Useful Apps for people with hearing loss

Webpage published: 2013


Every day technology is growing and improving to be the best it’s ever been. Here we focus on apps for both iPhones and iPads that focus on helping those who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate, network and enjoy entertainment more. Listed below is what Hearing Link volunteer Hollie Wicks think are the top five available. 


This app turns your phone into a hearing aid by processing sound from the microphone then delivering the processed sound over headphones in real time.

Relevance This app could be very relevant for those who believe they have a hearing loss but don’t want to fully commit to the idea of having a hearing aid. And instead use their phone to help.

Usefulness I can see how this app can be useful for others. However as I have a hearing aid it isn’t that useful for myself.

Cost FREE from http://bioaid.org.uk/


This app vibrates your phone and flashes the screen to draw your attention to nearby sounds.

Relevance This app would be very useful for those who need more than just a hearing aid. For example if their office phone is ringing when at work their smart phone would help indicate that.

Usefulness This app wouldn’t personally help me, but I can see how it could help others.

Cost £1.99 from app centre and itunes.


UHear is a hearing loss screening test which allows you to test your hearing to determine if it is within normal range or if you have a potential hearing loss. This links in with the myth that hearing loss only affects old people and is merely a sign of aging. So now people of all ages can check their hearing and discard the myth.

Relevance I find this app very useful as it helps more people become aware that hearing loss can affect everyone.

Usefulness This app is very useful, as people can check their hearing themselves.

Cost FREE from app centre and itunes.

British Sign Language Finger Spelling

This app works to encourage and enable people to learn and practice sign language at their own pace. This is done through the medium of cartoon images of a pair of hands.

Relevance This would be very relevant for those beginning to learn how to sign.

Usefulness I’m only just starting to learn how to sign so I found this app very useful.

Cost FREE from app centre and itunes.


This app enables you to learn British Sign Language on the go. Within the app is a library stored with over 4000 signs which you can search through using the predictive search engine. The app will also automatically keep a list of your recently viewed signs for repeat access.

Relevance I’d rate this app 9/10 on relevance as not all people with hearing loss need to sign.

Usefulness I found this rather useful although I don’t need to know sign language I think I could easily learn with this app. So I hope others do too.

Cost FREE from app centre and mobile sign.

Other apps that we know about but have not tested

(thanks to Richard Turner for letting us know about these)

  • Louder TV is an app designed to make watching TV easier for those with hearing loss. By using headphones LouderTV works as a personal amplifier.
  • Play It Down will access music files and play songs as they would be heard by someone with hearing loss. If you are in a noisy environment, it also has a handy meter to measure the decibels to see if the level could damage your hearing.
  • Dragon Dictation As a person is speaking, Dragon will transcribe the words for the person who is hard of hearing to read. Though it is not perfect, it will usually give enough information to improve understanding of the conversation.

Further information about these three apps visit http://appadvice.com/applists/show/apps-for-the-deaf



















































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 What is an ‘app’?

The word ‘app’ is short for ‘application’ or software application — in other words, a software programme.

But an app is not just any old software programme — it’s a special type of software programme. 

An app typically refers to software used on a smartphone or mobile device such as the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry or iPad, as in ‘mobile app’ or ‘iphone app’. 

Apps work much like user-installed software on a computer and allow the mobile device to perform specific tasks that the user wants or needs.

Users sometimes pay a small fee for the use of an app, but many are free of charge.


Dramatic rise in hearing aid app downloads


Almost 190 people per day are downloading a mobile app that turns an iPhone into a hearing aid, making it the most downloaded medical app in some countries.

In just three months BioAid downloads have risen by 17,000 with feedback from around the world suggesting it is having a revolutionary impact on people’s lives.

The number of downloads of BioAid, which was developed by researchers at the University of Essex and is available free, hit the 18,000 mark last week.

Professor Ray Meddis, of the University’s Department of Psychology, said: “Since April we have had 17,000 downloads from people all over the world. This is part of a research project with the ultimate aim of improving the lives of those who have trouble hearing and we need their feedback to be able to deliver a product that works for them.”

More on this story. (posted July 2013)

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