Frequent travelers are exposed to all kinds of assaults on their senses, and as we age, it is only natural that our hearing ability lessens. The noise pollution that abounds in airports from endless announcements that no one pays attention to anymore (because of their unnecessary quantity) are just some examples.
While I do not usually listen to loud music or work in an overly noisy environment, I still wanted to test these out myself and also have family members give them a go. At around $400-500 per pair, the Nuheara’s IQbuds Boost True Wireless Earphones are not cheap. To be clear, these are not hearing aids, which are usually prescribed by professionals.
These are simply earbud-style earphones that are meant to enhance sound without carrying the extra cost of true hearing aids. They also are great for frequent travelers or those that work in loud environments. And they are an ideal stepping stone for someone who does not suffer from substantial hearing loss, but still may need a bit of help.
How well do they travel?
I found them to be incredibly lightweight although they are not tiny. They are noticeable (and a tad chunky) in your ear, but these days, people might just think that it is a wireless earbud. They come in a travel case with built-in charger, which keeps them from getting lost easily in your bag. The earbuds were comfortable to wear for short periods of time (like on a flight) or when working outdoors in noisy environments and you need to hear colleagues standing near you.
Since everyone’s ears are different, the ear buds come with different ear tips so that they are comfortable to wear. This also made it easier for me to share with others when they were testing it out. Otherwise, I would have been less interested if we were using the same in-ear device. Plus, they are water-resistant keeping them safe in the rain or if you start sweating.
I found the touch controls to be simple to use while I am moving since there is no need to use a control. To play or pause music or adjust the volume level, it is just a tap on either ear piece with your finger. An app for your phone makes it easy to adjust according to your own preferences.
What can you do with them?
When you first get the ear buds, you need to download the mobile app and sync them with your phone. You have to take a short hearing test so that the app can adjust to your own level of hearing to work at their best.
You can stream up to eight hours of audio content using these ear buds in addition to improving sound quality in your ears. The sound quality for music was solid and seemed to hit all the right notes for me. It is important to note, however, these are not a replacement for noise-canceling headphones. Remember their purpose is to do the opposite and improve your level of hearing.
I chose to test out that feature by listening to white noise recordings while on a plane, and that helped me to block out unwanted noise. The battery lasted for an entire transatlantic flight, which I found to be impressive.
The only downside I found with them is the necessity to download and eventually update the apps necessary to use these. Not everyone may be familiar with the setup process on their own.
Whether you want to hear what’s happening around you more clearly or simply want to enjoy your own audio content with a wireless ear bud, the Nuheara’s IQbuds Boost True Wireless Earphones worked quite well. For those that want to enjoy more of the world around them, these are a solid buy, especially for someone not yet ready for a full hearing aid.