According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 466 million people globally have hearing impairments. Even worse, the number is expected to grow to more than 900 million people by 2050. The good news is technology has made it easier for people with any degree of hearing impairment to live a relatively normal life. But how well do they work with most VR headsets out there on the market? Here is what I found out…
While you could say Ar technology would be better for people with hearing loss as it could turn their speech into subtitles for you to read, we are not quite there yet, so today I have been looking into VR technology and how it is helping those with hearing gadgets enjoy the games and experiences it offers.
The good news is most heading aids and device are not really affected by VR headstraps as a whole, even the Oculus Go with its sound strap work pretty much perfectly with peoples hearing aids. But sadly the best way to experience VR is with earphones, but what some people might not know is that there are hearing gadgets out there with headphone jacks built-in and even some hearing devices with Bluetooth built-in so you can stream music directly to your hearing aid! Even if your own hearing aids don’t have any of those options a paid of large over-the ear-headphones should still work fine.
You could even look at these technologies linking another way as there are plenty of VR apps that can test your hearing mostly thanks to spatial audio technology. This is especially useful as detect hearing loss early enough is one of the best ways to prevent that said loss getting worse. Sure, it might not mean VR can help save your hearing, but it might help you spot a problem early enough then you can always book an online hearing test to determine the severity of your condition.
Even with a hearing device, you can still enjoy VR games and apps just as you did before and in some cases, you might enjoy being in VR more as you can stream the sound straight into your earlobes (just don’t turn the volume up too loud). Hearing loss is something a lot of people fear, especially those of us using VR with inner-earphones. But as long as you are sensible with the volume and don’t expose your earlobes to too many sharp tones and audio-spikes you should be OK.