Have you ever wished for an easy way to find quieter restaurants and bars? If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, chances are you’ve spent time researching noise levels at venues. One of the biggest concerns for those with hearing loss is background noise, and a new app called SoundPrint promises to help alleviate that concern, at least when you go out to eat.
What Is SoundPrint?
Using the power of crowdsourcing, SoundPrint is making it easier than ever to eat out and still enjoy a conversation even with hearing loss. The user-friendly free app allows users to not only search for restaurants and bars with a comfortable noise level but also help others find those restaurants that best meet their needs.
SoundPrint was the brainchild of Gregory Scott, a New Yorker navigating the social scene with hearing loss. For years Scott had faced frustrating conversations over meals in the noisy restaurants of New York thanks to his hearing loss. As a solution, he began keeping track of which venues offered the quietest environments, even using a noise meter when he dined out to accurately register noise levels. After becoming the go-to resource in his circle of friends for finding quieter venues, Gregory recognized the need not just for those with hearing loss but also a wider audience. SoundPrint was born.
How It Works
While it is an invaluable resource for those with hearing loss, SoundPrint can be used by anyone searching for a restaurant, bar or coffee shop based on noise level. Here’s how it works:
- Once you’ve downloaded the app onto your phone, you can search for venues near you based on noise level. Filter by distance or decibels. Sort by noise level.
- Users are also urged to contribute to the app by sharing their experiences. Once in an establishment, people can do a soundcheck to submit a noise level. Pressing the SoundCheck button in the app begins a decibel reading. This reading then becomes part of the data for the restaurant to help others using the app determine if it’s a place that will meet their needs.
- In addition to adding sound data to the app, users can include comments for the venues.
New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Ann Arbor currently have robust data with new readings and data being added every day around the country. The app’s creator likes to think of SoundPrint as the “Yelp for noise.” In a recent interview, Scott also shared that his team is in the process of creating a program for restaurants and other “venues that want to promote its quieter atmosphere to our user base.”
Background Noise And Hearing Loss
Apps like this, as well as advancing technology in hearing aids, make it easier than ever for those with hearing loss to maintain a healthy social life even in the face of background noise. Even with hearing aids, background noise can interfere with conversation and leave individuals feeling frustrated and tired. How each person understands conversation in these environments also varies making the need for apps like SoundPrint greater than ever.
To download SoundPrint for free, visit the app store here.
If you’ve noticed that it’s harder to hear in noisy environments, it may be time for a hearing evaluation. Contact our office to make an appointment.