Olive Max is like the AirPods Pro for the hearing-impaired, with a truly wireless design and enhanced listening

Expanding its range to now include the Olive Max, Nevada-based Olive Union is quickly becoming the Apple of hearing-disabled-specific tech. Often in the pursuit to make a sexy product, designers tend to forget a section of their audience that isn’t focused on owning the product as a fashion or style statement. Take for instance the Apple Watch. The wearable debuted in 2015 and over the years evolved into an Apple-made smartwatch that could track your heartbeat, sleep, exercise, fitness, heart rhythm, steps, and a variety of body metrics. However, the ability to track one’s period (a pretty useful application for Apple’s female audience) wasn’t introduced until 2019, likely because it didn’t occur to Apple that the smartwatch could serve this purpose. The same goes for the AirPods. With as many microphones as it has, and with Apple’s most advanced processors sitting on the inside analyzing real-world sounds and computing advanced noise-cancellation algorithms, the AirPods could just as easily serve as a pair of incredibly advanced hearing aids… but the reality is that it probably never occurred to Apple’s design or marketing team when they first envisioned the product. Luckily, in a meeting room somewhere on the other side of the planet in Tokyo, the idea came to Owen Song, founder of Olive Union.

Designer: Owen Song

Click Here to Buy Now: $299 $549 (45% off). Raised over $505,000. Hurry, less than 48 hours to go!

Designed to be worn by people with anywhere from normal hearing to severe hearing loss, the Olive Max are a pair of inclusively-designed TWS earbuds that give you precise control over your audio… more on that in a bit. For starters, the Olive Max come with a major boost in their volume capabilities, with now the ability to be 150% more loud, so people with hearing loss can easily listen to audio. Simultaneously, the Olive Max’s noise reduction algorithm comes with its own improvements, bringing stray noise down by 13 decibels, so you can focus on just the right sounds without any of that annoying background noise.

150% volume up from Olive Pro. Much louder and clearer than ever before.

The Olive Max function both as hearing aids as well as audio playback devices, designed to work in conjunction with your smartphone. The Olive Max pairs with your phone using the Olive app, guiding you through a short, 5-minute hearing test. During this time each individual earpiece gets calibrated to suit your hearing (some people with hearing loss in only one ear can easily make one earpiece louder than the other to compensate). Once you’re done calibrating the Olive Max, they’re intuitive and easy to use, whether you’re listening to music, conversations, the world around you, or all of them combined! The Olive Max app lets you control playback, tinker with EQ settings, adjust volumes for voices, music, and external world noise, and even configure the noise cancellation to suit your needs.

While the Olive Max gives you advanced control over what you hear, its standout feature is what the company calls ‘Adaptive Hearing’. The Olive Max are now smart enough to intuitively understand where you are and adjust noise automatically so you don’t have to fiddle with the app every time you go from quiet indoors to noisy outdoors. The earphones capture external sound using their built-in microphones and identify different noises based on your different locations, be it at home, in a noisy restaurant, in the office, or on the sidewalk. They then analyze the sound to determine what’s important audio and what’s external chatter and isolate/amplify the important sounds and mute/attenuate the unimportant noises.

For context, the Olive Max can, in theory, tell the difference between you chatting with colleagues during a presentation, or sitting in a café near a noisy table, adjusting to either focus on the voices, or drown them out. The earphones are exceptionally good at picking up on human voices, and whether you’re listening to someone talk to you in person, or your podcast host talk to you from across the internet, the Olive Max’s audio drivers help deliver crisp, clear vocal audio. Additionally, just like with every TWS earbud on the market, the Olive Max let you do things like make calls or perform voice searches with ease.

The Olive Max is the third in Olive Union’s ‘hearables’ catalog, following the Olive and Olive Pro. Designed to be powerful hearing-assisting devices in the avatar of incredibly sexy wearables, the Olive Max cleverly turn a ‘medical aid’ into a fashion-forward product that people will love to wear and perhaps even flaunt. While last year’s Olive Pro was subtly modeled to resemble the AirPods Pro, this year’s Olive Max goes for a larger design that crams in a better battery and comes with ear-hooks for a secure fit, quite neatly resembling the Powerbeats Pro. The earpieces also boast of snug-fitting silicone tips that ensure the Olive Max can be worn even with active lifestyles, making it the perfect (and probably the only) sport-friendly modern-looking smart hearing aids.

While their internal tech is pretty impressive, I can’t help but keep going back to their design, which shines across as a beacon for inclusivity. Pop the Olive Max on and there’s absolutely no way you’ll know that they’re hearing aids. In fact, calling them hearing aids would be limiting, since they’re quite literally made for everyone, regardless of your hearing ability. What drives home that inclusive approach even further is the Olive Max’s price. Unlike hearing aids that can easily go into thousands of dollars, the Olive Max are priced like your average pair of TWS earbuds, with a 45% discounted tag of $299 USD. The Olive Max is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and the company hopes to have production begin soon after, with worldwide deliveries in November 2022.

Click Here to Buy Now: $299 $549 (45% off). Raised over $505,000. Hurry, less than 48 hours to go!