When we first started seeing true wireless earbuds, there were two kinds — buds like the Jabra Elite Sport built for fitness tracking and buds like the Apple AirPods made for everyday use. We might now be seeing a third — buds that use microphones and advanced audio processing to augment your natural hearing.
In the medical field, those are called hearing aids. The Nuheara IQbudsx are most certainly not hearing aids — they’re not a medical device — but if you’ve got marginal hearing loss from going to one too many concerts, you might have use for them. That could be true even for those who have perfect hearing! With some fine tuning, the IQbuds can help you hear friends easier in a crowded bar, keep you aware of street noises when running, or be ready to grab your coffee order without pausing your podcast. It’s a really cool idea, and it’s really only held back by a high price and social norms — or the extent to which you care about those.
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The Good: Will actually give you super hearing, responsive touch controls, good noise blocking for earbuds, decent battery life, secure fit, tons of customization options in the app
The Bad: Audio quality is middle of the road for true wireless earbuds, amplified background noise can be a little muddled, hard to get used to if you don’t feel comfortable talking to others while wearing earbuds
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants almost dangerously effective super hearing, anyone with very mild hearing loss