Apps and games to keep hearing sharp
Did you know you can hone your hearing with smartphone training apps and exercise programs?
Hearing loss is no joke, but there’s no reason you can't have fun exercising your ears. And while you don’t have to buy a gym membership to exercise your ears, it is important to incorporate activities that keep your sense of hearing at its best, such as auditory training. To get you started, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite apps, online programs and daily activities for children and adults who already wear hearing aids or cochlear implants, as well as for those who don’t.
Hearing exercise apps for children
Created by a certified speech and language pathologist for children ages 4-12 with auditory comprehension and processing disorders, the app contains more than 1,000 listening exercises focused on improving auditory attention and memory, and processing of verbal directions. The game features a basketball coach who rewards children with a basketball for each correct response.
AB Listening Adventures (iPad only)
Parents, caregivers and therapists will appreciate this app for children with hearing loss ages 4 to 10. The program is designed to guide development of listening and language skills using six different story-based games which focus on listening for multiple elements, plurals, pronouns or minimal pairs.
VocAB Scenes (iPad only)
Children with hearing loss ages 4 to 10 will enjoy learning vocabulary with this app’s fun scenes, featuring outside water fun, beach play, pet store, swimming pool, camping and winter fun. Caregivers or therapist guide the child in listening exercises using three different games for each scene to promote listening and language development.
Apps for both children and adults
LACE Auditory Training programs
Children and adults can practice listening and communication skills on their personal computer, iPad or Android device with LACE, a daily training program designed to help develop strategies for communicating in difficult hearing situations. Each online training session lasts approximately 20 minutes.
Forbrain® uses the power of voice to improve attention span, concentration, memory, elocution and pronunciation. Users (both children and adults) wear Forbrain’s unique bone-conduction headphone with a dynamic filter microphone while speaking out loud or to another person. The creators recommend using the program a few minutes each day for at least six weeks.
Hearing Hunt (iOS)
Word search enthusiasts, take note! This might be the app for you. Users listen to word clues and play against the clock to determine which words to search. Advance to new levels by collecting stars and win coins with each word you find. word searches are randomized each time you play. This game features three levels of difficulty and works with Bluetooth enabled hearing devices.
Games 4 Hearoes (iPad)
This interactive auditory training platform is designed to help new cochlear implant and hearing aid users familiarize themselves with common environmental sounds and vocabulary. Developed in conjunction with audiologists and speech pathologists, the 30 fun activities focus on five key areas of hearing to help new users build familiarity and confidence.
The premise of this app is that it helps you train your brain's ability to detect noise by playing sounds that are just under detectable levels for you. You then create a personalized "sound therapy" that you can listen to while doing other things. The app creators state that this will result in improved gains in your hearing. The downside? The app's price may put it out of reach for some people (~$15/mo).
Offline hearing exercises
While online brain games are fun, you can also do some daily hearing exercises at home. The following activities are best when practiced with a partner.
No partner? No problem! Here are a few solo activities to do at your convenience:
Other apps you may enjoy
We've rounded up apps in several hearing categories to help you make the most of your smartphone or tablet.