While I’ve never seen anyone go around showing off their hearing aid, I often see people bragging about their new earbuds. The Olive Smart Ear looks like a single earbud, but does the job of a hearing aid.
Designed for people who aren’t quite ready for hearing aids, they work with a hearing loss of 50 dB or less. Along with a companion app (IOS and Android), it gives you a hearing test for recommended settings and the user-friendly dashboard gives you instant adjustments, from the basic default mode to TV watching and conversations. Feedback can be altered and other controls can easily be customized based on the user and the environment. Crowded restaurants need different adjustments than talking at the breakfast table.
It offers nice sound but what it makes it stand out is the amplified sound. I don’t have hearing loss so I enlisted someone close to me who does. We put ourselves in a normal environment with the TV in surround sound. With the Olive Smart Ear in the ear facing away from me, she was better able to hear the TV along with my occasional conversation.
Like true wireless earbuds, alone it gives you seven hours of charge and when combined with its portable recharging case, it’s good for over 20 hours. It’s not something you would wear all day but it’s so small and portable that it can be useful when needed. ($300, oliveunion.com)