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Turn Your iPhone Into a Hearing Aid



soundampThis has some very interesting potential for those who are hearing impaired. soundAMP (iTunes link) is an iPhone app that bills itself as the “first assistive application that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into an interactive hearing device.” Essentially you plug in your headphones that include a microphone fire up the app and you hear amplified sound that comes through you microphone.

You can adjust the volume (obviously) put the application also allows you to equalize certain ranges to your taste. There’s also a “repeat” feature in case you want to go back and hear something again.

I can imagine a number of scenarios for this to be useful. Many theatres have technical solutions that require devices be given to patrons who need hearing assistance for better hearing. This requires keeping the devices charged up and ready to go. (Sadly we don’t have this yet at Wayside Theatre.) With this solution patrons can essentially bring their own device. Although I would imagine actors from the stage might think the audience member with the white earbuds plugged in is ignoring the show.

I can’t vouch completely for how well this works. I’ve put it through some very limited testing this morning, but it does indeed make everything I hear through the earbuds louder. I do mean everything. I was in the theatre and when the Volunteer Fire Department went out on a call, I became quickly very aware that they had sirens blaring. So, if you’re using this at a wedding to hear those vows and someone sitting in front of you is the sniffling type, you’re going to hear those sniffles as well.

The app costs $9.99.

Via TechCrunch



  1. nebben

    07/07/2009 at 10:09 am

    I think this is the beginning of a boom in the consumer health device industry,

  2. Darren Austin

    07/07/2009 at 12:00 pm

    MagTown Tech and Gripwire released this exact same application back in March. It’s called iHearClear and we priced it at only $0.99.

    iTunes Link:

    Warner, if you are interested in checking it out I’m happy to extend a coupon code. Send me an email and I’ll get you one.

  3. Warner Crocker

    07/07/2009 at 1:07 pm

    Darren, I would love to check it out.

  4. Priya

    07/08/2009 at 5:41 am

    Hello Warner,

    Want to know if we can re-print this in a cross-disability national (Indian) lifestyle magazine called Success & ABILITY. Please let me know…

  5. Warner Crocker

    07/08/2009 at 6:38 am


    I see now reason why not, as long as it is properly credited.

  6. Darren Austin

    07/09/2009 at 3:20 pm

    Just sent a code for Amplitude to your email address. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m eager to hear any feedback you have on the app.

  7. Anonymous

    02/04/2011 at 5:58 am

    Not having made the leap to digital hearing aids, it’s good to read about these kinds of things. Thanks for sharing,

    Hearing Aids Scottsdale AZ

  8. Anonymous

    03/30/2011 at 12:59 am

    If you become a hearing aid wearer, go digital! Digital hearing aids can be programmed with a computer for your individual needs and lifestyle.

    hearing problems High Point Nc

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