Sometimes we struggle to hear in situations even with our hearing aids, and sometimes we may not have a hearing aid and are in need of some listening help! Well most of us these days always have a phone with us, and this can actually help in those situations. How? You may ask. Did you know that your Samsung smartphone has some amazing hearing accessibility features? So let’s talk about those today!

Live Transcribe

The first feature is called ‘Live Transcribe’. This feature opens a new screen on your phone and transcribes anything that is being said into written words! Additionally, it shows you what the background noise is like. It can identify crowds, music, laughter, wind, finger snapping, applause and birds singing. This is especially useful if you are struggling with your hearing aids in background noise. Consider this turning the subtitles on, in real life! You can change the spoken language at the bottom of the screen too. Live Transcribe has almost all languages available! However, it only allows you to switch between 2 languages at a time. Unfortunately, it is not fantastic when it comes to accents, so if your conversation partner has a thick accent it may write down things that don’t make any sense! You can also save your name in the phone so that when the speaker says this, your phone vibrates alerting you that someone is talking directly to you. The settings can even be adjusted so that the phone sofly vibrates when speech is resumed after a pause so you know to look at the screen for the script or to listen closely to what is being said. A final fun setting is that you can remove profanity. So instead of swearing appearing on your screen, these words will be starred out. However, this seems to only be working in English at the moment.

If you would like to access live transcribe follow the instructions below:

To enable live transcribe click:

Settings > Accessibility > Hearing Enhancements > Live Transcribe

To access live transcribe in difficult listening situations, open your phone and click on the little man that has appeared in the bottom right corner.

Basic Amplification

If you have headphones connected to your phone, you can amplify basic sounds through these! The phone lets you do a very basic hearing test in the accessibility settings to give you better volume. The headphones then pick up and amplify everything that is being said. In short, they act like extremely basic hearing aids. This feature is useful if one of your hearing aids unexpectedly breaks or you lose one while in an important function. However, when I tested this function, I quickly realised this is not a cheap fix to replace hearing aids altogether. Hearing aids are matched to your hearing prescription so each pitch is amplified differently based on your needs. They are also designed to focus more on amplifying speech instead of background noise. The headphones on the other hand, amplify everything equally. This means every pitch is made equally loud, and the background noise volume is increased as well. Additionally, when you speak, the phone picks up your voice and transmits it to the headphones as well, so you can hear yourself talking with a delay. This can be very distracting and voices don’t sound very natural. This feature is best to use when hearing aids are not an option due to breaking or being lost, because having lower quality amplification with headphones may be better than no amplification at all, so you can still participate in conversations.

To access this feature follow these steps:

Make sure headphones are plugged into your phone > go to settings > Accessibility > Hearing Enhancements > Amplify Ambient Sound > click on the little man feature on the bottom right hand side of the screen > turn on amplify ambient sound.

The world is becoming more accessible for people with hearing difficulties, with Iphones having similar features to those described for Samsung above. If you have any questions or would like to book in for a hearing appointment please call us on 0403 690 980.