Home Tech Elehear’s Alpha Pro over-the-counter hearing aids have great battery life

Elehear’s Alpha Pro over-the-counter hearing aids have great battery life

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2 side-by-side gray over-ear headphones with white ear pads

Headphones: No Only for nearly deaf people? We’ve already seen one product in the emerging hearing aid category designed for users with relatively mild hearing loss: the Olive Union Olive Max. Now there’s Elehear’s Alpha Pro, another affordable over-the-counter product that aims to acclimate users to what hearing aids can do… before things hit crisis mode.

Elehear’s Alpha Pro doesn’t break new ground in the design department, offering a traditional behind-the-ear design with a receiver connected to the main device via a thin cable, perhaps a little longer than most. The units are only available in a dark gray color, which I find more aesthetically pleasing and understated than the more common silver or beige (yech).

Photography: Elehear

The units arrive unset up, but new users get a free 30-minute online session with an audiologist if they need help setting things up and getting the hang of it. If you are new to hearing aids, this is a good idea, as the audiologist can guide you on what settings and ear tips are likely to work best for you, not to mention give you general usage and cleaning tips. The audiologist (there is only one in Elehear) can also help later, on an ad hoc basis, by phone and email.

The Alpha Pro’s hardware controls are simple, with an individual volume control on the back of each unit. They’ll work out of the box, without the Elehear app, but you’ll need to dig deeper into that app if you want to get the most out of the hearing aids. While the app is simple on the surface, there’s a lot more to it underneath. Naturally, individual volume controls dominate the main screen, with selections to control the amount of ambient noise reduction plus the ability to opt between a forward-facing voice focus or a 360-degree listening mode. I also found the Mute button useful, which cuts off all amplification and allows you to work quietly if you need some peace and quiet.

The Adjust tab allows you to dig deeper, where you’ll find four presets that correspond to various levels of hearing loss, from Mild to Moderate II. Elehear’s audiologist told me that these are all tuned for common hearing loss patterns (boosting high frequencies more than lows), but you can modify them further by tapping the Edit icon, which opens a rudimentary equalizer where you can set levels for Ocean Wave . , Sound of the world and birdsong (i.e. bass, midrange and treble). All settings on this screen can be made globally or by ear. There are also four ambient modes (General, Restaurant, Outdoor and TV) that are self-explanatory. Elehear says the only real difference between them is the amount of noise reduction along with the use of directional focus mode.

Photography: Elehear

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