Tinnitus can be isolating, particularly when you feel like there's no one around to help.
Tinnitus apps can change that. They give you easy access to help with your tinnitus.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are tinnitus treatments available to help you manage it.
There are plenty of apps out there to help you cope. Largely they offer sound libraries, tinnitus information, logging functions, relaxation and mindfulness exercises and CBT sessions.
Deciding which tinnitus app is right for you can be difficult. Each offers a slightly different user experience and features - which should you choose?
Tinnitus Apps We Recommend
Here we've selected some of the best tinnitus apps that employ self-help to reduce tinnitus intrusion.
We'll discuss the different features so you can get a better idea of what is out there and what might work for you.
The apps are:
Oto utilizes an array of science-backed resources to reduce tinnitus intrusion such as:
- tinnitus CBT techniques
- a library of pleasant and relaxing sounds and audio landscapes
- tinnitus targeted mindfulness
- sleep support
- exercises to promote relaxation such as anchoring and breathing
- exercises to stretch the neck, back, jaw, arms, shoulders, and more
- tinnitus education
The app starts with core modules that encourage you to complete daily sessions and introduce you to key techniques in tinnitus specific mindfulness, CBT techniques and more. You can then practice these in further courses, as well as access quick relief when you need it.
See below an Oto User Testimonial:
"I have been using the Oto app since February 2021 and, quite frankly, it has been a lifesaver!
My tinnitus started about three years ago, and I explored many techniques and therapies, with varying but temporary results, until my hearing consultant told me about an app that was launching called Oto. I downloaded it immediately and have been working with it ever since.
Oto has become my hugely supportive and essential tinnitus buddy, with tips and techniques to help me start the day in as positive a way as possible, that I can go back to whenever I have a bad or panicky moment. There are so many helpful sessions in the programmes, some are favourites, particularly the CBT sessions, but the choice is made depending on how my tinnitus is that day and during the night.
I’m working through the clever sounds and masks, that can be personalised to your own tinnitus, to find the best one for me, and also use the physical therapy exercises and sleep sessions.
Having tinnitus can be a very lonely experience but listening to Oto and hearing Lili, who is the soothing voice of the app, makes you realise that you are not alone. That someone knows exactly how you are feeling and what you are experiencing is a huge comfort, and I am now managing my tinnitus so much better by using these techniques.
With thanks to all the clever and helpful people behind Oto, my best tinnitus buddy!"
Your favourite sounds can be set to play over the guided therapy sessions as well as left to play with a timer function, so you can leave it running at night or during the day.
An example of one of the relaxing sounds found in the Oto app:
T-minus is a tinnitus sounds app that focuses on “supporting your tinnitus wellness”.
They do this through their comprehensive and customisable sound therapy library.
The T-minus library houses the majority of the tinnitus frequencies, from fractal tones and nature sounds to recordings from all around the world.
The app offers excellent customisation of sounds. It allows users to combine, add an overlying white, brown or pink noise, or increase the volume of the sounds in one particular ear.
T-Minus stands out when it comes to personalised sound therapy. Many of the sounds are also available on Spotify Music.
They also have a robust hub for users filled with the latest news from major tinnitus charities and research bodies around the world.
They host regular Q&A sessions with tinnitus professionals so users can get answers to any burning questions they may have.
The app also features a built-in gratitude diary for users to note down their good and not-so-good days. This can help people to track and understand their responses to tinnitus.
Although T-Minus is free to download you’ll need a Premium subscription to access it via Apple Store.
Beltone, a US hearing aid manufacturer, created a tinnitus app called Calmer.
It has with 3 content sections:
Their Relax section includes:
- guided meditations
- deep breathing techniques
- video images to encourage mindfulness combined with nature sounds
- helpful tips on how to integrate enjoyable activities into your day
- You can set up weekly reminders to do the activity if you'd like to.
The Sound library has:
- a large bank of sounds
- an easy to use timer
- a personalised mask builder
This mask builder is one of the best features of the app. Here you can combine five different sounds from their library, all at different volumes and save your mask for quick access later.
The Learn module offers:
- information about tinnitus
- help getting better sleep
- a link to their online hearing test
- help with changing negative thoughts
The thought patterns it helps with are common and easy to relate to. However, there's little to motivate you to integrate this into your day to day life.
This free app is a great stepping stone for embarking on your tinnitus self-management journey. It introduces you to helpful techniques and is quick to access, not asking you too many questions about yourself as well as being easy to understand.
NB. ReSound, Beltone’s sister company, offers a similar app named ReSound Tinnitus Relief.
Tinnitus Aid: help ear ringing
This tinnitus sounds app houses a large variety of high quality nature sounds that have been recorded at various real locations around the world.
It has been built on the conclusion of this study that tinnitus can be managed “by listening to sounds that have been filtered to remove your specific tinnitus frequencies”.
The free app also allows you to sample their bandstop and bandpass filters to help you identify your specific tinnitus frequency and customise your own sound mask.
They pride themselves on their high-definition images captured from around the globe.
A great feature that this app has is the functionality to continue running in the background while other apps are open or when the device is locked. This is not always the case with some tinnitus apps that are less technically developed.
Diapason is a tinnitus app created by a French company called Immersive Therapy.
There is a lengthy onboarding process with a long questionnaire to understand your tinnitus profile. This is because much of the app is personalised to your profile.
Firstly you are prompted to match the frequency, character and volume of your tinnitus.
The app will also try to understand the effect of your tinnitus on your daily life. It displays this in a visually pleasing diagram that scores you in different areas including: sleep, mood, control, hearing and relaxation.
There is a chance to fill out both weekly and monthly questionnaires to keep track of how this might change.
The app is jam packed full with content, including 'capsules' which are information articles to help you understand tinnitus. It has a News section with articles about tinnitus and a FAQ section.
The therapy it offers includes sound therapy, some CBT sessions, acoustic pulses, and guided relaxation exercises.
The app focuses on delivering sound therapy that trains the user's auditory system to get accustomed to the “ringing” that they hear.
In order to increase interactivity, the app prompts you to do daily sessions with step by step objectives and you can activate reminders to help you. It also offers you the chance to receive a daily encouragement.
The app itself has a lot of content but the interface is not the clearest to use.
To try the therapy you can sign up for £10.83 a month or a single yearly payment of £129.99.
MyTinnitus is an app that's a good tool for measuring and tracking your tinnitus, to establish which circumstances improve or worsen it.
There are both alleviating and exacerbating factors which can change how much you perceive your tinnitus.
The app is simple to use, whenever you have a spike, you can take a quick survey that will help figure out what may have influenced the spike.
As you take more of the survey, you will start having a better idea of what may cause your tinnitus. Then, with the various tools MyTinnitus provides such as masking, a decibel meter, tuner, etc. you can work on preventing the trigger.
Other apps such as Oto can also be used in conjunction with the app to address tinnitus triggers.
AudioCardio's premise is that you can train your hearing fitness, much like you can work on your physical fitness.
If you have hearing loss as well as tinnitus, this might be the tinnitus app for you.
Coping with both tinnitus and hearing loss is difficult, however, it has been found that improving you hearing can have a positive impact on your tinnitus.
AudioCardio offers therapy to help improve and strengthen the hearing of patients with a technology called 'Threshold Sound Conditioning'.
A clinical trial at Stanford University used AudioCardio with participants with hearing loss and found that after 2-weeks of using the app for an hour a day, a 10-decibel auditory improvement was seen in 70% of the participants.
The app first conducts a hearing test to determine the lowest decibel level of sound you can hear. It records this and will “train” your hearing at your most poor performing frequency.
It is believed that these barely audible tones work to exercise and stimulate the hair cells at a specific threshold, strengthening and improving hearing loss in the long run.
People have found that as their hearing improves, so does their tinnitus.
The app offers a free trial which gives you a good opportunity to see if this type of therapy is right for you. Although, please note that AudioCardio claim it must be used consecutively for 14 days before improvements in hearing can be noticed.
Headspace now comes with a joint subscription with Spotify, so you can listen and relax whenever you need.
These apps comprehensively cover various meditation and mindfulness courses. They take you through the basics and then offer a wide range of packages, including particular sessions designed to help you sleep.
The interfaces are extremely easy to use and the techniques they teach are easily digestible and transferable to your daily life.
Tinnitus mindfulness can alleviate and reduce stress which in turn improves the perception of tinnitus. Mindfulness not only combats stress but also has a clear link with improved mood and sleep.
Of course, the downside is that these apps are not specific to tinnitus so will not be geared up to your circumstance but you might still find great relief in using them.
How to choose the best tinnitus app
There are a large number of tinnitus apps to choose from.
To find out what works for you, it is best to gradually work your way through what is available.
We are all unique and what might work for one person might not work for you.
You should start by identifying what aspect of your tinnitus you would most like to get help for. This will help you to filter the apps that don't work for you.
Many apps are still in development so have patience and try to use it for a little bit of time each day to see how it might help you.
Try to approach the apps with an open mind but don’t overwhelm yourself with too many at once. Trial them one by one and make a note of the different features that you dislike and enjoy.
You can also write down anything that you learnt that will benefit you going forward. This way you will build a bank of techniques you can turn to when you most need them.
The Oto app is a comprehensive tinnitus solution that offers pleasant and relaxing audio landscapes, including white and pink noise stimulus, as well as:
- CBT techniques to reduce tinnitus intrusion
- Meditation and relaxation activities
- Exercises for stretching the neck, back, jaw, arms, shoulders, and more
- Sleep support
Also, check out Oto's Tinnitus Support Group, a supportive community for individuals with tinnitus or related conditions to receive regular tips and tricks from the expert team at Oto!