By: John Phillips, Eargo Client*

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about Eargo 5, and if you’re familiar at all with that post, you’ll know how enamored I was with the device. It truly met – and exceeded – so many of my expectations. It’s still hard to believe it. So, imagine how my curiosity was piqued when I heard about the all-new Eargo 6 – and its latest, greatest advancement.

The website and other advertisements hyped up the Sound Adjust feature, so I was eager to try that out. After charging up the Eargo 6 units and going through the Sound Match process again, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Sound Adjust. In fact, as I wore them for a couple of weeks, I was having doubts that Sound Adjust was even working. It was nothing that was readily apparent to me, so I figured that I just didn’t know what I was looking for. I checked the mobile app and all four program areas had a green check showing, so I could see that the feature was turned on.

That all changed as I began to really listen outside of my two most common environments (my home condo and my work office).

I arranged to meet a friend for dinner at a local restaurant and was seated across from him at a booth. As I sat there listening to my friend, and as more people came into the restaurant and were seated, I noticed that my ears were hearing differently, in that my left ear (the one facing the dining area) and my right ear (the one facing the wall) were reducing background noise and amplifying speech at different levels. I also noticed that in spite of this unbalanced environment, my friend’s speech was very, very clear. Sound Adjust automatically adapted to the noisy environment and modified the Eargo 6 settings without any manual adjustment by me. This was the first time I had been able to actually notice that Sound Adjust came into play. As we left the restaurant and went outside, I noticed that my left and right ears began hearing things in a more balanced fashion again. At this point, I became astutely aware that Sound Adjust was working for me. 

In the comfort of my condo, I get up early every morning to work out and put on a fitness watch that is passcode protected. With Eargo 5, I would hear a faint click as I entered the passcode on the watch. When I switched to Eargo 6, that faint clicking sound disappeared—which I found to be odd. I suspected that Sound Adjust was determining that I was in a very quiet environment and was reducing amplification or filtering out certain unwanted sounds. To test, I opened the app on my phone and disabled Sound Adjust. Then I entered the passcode on my watch, and guess what? The faint clicks were back. Sound Adjust was, indeed, adapting to my environment.

In my office – a very quiet environment – I run a small floor fan to provide air circulation and to provide some background white noise (which helps me concentrate). After switching to  Eargo 6, I was surprised by how quiet my floor fan had become and assumed that it was slowing down and would need to be replaced soon. Was I wrong! I switched to the program where I had turned Sound Adjust off, and immediately the volume of the fan went up—a lot. I hadn’t realized it, but Sound Adjust was bringing the environmental background noise of my floor fan way, way down.

I also discovered another benefit of both Eargo 5 & Eargo 6 while riding my motorcycle – a big cruiser model. The last time I rode the motorcycle I was wearing an Eargo Neo HiFi system, or should I say NOT wearing Eargo Neo HiFis. Because of the change in the wind and sound pressure, while riding, they would constantly change programs so I would have to take them out of my ears before riding. Two weekends ago, I fetched my motorcycle out of storage and started riding again. I left my Eargo 6 devices in my ears, somewhat expecting to have the same problem as the Eargo Neo HiFis. I was both surprised and ecstatic to find that I was able to ride comfortably with my Eargo 6 units in. Not once did they spontaneously change programs, and I had absolutely no issue with excessive wind noise—perhaps because the units are bullet-shaped and go inside the ear canal a little farther than the Eargo Neo Hifi? Regardless of why, this is a fantastic benefit that also instills confidence in riding knowing that I can clearly hear the environmental sounds around me—something extremely important for motorcycle riders and their safety!

Sound Adjust is a great feature, but I’ve learned that there are select times when turning it off makes total sense. For example, listening to live music. I want to hear the screaming lead guitar, the thump of the bass guitar, and the kick drum in all their splendor. Turning off Sound Adjust in that environment gives me a consistent and gratifying listening experience when I don’t want environmental noises filtered out.

Put simply, these Eargo 6 hearing aids are phenomenal. And now that I know what to look for with Sound Adjust, I’m noticing benefits much more often than when I first started wearing them. Like any technology, one has to get used to it, understand its features, and also understand its limitations. Hearing aids are no different. The more you understand them, the better they’ll perform for you.

*This is a paid endorsement