Use BeHear PROXY neck speaker with hearing aids, slow down the speech in real time or run the hearing test with the W&H app.
The Facebook community HoH DEAF NOT STUPID posts and discusses resources and organizations that are of use to deaf and hard of hearing people. This is the review they posted about BeHear PROXY.
This neck speaker and personal hearing amplifier sits comfortably around your shoulders and can be used in two ways. There’s a small speaker on each side of the device which deliver a clear, good quality stereo sound. The beauty of these speakers is that you can use them in conjunction with your hearing aids to tailor the sound to your requirement. The device doesn’t transmit audio for reception via the aids’ T switch so you use the aids’ microphones. There’s a pair of volume control buttons on the right-hand side of the device, which can amplify at up to about 105 dB. The downside is that anyone in your vicinity can also hear the output.
A pair of extractable earbuds is housed, one in each arm of the device. Pull them out to use them and press buttons for them to be automatically retracted into their housing. The technical specification of the device rates the output of these earbuds at up to about 105 dB. Our experience with them was that, whilst hearing people found their output satisfactory, people who are hard of hearing had difficulty with them – and, of course, you have to remove your aids to use the earbuds.
The PROXY is Bluetooth enabled, with a range of up to about ten meters, and can support two simultaneously connected devices – say the TV and your phone (if your TV isn’t Bluetooth enabled, you can purchase a Bluetooth transmitter to attach to it).
When used in conjunction with your Smartphone you’d need to use the earbuds for call privacy and, as already mentioned, this might pose a problem for Hard of Hearing users. The two buttons previously mentioned control the call volume. Between the two volume buttons is a third, multi-purpose button. This button is used, depending on the length and number of presses, to reject, accept and end calls and to redial the last number. A built-in microphone makes incoming calls hands free and also enables the amplification of in-room conversations when the earbuds are used and also allow you to hear ambient sounds whilst listening to music.
A Smartphone app. has a feature that lets you slow down incoming speech slightly, to improve intelligibility. The same app. lets you tailor the PROXY to your own requirements, running your own hearing test and turning features on and off.
When listening to music, possibly streamed from your Smartphone, depending on the length of your press, the volume buttons can also be use to skip to the next or previous track. The center button pauses and plays the audio.
The device is powered by an internal rechargeable battery with a charging time of about three hours. When using the loudspeakers, a full charge gives about ten hours listening and, with the earbuds, about forty hours. A USB charging lead is supplied.
The BeHear PROXY is marketed by Wear & Hear at $189 including a one-year warranty and free worldwide shipping. A thirty-day free trial is available.