April 2022 Newsletter
In-Person Meetups are Back!
It’s been over two years since we participated in an international tradeshow so it is with particular excitement that we announce our involvement in UK Care Week. This event, including three days of virtual meetups and culminating in a conference and exhibition on the 6th & 7th July at NEC Birmingham, will bring together the care community to address the biggest challenges facing the care sector.
It is a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our newest member of the BeHear assistive hearing family, the BeHear SMARTO, which we will do at our booth (E68) and in our presentation entitled “Increase Care Staff Retention through Better Communication with Residents”.
Register here (entrance is free).
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
♦ Last Chance for BeHear SMARTO Pre-order Discount
♦ Is Someone Close to You in Denial About Their Hearing Loss?
♦ Hearing Loops are on the (Google) Map!
♦ BeHear ACCESS Reviewed in Podcast
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here.
Last Chance for SMARTO Pre-order Discount
SMARTO Will Soon Sell at Full Market Price
BeHear SMARTO, soon to be launched commercially, is a very powerful but simple to operate hearing amplifier. Designed to improve comprehension of live conversations, cell phone calls, and TV audio, it can be used by people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss who may be limited by mobility, vision, dexterity, or dementia.
SMARTO can be body-worn, hand-held, or placed on a table. It can be used straight out of the box (its large, colorful buttons make it easy to control volume and bass/treble balance), or customized with a dedicated app to suit the user’s unique hearing needs. Its unique directionality feature allows the user to focus on a specific speaker, or capture important sounds from all directions.
BeHear SMARTO has passed all checks in the pilot run, and we have authorized the completion of commercial production at the factory. We expect to start shipping to pre-order customers by the beginning of June.
If you haven’t placed your pre-order yet, don’t miss this last opportunity to benefit from a 25% discount off the standard price.
This limited offer will expire on May 15, so don’t wait!
Quick Way to Overcome Hearing Loss Denial
Many people are in denial about their age-related hearing loss. Not only is it hard to know what is not being heard, it is much easier to blame others or the environment for hearing difficulties. Sadly, at the end of the day, everybody suffers.
A quick way to determine if you or a loved one might need hearing assistance is by answering the following questions (culled from the ASHA – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association “Self Test for Hearing Loss“):
- Do you have a problem hearing over the phone?
- Do you have trouble understanding when two or more people talk at the same time?
- Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
- Do you have trouble hearing in noisy places?
- Do many people you talk to seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
If the answer to two or more of these questions is YES then it’s time to do something about it! A quick and inexpensive way is to try a BeHear device. With the integrated hearing assessment it is easy to determine independently just how much amplification is needed to hear (and to experience what it’s like to hear with that customized boost!). Our “Buy & Try” policy gives 30 days to try out the device, risk-free.
Getting help for hearing difficulty is sure to improve relationships, and should be as important as treating your vision. Don’t put it off any longer!
Hearing Loops are on the Map!
Hearing loop systems transmit wireless audio input via a magnetic field to telecoil receivers. These receivers are found in many high-end hearing aids, some dedicated headphones, and in BeHear ACCESS headsets. In a hearing loop system there is no interference, no reverberation, no background noise, just the original signal transmitted directly from the input, whether that is the microphone on a podium, the audio system in a theater, the microphone the cashier is speaking into at the bank, or the music from the concert hall stage. This closed system provides people, especially those with hearing loss, an excellent way to hear voice and audio signals clearly, even in noisy places or when the sound source is far away.
Hearing loop technology is common in Europe and the U.K. and is universally accepted as the international standard for hearing access. Installed base is growing rapidly in the United States as organizations such as HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) and others press venues to become compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
Did you know that thousands of locations that have hearing loops are now indicated in Google Maps? We just discovered that Google has added the assistive hearing loop attribute that indicates if somewhere, like a movie theater, house of worship, or library, has a sound system that is compatible with hearing devices (like BeHear ACCESS!) which support telecoil transmission.
- If you’re interested in a better hearing experience in public places, use the assistive hearing loop attribute when searching for the location. Then, when you arrive, set your BeHear ACCESS to Telecoil Transparent (for ListenThrough capability) or Telecoil Exclusive (for pure audio) and enjoy!
- If you’re a business owner or manager with a verified Business Profile on Google, you can add attributes to your Business Profile on Search and Maps.
BeHear ACCESS Reviewed in Podcast
Computer and Technology Radio is a long running consumer technology podcast hosted by Marsha Collier and Marc Cohen. In a recent edition the team reviewed BeHear ACCESS Model II. Click here to listen (the review is at minute 38:38).
March 2022 Newsletter
What We Can Do in Uncertain Times
With everything going on in the world today, you may be feeling that important things beyond your control are affecting your day-to-day existence. Instead of being overwhelmed by them, how about concentrating on important things that you can influence?
For example, this month the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Hearing Day with the theme “To hear for life, listen with care!” Read more about this effort to raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss, which is preventable, in the first article below.
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
♦ BeHear ACCESS Model II Roll-out
♦ Tinnitus Masking Sound Therapy: Could it work for you?
♦ BeHear SMARTO: Scenes from the Production Line
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here.
Important Message from the WHO
Unfortunately, like with many precious things, we don’t pay proper attention to our hearing unless we lose it. Evaluate your hearing status by asking:
- Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Does it feel like people around you are mumbling?
- Do others complain that the TV volume is too high?
- Does background music drown out dialogue?
These are all signs of potential hearing loss, which, when left untreated, can lead to isolation, depression, and even dementia. Let’s all heed the advice of the World Health Organization and protect the hearing that we do have. And, while you’re at it, see if a BeHear hearing amplifier can enhance it to keep you connected to the people and sounds that you love.
What’s New in BeHear ACCESS Model II?
While both models of the BeHear ACCESS use the same form factor and sound processing technologies, Model II supports five additional features:
♦ Tone control: Adjust base/treble emphasis directly from the headset
♦ Tinnitus masking: Customize a sound file to distract you from your tinnitus
♦ Bluetooth 5.0: More stable, easier to pair, supports “over the air” updates
♦ Increased loudness: Full amplification, without feedback
♦ Multilingual expansion: Voice prompts are available in 11 languages
We’ve prepared a video to illustrate these features. With some assistance from our model “Patty”, you can get a first-hand impression of the new features in BeHear ACCESS Model II. We connected the BeHear ACCESS headset Patty is modeling to our video recorder so that you, the viewer, can experience these new sound technologies, just as if you were wearing the headset yourself.
Tinnitus Sufferer? Try BeHear Tinnitus Relief Sound Therapy!
As we roll out Model II of our flagship hearing amplifier, BeHear ACCESS, we are keen to know if the customizable sound therapy it features helps alleviate distress caused by tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”. While there is currently no known cure for tinnitus, masking therapy has proven beneficial to many. This short video clip lets you experience the sound therapy provided in BeHear ACCESS Model II.
If you suffer from tinnitus and are interested in providing your feedback, please contact us for a special deal on the headset.
BeHear SMARTO Reaches a Milestone
We are excited to announce that the production process for the new BeHear SMARTO hand-held hearing amplifiers has reached the pilot stage! This means that our newest product is progressing nicely through the hurdles of materials sourcing, assembly, testing, and certification. We are expecting to receive the first units for integration next week and if all goes as planned we’ll be shipping units to early adopters in the next two months or so.
If you haven’t yet pre-ordered your SMARTO at the discount price — time is getting short! You’ll want to reserve this simple yet powerful hearing amplifier and be one of the first to enjoy loud and clear conversations with your loved ones.
December 2021 Newsletter
Time for New Year’s Resolutions
In our December newsletter, just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping, we are offering special pricing for both BeHear ACCESS and the BeHear TV Watching bundle. Getting a hearing boost is a great way to be better connected to family and friends — and isn’t that a great resolution for the new year?
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here.
November 2021 Newsletter
Holidays are about Connecting!
In our November newsletter we encourage you to be part of the conversation, whether your holiday meet-up is in-person or virtual. You’ll find a link to the recorded webinar introducing BeHear SMARTO, a simple to operate body-worn personal sound amplifier, which we invite you to pre-order SMARTO at a big discount. Additionally, you can read and/or view the impact that BeHear ACCESS has made on Kevin Knauss, an independent health insurance agent, in his write-up and video testimonial. In the holiday spirit we are offering special pricing for both BeHear ACCESS and the BeHear TV Watching bundle.
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
♦ Special holiday discounts on BeHear ACCESS ♦ “Compared to $4,000 for other hearing aids, this is a steal” – BeHear ACCESS customer ♦ View HLAA webinar recording introducing SMARTO ♦ Free admission to CES for BeHear subscribers ♦
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here.
October 2021 Newsletter
Thanks for the recognition!
In our October newsletter we announced with great pride that our newest product BeHear SMARTO, a simple to operate body-worn personal sound amplifier, was awarded first place in the Personal Listening Amplifier (wearable) category of the annual Hearing Technology Innovator Awards™. We thank all of our supporters for helping to make this happen! As a BeHear follower we invite you to pre-order SMARTO at a big discount.
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
♦ Recent publication from FDA for OTC hearing aids explained ♦ “I can now hear what’s being said” review from BeHear NOW customer ♦ Invitation to HLAA webinar introducing SMARTO ♦ Free admission to CES for Behear subscribers ♦
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here.
September 2021 Newsletter
BeHear Back to the Routine
In this September newsletter we formally introduced our newest product: BeHear SMARTO, a simple to operate body-worn personal sound amplifier. As a BeHear follower we invite you to preorder SMARTO at a big discount.
ALSO IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
♦ “Situational hearing devices” trend explained ♦ BeHear hearing solutions now in French electronic retailer, Boulanger ♦ “Life-changing” review from BeHear PROXY customer ♦ Special discount on BeHear PROXY neck speaker and bundle ♦
To get these newsletters sent directly to your inbox, register here. ♦
August 2021 Newsletter
Promoting Hearing Health in China with BeHear Hearing Self-Check Kiosks
You may know that our products are designed in Israel, and then manufactured in China. But did you know that BeHear products are sold in China in a wide variety of sectors? Here are a few examples of how BeHear technology improves the life of people in China.
Enjoying your own personal music selection and video fare is one of the best ways to make air travel pleasant. We are thrilled to work with a retail partner in China to deploy hearing check kiosks and the full range of BeHear products in the AI Smart Times airport stores network in Shenzhen, Zhengzhou, Harbin, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Chongqing.
While waiting for their flight, travelers can self-check their hearing and choose an appropriate listening enhancement solution from the BeHear product line.
Community Welfare Sector
We have established partnerships in Nantong, Jiangsu Province to offer hearing check service using our kiosks in local community centers. BeHear products are offered to patients if they prefer the listening levels they experience with BeHear technology applied.
The same type of partnership is in effect in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, where our kiosks are installed in the local health management center serving the neighborhood.
Elderly Care Homes
BeHear has partnered with AoYuan Group, a leading network of elderly care homes in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. BeHear kiosks provide residents with the ability to check their hearing and experience the personalized improvement offered by BeHear technology.
The same program is underway with the China Everbright Group, one of the Fortune 500 companies with a subsidiary in the elderly care business in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. Three separate senior care centers in Zhengzhou are now offering BeHear hearing check services.
Hearables, innovative hearing solutions, create an opportunity for holistic audiology
The hearing healthcare market is rapidly changing, expanding to include a new category of hearing solutions called hearables – devices that offer different types of hybrids between hearing aids and consumer electronic headsets or ear buds. The delay in OTC (Over The Counter) legislation providing guidelines for the marketing of hearing aids, promised by the FDA to be released in August 2020, has not prevented companies from announcing DTC (Direct To Consumer) hearing augmentation solutions. On the contrary, several companies, including giants like Apple, are moving full speed ahead to implement hearing augmentation solutions for people with mild to moderate hearing degradation.
As more and more companies start offering hearing solutions that are not hearing aids, and customers recognize that it is possible to find alternatives to traditional hearing aids that are prescribed and fitted by a hearing professional, audiologists will need to consider evolving in the way they manage their businesses.
What does the increase in the availability of non-traditional hearing solutions mean for audiologists?
As Kim Cavitt, AuD advised on a recent “Future Ear Radio” podcast entitled “How Hearing Professionals Can Thrive in an Expanding Market”, the best course for audiologists going forward is to “practice audiology: decouple your identity from the product and simply provide the care at a professional level.” Dr. Cavitt believes that audiologists need to adopt a more holistic approach. Instead of focusing on selling hearing aids, hearing professionals should be addressing the specific client’s requirement and counseling them on the best solution for their current hearing status. They can use their audiological expertise to diagnose the client’s condition and then help them navigate the wide variety of available options to steer them toward high-quality solutions.
In other words, this move would require a revised business model. Instead of relying mainly on hearing aid sales for income, provision of services would sustain the practice. Service might include finding ways to increase awareness regarding the importance of hearing health and closing the gap between the first stages of hearing degradation and adopting technological support.
How can audiologists stay relevant as providers of hearing solutions?
Psychological factors create resistance to adopting hearing aids, but most people are unaware that untreated hearing loss damages physical, emotional, and even mental wellbeing. Familiarity with the entire gamut of technological options, from high-end hearing aids to situation-specific hearing enhancers (like TV listening solutions) enables audiologists to offer solutions appropriate to the customer’s state of mind, as well as the condition of their ears. Since the holistic approach is also time-consuming, it would be benefit audiologists to vet the DTC (Direct to Consumer) options and then refer clients to their own e-Commerce store to peruse relevant options there. This would cut down on clinic time and keep the client at the center of the process, while providing a new revenue stream for the audiologist.
Becoming a knowledge source for customers who find it difficult to comprehend and calculate the pros and cons of different options available is an important way to stay relevant as a hearing professional.
While attending the recent “Future of Hearing Healthcare Event” sponsored by Hearing Health & Technology Matters, Kathy Folino, an audiologist at Amplifon Clinic in Niagara Falls, discovered the BeHear PROXY, a hearing enhancement neck speaker developed by Alango Technologies. Kathy reports: “I used the BeHear PROXY myself and then sent it to my dad to try out as well. I think it’s a great product. The sound quality was clear, and the volume range was great (thinking of hard of hearing clients). It was very user friendly and easy to pair the Bluetooth and start using. My dad loved using it as a speaker and he even used the headphones at times too. It improved his ability to hear the TV clearly and understand what was being said. His partner liked it too because the TV wasn’t too loud for her!”
Products like BeHear PROXY make it easy for audiologists to adopt a more holistic approach to helping people with hearing loss. It’s a great option for clients who are hesitant to get hearing aids, and/or just want something for the TV.
Individuals who became audiologists to reconnect those with hearing loss to family, friends, and nature’s pleasures will appreciate the opportunity provided by the new hearing enhancement solutions to serve more people. With their backgrounds in science and technology, hearing professionals are well positioned to help clients navigate the rapidly growing field of options. Clients will benefit from an easier path to hearing health with a trusted advisor, and audiologists will be rewarded with their loyalty for years to come.
Why use a neck speaker with hearing aids?
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.
“Quit yelling at the people in the supermarket for the wrong reasons,” says Mr. Berger after trying his new hearing device.
In this interesting BeHear NOW review Robert M. Berger provides his perspective on hearing aids, overpriced hearing devices, and explains why BeHear NOW fulfills his hearing requirements.
My hearing has been fading for several years and recently I began shopping for a fix. I was appalled at the pricing of established hearing aids but heard that the U.S. government was now allowing certain categories of hearing devices to be sold over the counter and the market responded with several offerings at various prices. After an investigation of the pros and cons of each, I selected the Wear & Hear brand because of the messages on their home site and they met the needs of my hearing problem which were:
- It must customize to an audiogram. WH tests you on their app and adjusts to the results.
- I wanted a device where I could fine tune the sound. WH does that.
- It must be rechargeable. No batteries. WH is rechargeable and gives you multiple warnings when the battery is low.
- I wanted it to adjust for different environments. WH does indoor, outdoor, crowds and music modes.
- I wanted easily adjustable volume. I don’t have to take the device out of my ear to adjust volume, it’s on the cord.
- Must have Bluetooth phone connections. Got that.
- I needed to afford it. Their price was right.
I should also add the videos on both the PC and phone were complete and easily understandable. Once set up, a nightly recharge next to my phone was all that was necessary. For me, I didn’t want to start experimenting at $2000-3000, when I could do as well for 10% of that investment. There is a 30-day return policy and good customer service.
I’m hearing things I haven’t heard for years, movies, TV, my turn signal, my grandchildren, other adults, conversations in Starbucks, music. I don’t blast the car radio with others in the car and the neighbors two counties away have quit complaining that my TV is too loud.
Everyone needs to make their own decision, but I feel that some of the higher priced devices are mostly markup, and in many cases obsolete technology that they have been selling for years.
So, as you can tell I am happy with it. I recommend you take a look at their website and see if it meets your needs. The website is the most informative and useful of any I visited. Good luck and quit yelling at the people in the supermarket for the wrong reasons.
A quality hearing device should not be a luxury!
That’s why we developed the BeHear NOW hearing amplification headset and made sure that, with all the advanced technology inside, it remains an affordable hearing device. BeHear NOW hearing amplifier helps to boost your hearing and works in four hearing modes. Wondering about the hearing device price? See that and more information on the BeHear NOW product page.
Hearing loss impacts relationships – with BeHear NOW I can hear my wife
Hearing loss negatively impacts relationships, creating strain between husband and wife, making it harder to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Nobby uses BeHear NOW when he is with his wife and to listen to music while doing other activities he enjoys.
My name is Norman Elliott Smith, although people refer to me as “Nobby”. I’ve been called Nobby for at least the last 70 years so that was since I was 10 years old. I’ve practiced here in Israel both as a pharmacist and as an optometrist.
My wife complained many times that she’s repeating things once, twice, or three times. I suggested that she actually was mumbling, which didn’t go down very well. And so I ended up having a hearing test, which is very similar, believe it or not, to what the test this machine [BeHear] offers. In fact, I can’t see really any difference. I use it obviously, when I’m near my wife, which is most of the time, and it certainly helps.
I use it with the Bluetooth particularly to listen to music. And it works very well when I’m working out in a gym, on a treadmill. BeHear NOW easy to wear, and I’ve enjoyed using it up to now, and hopefully will continue to.
According to research discussed in Healthy Hearing, hearing loss impacts relationships in a number of ways and can be a major source of stress: “Both the hearing-impaired participants and their close partners bemoaned the loss of spontaneity and the difficulties of sharing small unexpected incidents, observations and small talk in their everyday interactions.”
If you or someone you love is experiencing hearing loss, don’t let it negatively impact your relationships! BeHear is an easy to implement solution to make life sound better. Here are some useful tips on how to talk to your partner about hearing loss.
BeHear PROXY neck speaker reduces listening fatigue
Seema uses BeHear PROXY neck speaker to reduce listening fatigue at work, when receiving travel requirements from clients on the go, and at home, to enjoy TV without disturbing the other family members.
With BeHear PROXY I can hear all the details…
My name is Seema, and I’m a travel consultant. I mostly deal with business travel clients. My clients typically call me in the middle of the day, often from very noisy spaces.
The success of my work totally depends on my not missing any details while receiving travel requirements. Sometimes, even the tone which is used when relaying details will determine the type of services I choose to offer.
I have a small hearing loss in one ear. I do not wear hearing aids, I’m not quite there yet, but I thought it would be really interesting to try the PROXY. I have completely fallen in love with this product. It’s a dream come true.
The BeHear PROXY neck speaker is comfortable and convenient
It’s very light and comfortable on my shoulders, around my neck. Its features are very accessible – the volume, turning it off and on, moving from earphones, which are very comfortable and stay in my ear, they do not fall out. And they are put away very easily.
BeHear PROXY enables me to work hands free, which is incredibly important. I can get up, I can move around, I can write, I can copy, I can research, while I’m listening. The clarity and the sharpness of the sound is incredible. I don’t miss a single word of any conversation.
When I’m in the office, I use earphones, for privacy. And when I’m alone, at home, I work without them. Since having PROXY I have not gone one single day without using it.
“I never imagined I would love BeHear PROXY more than my Dyson!”
I have to say that I also noticed that I feel so much less tired at the end of the day since I apparently am exerting so much less energy focusing and concentrating on hearing. The BeHear PROXY neck speaker reduces listening fatigue.
Watching TV has also become a pleasure. I can hear at my own volume. I do not bother anybody, no one else disturbs me. And no one hears me saying “shush” anymore. Thank you so much BeHear PROXY for this incredible experience!
“I can’t imagine having just my hearing aids, anymore”
In this blog post we’re sharing comments from Beth, a singer and music teacher who explains how PROXY helps her hear better with hearing aids. She started using the BeHear PROXY neck speaker a few weeks ago and was amazed by the sound quality, comfort, ease-of-use, and flexibility of the multi-functional hearing amplifier. She uses BeHear PROXY to listen to music and podcasts while exercising, speak hands-free in mobile calls, and tutor students over Zoom.
I decided to get hearing aids when I realized I was becoming a burden
My name is Beth, and I’m a cantor, which means that I chant religious services, and I also prepare young people to chant and sing religious text. And this means that I really need my ears.
About 4-4.5 years ago, I noticed a drop in the hearing in my right ear. I noticed this because if I held my phone to my right ear I couldn’t hear so well, but if I moved it to my left ear, I suddenly heard very clearly.
So I went to an audiologist and I was diagnosed with a hearing loss. They told me I wasn’t quite a candidate for hearing aids yet, so I waited a while, and I wondered about it, and asked myself “do I want hearing aids?”
Eventually, there really wasn’t a choice; when you’re going “what, what, what?” every other sentence, you realize you’re becoming a burden to the people around you.
So then I took on the process of researching hearing aids, because there are so many kinds, and which one do I buy, and it’s a big investment. And I finally settled on a brand, and I’ve been wearing hearing aids now for about three years, and I enjoy them very much, they’ve made a huge difference in my quality of life.
With PROXY I don’t always need my hearing aids in to hear better
Then I heard about the BeHear PROXY. When I first looked at the videos online I became intrigued, because it seemed like it was offering a middle ground; I didn’t always need to have my hearing aids in to hear well!
My hearing aids are comfortable, but because of my work, and because of my active lifestyle, I have to have them in from early in the morning until late at night. I can’t be in front of the TV or the computer without them, and my ears get a bit tired wearing hearing aids for 12-15 hours. They also don’t always make my sound 100% clear. My hearing is definitely better with the hearing aids, but there are still certain things that I don’t hear clearly.
When I first put on the BeHear PROXY I discovered that there’s another “space” in this hearing world, and that is one that I can use in my home very comfortably. The ear pieces are extremely comfortable, they’re soft and they fit very easily.
The BeHear PROXY is very light on my neck. That was another thing: when I opened the box, I loved the design. It’s attractive, it’s easy to wear, and the retractors for the ear pieces work so beautifully, and are so simple to use.
So, when I’m walking outside, and I do walk about 3-5 miles every day, they’re really comfortable to wear and to use, and to listen to my music, or my podcasts, and I don’t have to have my phone in my hand, and I don’t have the headphones on, which get tight and bulky, after a while, when you’re walking for an hour and a half, that’s what happens.
The amazing speakers are fabulous for Zoom calls
My favorite, my absolute favorite feature, are the amazing speakers. The sound is so clear, and so crisp, when it comes into my ears, that it’s unlike anything I’ve heard for a long, long time, even with my fabulous hearing aids. So I really really appreciate that, particularly when I’m teaching children on Zoom, or when I’m in classes on Zoom. I have a 3-hour writing class that I’m taking, and that’s a long time to be listening. The BeHear is just a fabulous thing to be using for that purpose.
I also like that I can adjust the volume easily, with the BeHear, and that I have the app that I can do that through as well. Your hearing aids have a set position, and it’s a really good position, but sometimes I feel like I’d like to be able to turn up the volume as well, and I can do that with my BeHear PROXY.
I wish I knew about PROXY before I got my hearing aid
One thing that happened for me, when I found out that I needed hearing aids, was a little bit of difficulty with this change in my self-image. And I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of having hearing aids. For me, BeHear PROXY would have been, if I had had it at the time I was considering hearing aids, a great way to ease into the transition. BeHear PROXY gives me flexibility; it gives me a really comfortable way to experience hearing amplification.
I think in retrospect, if this had been available to me when I was in my search for hearing aids, and debating, I would totally have bought this. BeHear PROXY is very reasonably priced and would have been a great way to have an experience with hearing amplification without having to invest a lot of money, and get involved, and worry about all of the implications. This is a really comfortable, easy to use instrument, that gives me what I need.
If I had known about BeHear PROXY when I was first dealing with getting hearing aids, I think it would have been a great help in navigating my issues of self-image as I came to terms with the fact that I was going to need hearing aids.
Bottom line: the sound quality of BeHear PROXY goes above and beyond any expectation
I love the sound quality of BeHear PROXY. It goes above and beyond anything I could have expected. While I have good hearing aids, this gives me good flexibility and options that I didn’t have before. I love using BeHear PROXY with my computer, I love using it with my television, I love using it when I exercise, and listening to my cell phone, to my podcasts, to my music. I love being able to answer the phone, when I’m in the house, and it’s completely hands-free. And the sound quality when I speak to people, is good as well. They hear me very clearly, and I hear other people more clearly as well. And so, it’s a great, great product. I’ve really enjoyed using it and I’m so grateful that I have it now. I can’t imagine having just my hearing aids, anymore. I will definitely be using the BeHear PROXY in the years to come.
I can listen to a podcast whilst mowing the lawn!
Before buying the BeHear ACCESS, I had NHS behind-the-ear hearing aids for five years and needed them to be readjusted after three. This required waiting for an appointment with the audiologist. Luckily that was before Covid and the lockdowns. One of the great things about the BeHear hearables is that if I feel my hearing has deteriorated, I can just use the built-in hearing assessment any time I like (lockdown or not) and save the settings in the App’s library.
My original reason for moving on from my hearing aids, was I wanted to use Bluetooth. My hobby is Family History and our U3A group face to face meetings had had to be cancelled during lockdown, so we trialed Zoom meetings with great success. Unfortunately, my laptop sound is not of sufficient quality or level for my hearing, and I was losing a lot of the conversation.
I researched a number of available Bluetooth adapters such as neck loops as well as hearables products, and although there are other hearables that also have a self-assessment feature, the BeHear wearables looked to be the only ones that could offer the range of features I was looking for and the level of audio gain that my high frequency hearing loss required.
When I had my NHS (National Health Service) hearing aids readjusted previously I had also had the Telecoil feature enabled as I had found theatre acoustics and reverberation a problem. The BeHear ACCESS provided the perfect solution with the in-built Telecoil.
Having had the BeHear ACCESS for a while now, I have been very pleased with the purchase. There are a number of activities that have improved that I had not considered originally; for example, I can listen to a podcast whilst mowing the lawn or adjust the sound settings on the fly for a difficult sound situation. The wind noise (with or without the supplied wind mufflers) is much less of a problem than with the BTE.
With the extra boost these give to my high frequency hearing, I can appreciate bird song again.
Finally, my BTE hearing aids pick up unwanted noise from behind. This is particularly bothersome in a restaurant. Sitting with my back to a wall doesn’t solve the problem as the hard surface reflects the sound onto the hearing aids. With lockdown coming to an end I am looking forward to enjoying restaurants and theatre shows.
Negatives are few and small. The NHS hearing aids are more comfortable; I did find the earbuds a little difficult to get used to and had to use the smallest size (perhaps I have small ear canals) and they can make my ears sore if I have them in all day. The Bluetooth range would be better if it was version 5.0 rather than Version 4.2, but connection can be made to two devices e.g., laptop and phone concurrently, which is really useful.
HEAR THIS! One company is leading the way in improving audio access for the hearing impaired
[Originally published in FeedMagazine.tv – Spring 2021]
You really want to hear that YouTube content – the life hack that’s going to change everything. But it was recorded badly, the publisher hasn’t mixed it well, and you just can’t hear exactly what your favourite guru is saying. You turn up your iPhone, but Apple has designed the loudness settings to keep you from shattering your eardrums. Then, of course, there are no video subtitles. So, you watch it at your desktop computer with the BIG SPEAKERS and see how that goes.
It’s really irritating when that happens. But if you’re hard of hearing, this is what a regular day on the internet can be like. Fortunately, there are hearing assistive devices making content more accessible.
Audio communications company, Alango Technologies, is headquartered in Haifa, Israel, and has turned its focus to technologies improving access for the hearing impaired. The company’s BeHear ACCESS assistive hearing device was an honouree at the 2020 CES Innovation Awards. Their philosophy is that hearing impairment is a more universal phenomenon than most people readily admit, and use of hearing assistive technology should be as common as getting glasses.
Accessing audio isn’t entirely a matter of loudness or frequency enhancement. Sometimes the speed of speech makes it difficult to understand for people with age-related hearing loss, but also those with cognitive disabilities or language barriers. Even those who need extra time to write down information as they hear it.
One of Alango’s technologies, EasyListen, slows down incoming speech in real time.
“People with a hearing disability have difficulties listening to fast talkers and, eventually, at some age, all talkers seem fast,” explains Alango founder and CEO, Dr Alexander Goldin. “We can slow down speech and make it more intelligible. It’s a unique technology you cannot find today, even in expensive hearing aids.” BeHear ACCESS was designed for older people, who may have dexterity problems, with large buttons and simple controls.
The company’s EasyWatch technology allows viewers to understand fast talkers on TV, movies and streaming video by dynamically and selectively slowing down both the audio and video streams.
“One problem with hearing loss is that many people are not aware of having it,” says Goldin. “It takes, on average, seven years from the onset of the problem to the point where people become aware. And another three years when they start actually looking for help.”
To shorten this time, Alango has developed a hearing assessment kiosk, which can be put in waiting rooms or pharmacies to assess hearing – then provide customised audio feedback to give people an experience of what they are missing.
“Becoming aware of the problem is not enough to look for help. You need to know what you are missing. Hearing isn’t like vision – I can immediately understand that I can’t read a book or see a traffic sign. But if I don’t hear birds outside, they simply don’t exist for me. At our kiosk, we play video clips and allow people to switch the hearing amplification on and off.”
Getting the right solution in compensating for hearing loss isn’t just a matter of increasing loudness. Most gradual hearing loss is selective along specific frequencies. Increasing loudness brings up other frequencies, which may allow a person to fill in the gaps of what they are not hearing, but those missing frequencies are still likely to remain vacant. Alango uses a technology called multi-channel dynamic range processing. This takes into account all parts of the auditory system and tries to make up for it using the frequencies a person is still able to hear.
“Hearing loss cannot be compensated for completely. But we’re trying to get as close as possible.”
Alango’s technologies are designed for TVs and technologies people use every day. They have begun conversations with tech manufacturers about how to best integrate these new assistive features more widely.
Given the capabilities of most modern devices, we may eventually see smart devices taking into account that the ability to access video and audio is less consistent than we assume. A device integrated with its own hearing assessments – and automatic compensation for it – could be just around the corner.
PEOPLE WITH A HEARING DISABILITY HAVE DIFFICULTIES LISTENING TO FAST TALKERS AND, EVENTUALLY, AT SOME AGE, ALL TALKERS SEEM FAST
View the original article at https://online.bright-publishing.com/view/528237499/68/