sounds around you in order to work (for example, to dictate speech, to notify you of noises, etc.). It’s best if you can find a quieter area in which to use them whenever possible, as outside noises can interfere with the app’s functionality, and may result in it not working as well as it possibly could.
3. Always consult with your health care professional to prevent further possible injury.
Though it’s unlikely, you’ll want to speak to a doctor about possible dangers of using apps such as these. It’s possible that if you’re experiencing some kind of treatment, these apps could interfere with improving your hearing, or could possible worsen your condition (in the case of apps that help you hear better). Make sure to quickly run it by your doctor if you’re concerned this is possible.
4. Know when to give out information, and when to keep it private.
Apps may ask you to input information, so it’s important to know what you should give out and what you shouldn’t. Things such as your name, age, and even the extent of your hearing loss are all normal, as well as your location, as some apps require this to function properly. However, you should never have to give out things such as your Social Security number, banking information, or other private information. Try contacting someone through the app to ask why they would need the information before giving it out if it’s something you’re questioning.
We hope these apps help you make daily tasks a little easier despite hearing loss or impairment. If you have any suggestions for apps that have helped you, let us know in the comments so we can add them to our list! If you’re interested in more apps that can help with accessibility, be sure to read our article about that here.