FAQ

Users of the Head Shadow Hearing Aid app can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the app on this page.

Warning: If you have updated to iOS 14, make sure Sound Recognition is turned off before using this app. You can check this in iPhone’s Settings under Accessibility.

AirPods Pro and own voice: Some users of this app report that they are not happy with hearing their voice when they use AirPods Pro as aids to single sided deafness. However, canceling own voice is difficult, if not impossible, with the current technologies and the scope of the Head Shadow app. We are working on this issue now and will report once we have made sufficient progress.

WHY ALWAYS USE WIRED OR WIRELESS EARBUDS?

This app captures the sound input to a microphone, enhances the sound with a ten band equalizer, and plays it on wired earbuds or wireless bluetooth earbuds. If the sound is played on the device speaker, it may cause an undesirable feedback loop. To avoid this, always use wired earbuds or wireless bluetooth earbuds.

Note that, when wired earbuds and used, the App main screen shows “Headphones” in the output label field. This is because all wired earbuds are identified as Headphones by the iOS.

WHY NOTIFICATIONS AND ANIMATIONS APPEAR ON THE MAIN SCREEN?

After you download and start the Head Shadow hearing app for the very first time, notifications  appear at the top of the main screen. These assist in operation of the app or request user responses. The notifications are normally paired with animations on the right side of the Play button. After ten full runs of the app, only animations are shown to indicate that the app expects a user response.

WHAT ARE THE A, B, C AND D BUTTONS?

These buttons activate user-programmable hearing profiles, and are preset to common hearing conditions. While using the app, you can switch profiles and hear and compare their audio outputs. The active profile has a  highlighted button. The user profiles are always saved and can also be restored to defaults at any time.

WHAT ARE THE WHITE DOTS ON THE MAIN SCREEN?

When you play this hearing aid app, the white dots that appear on the top of the main screen show a snapshot of the app’s 10 band equalizer volumes for bands 0 to 9 for the active profile. To see full details and adjust all parameters of a  profile, touch button A, B, C or D to select a profile, then touch the Equalizer button on the navigation bar. 

WHICH MICROPHONES ARE ALLOWED?

Microphones on wired earbuds are not used by this app. The app instead uses the far superior iPhone microphone.

Microphones on bluetooth earbuds are used only if the bluetooth microphone switch is turned on, in the app’s Settings, and bluetooth earbuds are connected to the iPhone.

WHAT ARE THE INPUT/OUTPUT OPTIONS?

There are three options:

  • If bluetooth earbuds are connected and the bluetooth switch is on in the app’s Settings, then both input and output audio are routed to the bluetooth earbuds.
  • If bluetooth earbuds are connected to the iPhone but the bluetooth switch is off in the app’s Settings, the input audio is captured from the iPhone microphone and the output audio goes to the bluetooth earbuds.
  • If bluetooth earbuds are not connected to the iPhone, the input audio is captured from the iPhone microphone and the output audio goes to connected wired earbuds.

WHY ARE AirPods BEST?

All wired or wireless bluetooth earbuds work with this app.

However, Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are particularly well-suited for the app, since the user can decide which AirPod microphone should be turned on (left ear, right ear, or both). This is particularly good for single-sided deafness use.

The majority of other wired bluetooth earbuds have a fixed microphone position, normally on the right ear, which is not well-suited for right-sided hearing loss, and the earbud microphone quality may be poor for use with this app.

HOW TO USE AirPods or AirPods Pro FOR SINGLE-SIDED DEAFNESS?

In the Head Shadow app’s Settings, turn on the Bluetooth microphone switch.

Connect the AirPods or AirPods Pro to the iPhone, then in iPhone Settings under Bluetooth, touch the information circle next to the AirPods or AirPods Pro. 

Next do the following:

  • If your right ear has no hearing, set the microphone to Always Right.
  • If your left ear has no hearing, set the microphone to Always Left.

Now play the app and listen to a sound source on your non-hearing side.

HOW TO TEST AirPods Pro for SINGLE SIDED DEAFNESS?

You can use AirPods Pro hearing for single-sided deafness in three ways.

  • If you only wish to hear someone on your deaf side, then use it with the Noise Cancellation turned on.
  • If you wish to hear all people around you, then use it with Transparency turned on.
  • In a quiet place, experiment with Noise Cancellation turned off.

HOW TO USE THE APP EQUALIZER?

For basic use, simply adjust the vertical sliders for bands 0 to 9 while listening to the sound generated by the app for the active profile. Start with small adjustments. To reset to saved values, make sure play is paused, then tap the blue reset button next to “10 Band Equalizer”.

ARE CHANGES TO PLAY PROFILES SAVED?

Changes to any profile are automatically saved  and restored the next time the app is opened. In addition, there is a Restore button on the Equalizer screen which allows the user to restore current adjustments to saved values,

WHAT ARE THE ICONS ON THE EQUALIZER SCREEN?

To find out what an icon is, simply long-press on the icon. Pop-up text that describes the icon will appear in the middle of the screen.

The icons are, from top to bottom, Bandwidth octave, Band gain in dB, Band pitch in Hz, and Master gain in dB.

WHAT IS REVERB?

The Reverb filter simulates playing sound in a variety of acoustic spaces, from a small room to a cathedral. Just turn on the Reverb switch and test the different reverb presets to find the best setting for your current needs.

HOW TO USE REMOTE CONTROL?

To use the play/pause button on wired or wireless earbuds, to play or pause the app, you need to first tap the app’s Play button once to transfer remote control to your wired or wireless earbuds. Once transferred, you can toggle the play/pause button, on the wired or wireless earbuds, to play/pause while the app is in the foreground.

WHY LOCK SCREEN AND CONTROL CENTER USE IS LIMITED?

To protect user privacy, this app only pauses play from the Lock Screen or from the Control Center. To play the app, you must always use the app’s Play button.

INTERFERENCE FROM OTHER AUDIO?

If you are playing any other audio before starting the app, the other audio continues to play until you tap the app’s Play button. Also, until you tap the app’s Play button, the play/pause button, on any connected wired or wireless earbuds, controls the other audio.

CAN AIRPLAY STREAMING CONTINUE WHILE APP IS IN USE?

If AirPlay streaming is in progress before you start the app, the streaming will continue while you use the app. In this case, the AirPlay streaming is in control of the play/pause button on the connected wired or wireless earbuds. You can only use the app’s play/pause button to play or pause.

DOES HEAD SHADOW RECORD OR RETAIN ANY AUDIO?

Head Shadow hearing aid  is not a recording app. It uses a tiny memory buffer for live processing of sound captured by the microphone. This buffer is less than 30 milliseconds, is constantly overwritten, is never written to a file, and is never transmitted to the developer or a third party.

WHY IS THE PLAY BUTTON NOT RESPONDING?

When a noticification pops up on the main screen or animation plays on the Head Shadow hearing aid app’s Play bar, the app is waiting for user action and the Play button is temporarily disabled. User action includes connecting wired or wireless earbuds, or using the AirPlay button on the right of the app’s Play bar and selecting a valid audio source.

HOW TO RECOVER FROM ERROR CONDITIONS?

In some rare cases — for example when the device microphone is not responsive — the app displays an error message on the main screen to alert the user. To recover, it is best to restart the app.

KNOWN ISSUES

Not compatible with, iOS 13 and up, Dark Mode.

Not working with iOS 14 Sound Recognition.

USER FEEDBACK

If you have further questions or comments, please click the E-Mail button below and send us and email. Last updated on July 7, 2021.