Android Sound Amplifier Version 2.0 is starting to roll out today

For the 466 million people in the world who have hearing loss, the inability to hear a conversation or the sounds around you can be isolating. Without clear sound, it’s challenging to connect to the people around you and fully experience the world. And simply asking others to speak louder (or turn up the TV volume) isn’t a helpful solution because people hear more clearly at different audio frequencies.

Sound Amplifier is an Android Accessibility app that helps people hear more clearly, and now it’s available on Android devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. Using machine learning, we sorted through thousands of publicly available hearing studies and data to understand how people hear in different environments and created a few simple controls.

Here’s how it works: When you plug in your headphones and use Sound Amplifier, you can customize frequencies to augment important sound, like the voices of the people you are with, and filter out background noise. It can help you hear conversations in noisy restaurants more clearly, amplify the sound coming from TV at personalized frequency levels without bothering others, or boost the voices of presenters at a lecture.

For some people, it may be hard to know when Sound Amplifier is detecting or enhancing sound. So we added an audio visualization feature that shows when sound is detected, helping you visualize the changes you’re making to it. Like a volume number on your TV, you know how much the sound is boosted even if you can’t hear it yet. There are a couple of new visual updates, too. You can launch the app directly from your phone’s home screen instead of tapping into Accessibility settings, and with the reorganized the control settings, you can easily tap between boosting your sound or filtering out the background noise.

Caption: Sound Amplifier has a new look and feel with an audio visualization feature.

Sound Amplifier is the latest step in our commitment to make audio clear and accessible for everyone. And we’ll continue to improve the app through new features that enhance sound for all types of hearing.

Download the Sound Amplifier app on Google Play today on your Android device to enhance the sound around you.

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I don’t get it. It says using headphones. Is it a remote mic? Does it work via bluetooth?

Your phone is the mic.

Well sure I get that it uses the phone. So is it implied that it sends the audio out via bluetooth? A remote mic like that would be good for those with an Android phone and Marvels/B-Directs/Brio 3’s/KS9’s.

It says “plug in your headphones” so I’m not even sure it works with Bluetooth / wireless headphones. Also, it might not be desirable to drastically alter the amplification profile of your hearing aids.

If it outputs to bluetooth then just leave the adjustments alone and use it as a remote mic. But that part is still not clear to me.

I just checked in with the Ricardo Garcia, an engineer at Google and “Technical Lead of the Sound Amplifier project” and he says for now it’s wired only due to Bluetooth latency issue …

I also asked him why Phonak was able to achieve acceptable latency with Roger and he said it’s possible with proprietary codecs…

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It wouldn’t install on my LG V20 running Oreo. Edit: Version number on the app store is 1.something, so maybe it’s not quite rolled out yet (he says hopefully).

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FYI, I just installed it on my Galaxy Note 9. When I tried to start the audio in it (while connected by BT to my Marvel M70R’s) it pops up a message that says you MUST use a wired headphone, either by 3.5mm jack or USB.

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