Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds Review: These Help You Hear Clearly When You Need It Most

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The Lowdown

If you are just looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds, I don’t think the Olive Pro is for you. For less money, you can get dedicated true wireless earbuds that look and sound better. However, if you have difficulty at times hearing conversations in a noisy room, or you find yourself raising the volume on the TV to levels that are painful for your spouse, or if you are looking for a way to better monitor your hearing health, you should check out the Olive Pro. They are an inexpensive way to hear better, and you get a pair of decent true wireless earbuds in the process.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Pair easily and hold connection well
  • Decent sound for music and audio
  • Hearing test built into the app so you can monitor and test your hearing any time
  • Audio enhancement with a range of controls, so you get things just the way you want them
  • The touch controls work well and are customizable

Cons

  • White plastic used for the battery case and the earbuds looks and feels a bit cheap, although it is holding up well
  • Fairly steep learning curve to become familiar with the app and all the various settings
Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds Review: These Help You Hear Clearly When You Need It Most Listen to this article

The Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds look similar to Apple’s AirPods Pro; they have the same white color and a similar design. At $299, they are pricier than Apple’s offering, but unlike the AirPods, the Olive Pro are not just true wireless earbuds. They are also a hearing aide that eliminates background noise and amplifies voices so you can better engage with others.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds

When I took the Olive Pro out of the box, I wasn’t all that impressed.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds

The white plastic battery case looks and feels best described as “cheap” compared to the AirPods Pro or my Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport. And yet, despite my initial impression, the case has not only held up well during testing, but it seems to repel smudges and scratches quite effectively.

Included in the Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds box.

Inside the box, you’ll find the Olive Pro true wireless earbuds, the aforementioned charging case, four sizes of urethane foam tips, and a USB-C charging cable. A free downloadable app rounds out the “package” and gives you the ability to not only get the right fit and seal from the earbuds but also control over their functionality.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds

The Olive Pro is three products in one; they are capable true wireless earbuds, they are surprisingly affordable hearing assistants, and they are limited but effective home hearing labs so you can monitor your hearing health. They describe the Olive Pro this way:

Brilliant speech understanding and automated background noise cancellation combined to bring true, ultra-crisp sound quality for better music listening, clearer conversations, and less noise. With the Olive Pro, your journey to healthy hearing begins now.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds Review: These Help You Hear Clearly When You Need It Most

Let’s take a look at each function independently.

Olive Pro as Audio Enhancement Device

Different sound settings for different situations: 3 sound modes: Boost, Clear, and Quiet provide easy profile switching on the fly. Further customize your Sound Modes by creating specific Hearing EQ Presets, giving you an unrivaled degree of sound customization and control.

Once you pair the Olive Pro with your iPhone or Android device, you can check out all the functionality provided by the app.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds app.

Clicking the “Hear-Through ON” button turns on the hearing enhancement feature. From there, you can select from three main functions.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds app.

Quiet: Quiet gives you just a bit of audio enhancement. It seems to do a good job of cutting down background noise so you can focus on the conversation without the need to pump up the volume and, in the process, potentially damage your hearing

Clear: Clear gives you a bit of an increase in the amount of sound that is amplified. It yields more volume but is also introduces more background noise in the process.

Boost: Boost goes even further and pumps up the volume further. It also brings in the most amount of ambient noise.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds Hearing EQ in the app.

In addition, you can choose the Hearing EQ button and adjust the nine sliders to find the right balance and sound for your hearing. You can adjust both the left and right earbuds simultaneously, or if you prefer, you can select unique EQ for each ear.

I have to admit to being initially underwhelmed by the impact of the Hearing Mode. Even when I selected Quiet Mode and tweaked the EQ, I didn’t see the point. The voices got louder, but the background noise was even more distracting than ever.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds Review: These Help You Hear Clearly When You Need It Most

Then I selected the “Noise Settings” button.

Noise setting in the Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds app.

Adjusting that setting made all the difference. Once I did that, I could successfully use the Clear setting to focus on the conversation I was having. In fact, as I’m writing this review, I have something playing on my iPad, and the clarity of the voices is fantastic.

Clear Conversations: Turn down the TV and take a step back from your conversation partner. With the Olive Pro’s “Hear Mode” you don’t need to strain to hear anymore.

Customize Even Further: Use the Hearing EQ setting to further fine-tune your hearing, create preset profiles for different occasions, and adjust the hearing volume for both ears independently!

Two men talking; one is wearing Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds.

Olive Pro as Home Hearing Test and Monitor

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds hearing test in the app.

The Olive app also works with the Olive Pro to deliver a surprisingly robust hearing test and monitoring system.

Hearing test in the Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds app.

When you first land on the hearing test page, you get a “Hearing Report.” It shows you the decibels you are listening to and can help you avoid high volumes that can, and will, permanently damage your hearing. The app also lets you see how loud your environment is in real-time.

You can also select the “Hearing Test” from the bottom of the screen. The app then walks you through an audiology test to better understand how good or how damaged your hearing is. I took the test and was pleasantly surprised to find that my hearing is still okay despite decades of listening to headphones at far too high a volume. It did, however, pick up on the years of hearing abuse and warned:

You have repeatedly been exposed to harmful levels of noise for a prolonged period of time. There is a possibility of damage to your hearing. Try to avoid these noisy environments.

With the Olive Pro and the Olive App, you can:

  • Easy 5 Minute Hearing Test: Get started with the My Olive App’s built-in Hearing Test – find out where your hearing is lacking, and apply those settings directly to your Olive Pro.
  • Hearing Test Anywhere, Anytime: Take a hearing test and check your hearing on your own time – no more appointments or calls.
  • Control what you want to hear: Take customization to the next level and fine-tune your Hearing Test settings for even more precise adjustments.
  • Monitor and Protect your Hearing Health: Hearing health is a factor that often slips under the radar for many. With the Olive SmartEar Plus, that changes. View detailed hearing reports, measure the outside sound in real-time, and keep track of previous Hearing Test Results to spot changes or trends quickly.

The app also lets you customize what the touchpad built into the earbuds does. Each earbud can offer three different functions: One function can be assigned to a single tap, a different one is set to a double-tap, and a third function can be activated if you press and hold. If you have ever used true wireless earbuds, this approach will be familiar.

Olive Pro as True Wireless Earbuds

Man wearing the Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds.

The hearing test and enhancement functionality are impressive. It takes time to become familiar with all of the app’s settings and then even more time to get things right after a period of trial and error to find the fine-tuning that works best for you. But it does work!

When you consider that traditional hearing aids can cost up to $4000 while the Olive Pro is just $299, you have an affordable way to enhance your hearing. But while there is a market for a product like that, I wouldn’t be the target audience. But the Olive Pro can also serve as a pair of true wireless earbuds for music and video.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds touch control settings in the app.

If you take the time to adjust the touch controls to your liking, you will quickly have a pair of earbuds that work the way you do. They sound pretty good too!

Best of all, the Olive Pro delivers a respectable seven hours of playback plus additional playback time thanks to the battery case.

It’s why the company describes the Olive Pro as:

More than just a Hearing Aid: Connect to any Bluetooth enabled device and use as a Bluetooth earbud.

Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds in case.

I wasn’t quite sure I initially liked the Olive Pro. The case looked and felt a bit cheap; the earbuds looked like an Apple ripoff, and their shiny white plastic offered a similarly cheap initial impression. But both the case and the earbuds have held up well, and they sound good when using them for music or video.

The hearing test, while not as extensive as the one I’ve gotten in my doctor’s office, was surprisingly in-depth. I took the test a few times and got similar reports each time. Moreover, the reports were pretty much in line with what I would have expected after fifty years of loud music.

I was initially unimpressed by the Hearing Enhancement features. The sound was muddy, background noise was annoyingly distracting, and the experience was terrible. But once I dug into the app’s settings and spent some time doing trial and error with the various buttons and sliders, I realized just how powerful a tool the Olive Pro can be.

If you are just looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds, I don’t think the Olive Pro is for you. For less money, you can get dedicated true wireless earbuds that look and sound better. However, if you have difficulty at times hearing conversations in a noisy room, or you find yourself raising the volume on the TV to levels that are painful for your spouse, or if you are looking for a way to better monitor your hearing health, you should check out the Olive Pro. They are an inexpensive way to hear better, and you get a pair of decent true wireless earbuds in the process.

The Olive Pro Audio Enhancing Earbuds retail for $299; they are available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Olive Pro

What I Like: Comfortable to wear; Pair easily and hold connection well; Decent sound for music and audio; Hearing test built into the app so you can monitor and test your hearing any time; Audio enhancement with a range of controls, so you get things just the way you want them; The touch controls work well and are customizable

What Needs Improvement: White plastic used for the battery case and the earbuds looks and feels a bit cheap, although it is holding up well; Fairly steep learning curve to become familiar with the app and all the various settings

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.