Add Noopl 2.0 to your iPhone to hear better in crowded restaurants [Review]

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Noopl 2.0 review
Don’t struggle to hear in loud restaurants. Try Noopl 2.0 with your iPhone and AirPods Pro instead.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Noopl 2.0 works with AirPods Pro and your iPhone to help filter out crowd noise so you can hear conversations. It’s for people who aren‘t ready for hearing aids but would like help tuning into conversations in noisy environments.

I put the hearing enhancement accessory through real world testing. Here’s how it stood up.

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Noopl 2.0 review

While I’m nowhere near needing a medical-grade hearing aid, I do sometimes have problems hearing people in loud restaurants. These don’t have to be crowded — some places just don’t seem to care about acoustics.

But I can attach the Noopl 2.0 to my iPhone, put in my AirPods Pro, and hear the person I’m talking to more easily. The gadget can filter out a useful amount of the crowd noise.

Hardware and design

Add Noopl 2.0 to your iPhone to hear better in crowded restaurants [Review]
Noopl 2.0 matches the look of your iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Noopl 2.0 has a Lightning connector and plugs directly into the iPhone. And it gets its power from the handset.

At 2.0 inches wide, 1.2 inches tall and 0.3 inches thick, the accessory is very portable. The outer casing is black plastic, with a curving bottom edge. It fits the look of the iPhone fairly well, which is important because you’ll need to keep it and your handset in plain view when in use.

Obviously, the Noopl has to have access to the Lightning port. And it won‘t be able to make that connection if your case is very thick. It can’t be much thicker than 0.2 inches.

The accessory comes with spacers to fill in the area between it and the iPhone. And there are three sizes to choose from. These aren‘t necessary, but do make the add-on look better integrated with the handset.

You’ll need a pair of AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro to use this hearing accessory.

Case

Noopl 2.0 case comes with a gray fabric zipper case that might seem oversized for such a small accessory, but there’s also room inside for your AirPods charging case.

The Noopl comes with a nice looking case.
Put your AirPods Pro case in the Noopl case to keep them together.
Photo: Noopl

Noopl 2.0 performance

I did real-world testing of the Noopl’s ability to tune out crowd noise. That was a simple as taking it to a restaurant and using it. I also did some “lab” tests involving a set of speakers blaring crowd noise while I listened to a lecture on my TV.

And Noopl 2.0 really works. Ambient noise isn’t gone, but it’s easier to hear and understand what was being said to me through this device than just using my ears alone.

The reason I did some testing at home is so I could lower the volume of the person spreaking until I couldn’t understand what they were saying amid all the crowd noise with my ears alone, then switched to the Noopl. It let me hear the speaker fine.

But be aware that you are not going to surreptitiously hold your iPhone in your hand and get better audio. The handset and the audio accessory should be as close to the other person as is practical. On the table between you is fine.

Also, speech sounds every so slightly distorted. It’s still understandable though, and gets more so with practice.

The free Noopl Listen application must be running on your iPhone. The screen can be off.

You need to have AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro to use with the hearing enhancement accessory. I tried using AirPods 3 and they couldn’t do it. The difference is that the Pro headphones close off your ear to ambient sounds. Without this, the crowd noise overwhelms the audio from the Noopl.

In a neat trick, the headphones can tell the audio device which direction to listen. Turn your head and the Noople will listen in that direction.

The Noopl Listen application needs to be running on your iPhone.
The Noopl 2.0 is only the hardware. An iPhone app takes care of the software side of the audio accessory.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Noopl 2.0 final thoughts

If you’re not ready for a hearing aid, but would like a bit of extra assistance following conversations in noisy environments, then the Noopl 2.0 might be for you.

And if you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a pair of AirPods Pro, here you go.

Pricing

The regular price for Noople 2.0 is $249, but it’s currently on sale for $179 on the noopl website. That’s a decent price, especially when you consider the cost of traditional hearing aids.

AirPods Pro normally sell for $249 but are down to $179 on Amazon. That’s another $70 savings.

Buy from: Amazon

Comparable products

Some of the toughest competition the Noopl 2.0 has to face comes from Nuheara IQbuds 2 Max. These in-ear headphones help you hear in-person conversations better by filtering out background sounds. I reviewed them too, and they work very well. They cost considerably more than Noopl, but are currently on sale $100 off.

Noopl provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.