As a hearing impaired adult who wears hearing aids in both ears, I can confirm one thing – hearing aids are expensive. They are rarely covered by health insurance and frequently cost over $2,000 apiece. Many hearing impaired individuals, myself included, require two hearing aids to assist with their hearing loss, but with such a costly price tag, they simply can’t afford it. Wouldn’t it be great if someone somehow came up with a way to lower the cost?
The good news is with the use of an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad, hearing impaired individuals can now use hearing aid devices for free. A new iPhone app called the BioAid will transform your iPhone into a usable, wearable hearing aid. As soon as I heard news of this revolutionary iPhone app, I had to download it and see for myself just how good the BioAid was.
My first impression was that I was surprised by how easy it was to adjust the settings for the BioAid. You can adjust the settings to match your hearing loss from moderate to severe in various areas such as flat hearing loss (meaning your hearing loss is about the same on all frequencies), severe high frequency hearing loss, and more. My hearing loss is greater than 90db, and my ability to hear high frequencies is virtually nonexistent (legally I am deaf). The majority of hearing aids available on the market are not powerful enough for my hearing loss, so I had very low expectations for these settings and features. However, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. With the BioAid set on the D) 1kHZ setting with no noise gate, I could hear!
The BioAid isn’t a perfect device, as very few iPhone apps are, but it’s definitely helpful and interesting. It’s not quite as powerful as my hearing aids are and most certainly won’t be replacing them any time soon. Another problem is you have to use headphones, and the wires can get annoying. They have to be good quality and stay straight or you won’t be able to hear sounds properly. I also noticed when I tried to take a phone call that the BioAid had trouble staying connected, crushing my dreams of being able to really hear on the phone with it.
However, the BioAid is beneficial in that it is free and very promising in the future after it goes through more changes and innovations. If one or both of my hearing aids break, I won’t have to go entirely without one or both since the BioAid can act as a replacement. Beyond my own personal use, the greatest thing about the BioAid is being able to share it with my family and others who are not hard of hearing.
Sometimes it can be hard to explain my hearing loss and how I hear others. With the BioAid, I was able to show my parents how loud I needed the device (and how even though it seemed too loud for them, it wasn’t quite loud enough for me). I was also able to put the noise guard up high so they could see what I mean when I say things are loud but I’m not hearing the things I’m supposed to hear.
The BioAid can be a handy medical tool for hard of hearing individuals and can also double as an educational device for those who want to learn more about what it’s like to be hearing impaired. This app is currently available for free download in the app store.