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Apple Has Officially Entered the Tinnitus Market

This article will discuss Apple’s new release, what it means for patients with tinnitus, and what to expect about the best quality sound therapy moving forward.

Dr. Ben Thompson shows how this new apple feature “background sounds” works. 

If you use an iPhone then you’re probably familiar with its many different features. Maybe you’ve set them up with hearing aids or paired it with extensions like Apple Health. Recently, Apple introduced a new feature called background sounds and it blew my mind to think that this big company is actually making their product help my patients with their tinnitus. 

With background sounds, users have the ability to play different sound samples and control the volume, just like with sound therapy commonly used to manage tinnitus. This type of sound therapy can even be toggled while media is playing. So if you’re listening to a podcast, you can play sound therapy in the background while listening to audio streaming from your iPhone to your Bluetooth devices. There are six different sounds available to users: balanced noise (white noise), bright noise (high-frequency noise), dark noise (brown noise), ocean (pulsing sounds), rain, and stream/river. These types of sounds are typically the best types of sounds to help patients deal with tinnitus. 

From Apple: “Everyday background sounds can be distracting, discomforting, or overwhelming. In support of neurodiversity, Apple is introducing these new background sounds to help minimize distractions and help users focus, stay calm, or rest. These background sounds help to mask unwanted environmental or external noise in the sounds mixed into audio and system sounds.” 

If you’re playing sound therapy directly from your phone, typically it’s coming through a weak speaker built into the body of the phone, and therefore isn’t sustainable for the type of sound therapy I would recommend for someone trying to treat or manage their tinnitus. Hence, Apple’s background sounds would still require Bluetooth to be played directly into your ear so no one else around you can hear. Traditionally, patients use hearing aids or ear-level sound generators to attain this goal. 

While Bluetooth battery life is getting better and better, with Apple’s background sounds you would still need to be aware of battery life if you’re planning to use sound therapy for many hours of the day. That makes this system not ideal for constant use due to battery drain issues, especially with standard consumer electronic Bluetooth headphones like Apple’s AirPods Pro, which have a battery life of around five hours. Nevertheless, this development is still remarkable for situational sound therapy if you live a very busy life and need sound therapy readily accessible for quiet moments.

What To Do Next For Tinnitus

Still on the hunt for the best tinnitus sound therapy? Don’t feel lost. At Treble Health, we have compiled a comprehensive consumer guide to the best tinnitus devices on the market. Click here to get the Tinnitus Guide: 2022 Edition

Want to speak with an expert audiologist about your options for tinnitus treatment instead? At the tap of a finger, you can schedule a free Treble Health Tinnitus Consultation today! You’ll be connected with a real audiologist, not a salesperson, and there is no obligation or commitment.

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Tinnitus Guide: 2022 Edition