There are thousands of individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss throughout the world. However, modern technology means we have some tools to deal with this drawback with the very devices in our pockets. Google has an app simply called ‘Sound Amplifier’ that may make it easier to hear speech in conditions you might otherwise struggle.
The application has been around since February, but it just received a small update today, and we thought it was worth highlighting for the folks who might have not been aware of it.
The app makes use of your phone or headphone’s microphone to sift through ambient sounds and improve frequencies related to speech while lowering unnecessary noise. You can use this to listen to conversations in a noisy restaurant or more clearly make out dialog on the TV without having to raise the quantity, etc.
The app has a visualization displaying when it’s actively detecting noise, and it lets you tweak the power and finesse of its speech enhancement while selecting the level of noise reduction. It is kind of like turning any wired headphones into noise-canceling ones, besides with speech enhancement capabilities must you need them.
To make use of it, simply download the most recent version of the application from the Play Store, and select the app from your launcher. From there, you will be able to customize speech levels, noise discount, and whether or not you are using your headphones or phone’s mic.
The only caveat is that the application currently only works with wired headphones. Both USB-C headphones and 3.5mm are fine. However, Bluetooth doesn’t work, presumably due to latency issues. Hopefully, this is something Google will add sooner or later as Bluetooth technology improves through technologies like AptX Low Latency.