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CCATP #466 – Terry Austin on an App and Headphones for Hearing Loss

Hearing aid plus logoThis week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond is a fantastic blend of technology, physiology and ingenuity to solve a very common problem. We’re joined by Terry Austin, a professor of Anatomy & Physiology and microbiology at Temple College in the Texas Hill Country. He turned his research background in neuroscience and his love of technology toward a solution for a very personal problem to be solved.

Terry has some hearing loss, but not bad enough (in his estimation) to warrant hearing aids. He went on a hunt for an app to help. He found Hearing Aid Plus from for iOS.

I don’t want to steal his entire story, but in this episode he tells us how his knowledge of physiology combined with the mad skills of developer Gábor Száanto may have come up with a breakthrough solution for those with non-cochlear hearing loss.

Terry tells the whole story on his blog at…

Also referenced in the recording: Trekz Titanium bone-conducting headphones: He also suggested using an app to test for the high frequency point for your hearing, and here’s a few he found: Mimi Hearing Test, or Hearing Test – Check Your Hearing Health, or Audicus Hearing Test. You can find Terry on Twitter @ielectrons.

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10 thoughts on “CCATP #466 – Terry Austin on an App and Headphones for Hearing Loss

  1. Edward Reinheimer - December 4, 2016

    Thank you for a very informative podcast. I think this will be helpful for me.

    The problem to be solved:
    I installed the app on my iPhone 5s then plugged in my wired Apple ear pods and LG bluetooth ear buds. In both instances the Hearing Aid Pro app used the mike on the ear buds rather than the mike on the iPhone. When I closed the app the bluetooth ear buds announced that the call was ended. Could you or Terry please tell me how to get the phone or app to use the iPhones mike so I can place it near the TV? Thank you very much, and thank you for of great podcasts.


  2. Ken Clyne - December 6, 2016

    Very informative. Thank you.

    What I did not hear was the effect on battery use. It would seem that with blue tooth and the mic active all the time effective use would be quite short.


  3. Terry Austin - December 6, 2016

    Hi Ken,

    I tend to use this setup for specific situations rather than all the time. Honestly though, during a month of testing I’ve not seen any more drain than if I were listening to audiobooks, podcasts, or music via bluetooth.

    Even better in my go-to situation where I’m using it to help hear TV at a level others in the house can tolerate, it’s close enough to a power outlet that I can plug the phone in.

    While I don’t have numbers at hand, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate no more battery usage than the BT headphone use I was already seeing. For me that translates to an iPhone (7) that is at 15-20% at the end of a busy day.


  4. Peter Szabo - December 10, 2016

    Dear Alison and Terry, I am long time listener to NosillaCasf podcasts. I am a Hungarian leaving in Washington DC. Will be going to HUNGARY for Christmas and if you can send me the headphones before the 17th of Dec I can take it and get it to Gabor Szántó! Kind regards Peter Szabó

  5. Terry Austin - December 10, 2016

    Peter – you are AWESOME! Thank you so much for the offer. Turns out that Gábor had a friend in Austin (an hour south of me) last week. I got the headphones to him just a couple of days ago. So we have it all worked out.

    That said – your offer is amazingly generous and I would be thrilled to take you up on it had this other option not turned up.

    You rock! ~ Terry

  6. Peter Szabo - December 10, 2016

    Dear Terry, no problem I told her I’m glad it worked out at the end! Sorry for the millions of emails but I only listen to the podcast today hence reacted with a bit of panic. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all of you regards Peter

  7. Claus - December 13, 2016

    Listened to the podcast today and must say it made me very curious about the Trekz Titanium Bone Conductor Headphones and also the iOS App discussed. The two of you did such a fabulous job on the topic, that it was a fabulous listen. Thank you!

  8. Terry Austin - December 27, 2016

    Many thanks, Claus! I had a blast visiting with Allison about this project.

    While I can’t take responsibility for either the app, nor the headphones, I do like to think that I had a role in figuring out a way to make those two pieces of technology literally “talk to each other” to solve a pretty darned interesting problem that can prove quite relevant to folks in need of a solution for a persistent problem.


  9. Hector I Macedo - December 1, 2018

    Terry, the app is not available on the Apple store anymore, where can I download it? I am trying to avoid paying 3,000 bucks.

  10. podfeet - December 1, 2018

    Hector – I think this app got “Sherlocked”, meaning Apple built the functionality into iOS, at least for AirPods. If you have AirPods for example, go into Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls. In there add the Hearing control. Now if you launch control center you’ll see an icon of an ear. Put in your AirPods and tap Live Listen and then put your phone near the TV, a lecturer, in the middle of the table at dinner, and it’s supposed to give you clear(er) audio than you can normally hear. I thought it works for a few, select other headphones (like maybe Beats?) but I can’t find confirmation of that.

    I hope that helps.

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