Sound Amplifying Earbuds: Are They Hearing Aids?
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Sound Amplifying Earbuds: Are They Hearing Aids?

Written by Olive Union - November 19, 2020

Sound Amplifying Earbuds: Are They Hearing Aids?

What do you use your earbuds for? While the obvious answer is to listen to music or privately watch your favorite videos, don’t underestimate your tiny friends! Nowadays, earbuds can do much more than just that.

Live Listening & Frequency Adjustment

Companies are constantly trying to push the boundary and enhance the listening experience. One of the newest breakthroughs in this endeavor is a feature called live listening, which is quickly gaining popularity.

Earbuds that have this feature are able to stream music while also modifying the sounds of the outside world. The key here is that these earbuds have the ability to turn the volume of the outside world up or down. One well-known example is Apple’s AirPods Max Noise Cancellation mode, which cuts off outside noises to an incredible degree.

These features when combined with smartphone apps that can boost earbud capabilities, can give users the capability to specifically tune which frequencies they actually hear and to turn some frequencies up or down.

This feature has a plethora of uses for a number of individuals.

For People with Auditory Processing Disorder

For people who have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) where certain types of sounds are registered as either uncomfortably loud or impossibly quiet, earbuds like this are game-changers.

APD patients often find the sounds of the outside world that most people are able to ignore to be downright overwhelming, sometimes to the point where leaving a very quiet space is physically and emotionally painful. For people who have autism, APD is very common and they often wear big headphones that block noise.

Earbuds that can manipulate outside noise can potentially allow people with APDs to mute or amplify frequencies for their specific condition.

For On Duty Military Personnel

Considering what these earbuds can do, it is not hard to imagine why the military is interested in this technology. Isolating sounds such as spoken orders on a noisy battlefield while also protecting soldiers’ hearing is a difficult  yet important technical challenge.

Currently the military uses a device called Tactical Communications and Protective Equipment to block noise. These are large over the ear headphones that while effective, are also very expensive and often unused due to their bulkiness.

While sound amplifying earbuds are yet to be designed for or tested on battlefields, their potential application is seen as worthwhile from the military sector.

For Veterans

Many soldiers who come back from battlefields experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. One of the biggest triggers of PTSD is noise: and where noise is a problem, sound modifying earbuds can be the solution. The core function of this tech is to eliminate noise, so there is potential as a practical solution. In addition, there can also possibly be a psychological safeguard where they can say, “If I have this tool, I can walk outside and not be afraid.”

Sound Amplifying Earbuds vs. Hearing Aids?

Although recent technology has given sound amplifiers and earbuds new features and increased performance sometimes comparable to hearing aids, remember that sound amplifiers are not hearing aids and are not designed to treat hearing loss. For more information, read our article on the difference between Hearing Aids and other hearing devices.

With Olive Union’s Olive Pro, however, we’ve shattered the line between traditional hearing aids and earbuds. The Olive Pro is fully functional Bluetooth earbuds equipped with all the industry-standard features, such as touch control, a high-quality music listening experience, and active noise cancellation among others. The similarities stop there, however, as the Olive Pro is the first of its kind: a 2 in 1 Bluetooth Hearing Aid Earbud. 

FDA registered and designed for Mild to Moderate-Severe hearing loss, the Olive Pro is a single, sleek, and stylish solution to the stigma and high cost of traditional hearing aids. Equipped with a hearing test and precise hearing customization and adjustment settings, a truly personalized and complete hearing profile can be created from the comfort of your own home. A truly revolutionary combination of hearing aid and sound amplifying earbuds.

For more information, check them out here!

The information in this guide has been written using the following reliable sources:

asha.org/, fda.gov/, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/, clearlifehearing.com/, theverge.com/, forbes.com/

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