Netflix Subtitles Are No Longer Necessary

August 20, 2020

I received my new hearing device about 10 days ago.  The first time I put it on I exclaimed to my carer “amazing! I didn’t know how much my hearing has deteriorated.”

Shayna Orbaum, satisfied BeHear ACCESS customer
shayna-orbaum-behear-access-customer

In April of this year an article about our assistive hearing products was published in The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s most-read English news website and best-selling English newspaper. As a result, we were flooded with inquiries and purchase orders for our products in our local market. One such customer, Mrs. Shayna Orbaum, filled out our customer feedback form. Her comments are reprinted below, with permission.

Before I was able to use the device I had to do the set-up, which included performing my own assessment of how each ear received the different sounds and tones.  And also pairing it with the Bluetooth on my smartphone.
The accompanying instructions are very clear with pictures and big writing.  Very easy to follow. 

I am able to enjoy TV so much more. 

I found myself tuning in more and more to Netflix [just] so I could read the subtitles. I still love Netflix, but now am able to pick out movies from the VOD library and hear every word loud and clear. 

I used to have the volume up to about 45, when now I don’t need to raise the volume to more than 28, which is comfortable for my carer.

Phone calls: what a pleasure to be able to hear so well.  I don’t even have to hold the phone to my ear.  The phone sits on the table or desk and I just speak normally as though I am speaking to someone nearby. I still have to try out the slow speaking mode.

I have tried medical hearing aids about 3 years ago.  I just could not adjust, always hearing an echo or other noises.  I went back to the audiologist about 6 or 7 times and it was determined that my ear canals are small and hearing aids are not suitable for me. I was refunded the 8,000 shekels without any problems. 

I thank Hillel Fuld for his article in the Jerusalem Post about Wear & Hear

Keep TV Volume Lower; Converse without Asking to Repeat

August 18, 2020

The measure of the BeHear Access’s capability was my wife’s request that I put it on any time she could tell I wasn’t wearing it.

Bruce Brown, editor at HealthTech Insider, recently reviewed the BeHear ACCESS personalizable hearing amplifier. With his moderately severe mid-to-high-frequency loss in both ears, Mr. Brown was well-positioned to benefit from the assistive hearing headset, which has a fitting range of mild-to-moderately severe.

He reports:

“The BeHear Access hearables improved my ability to understand what my wife was saying without always asking her to repeat herself. We could both watch TV at a reasonable audio volume as I could just crank it up a bit with the hearable’s volume control.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is disturbing lifestyles for most, if not all, of us. Those with hearing loss may feel particularly affected due to social distancing, which exacerbates hearing difficulty, increasing frustration during communication attempts. Mr. Brown was able to appreciate the Wear & Hear BeHear technology in these situations. He writes:

I used the hearables’ Bluetooth connection successfully for smartphone calls and video conferences. Still, in these days of self-imposed residential sequestering, the most telling benefit for me was in conversation and watching television.”

Read the full article here.

Reducing the Curse of Isolation for People with Hearing Loss

April 03, 2020

by Dr. Alexander Goldin

♦ Social isolation is a fundamental health-related problem. This excellent article gives a lot of information about how social isolation may be related to hearing loss.

In these turbulent times brought on by the COVID-19 virus, lives of people with disabilities may be even more difficult than usual. Hearing loss greatly limits our ability to communicate. People with hearing loss often utilize other channels of information, such as lip reading, body language, and other visual cues, or even the sense of touch, to compensate for the lack of information typically received from a healthy auditory system. These days, such people may require live, face-to-face interaction with others much more than people with normal hearing. Isolation caused by preventive measures against spreading the virus deprives them of those additional information channels. While some of them can live almost normal lives in good times, compulsory physical isolation may significantly and disproportionately exacerbate their problems. It is a well-known scientific fact that hearing loss is a major health factor leading to social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and premature dementia. If the hearing loss is not addressed in a proper and timely fashion this process of decline can accelerate rapidly.

Traditionally, hearing loss has been treated through the use of hearing aids. However, with less than 20% of hearing-impaired people in the U.S. using hearing aids, we can surely say that hearing aids have failed to provide a comprehensive solution. This is, mainly, due to 4 main factors:

1. Price: Hearing aids are extremely expensive

2. Social stigma: People don’t like hearing aids, thinking they make them look older or handicapped.

3. Limited functionality: Basic hearing aids provide hearing amplification only. Today, the most expensive, top-of-the-line hearing aids allow the wearer to make phone calls, but the quality of sound and the frequency range is still far from perfect.

4. Time to set up and tune: Hearing aids are distributed and tuned by professionals, requiring between 4-7 visits to get them adjusted properly.

In today’s reality of limited mobility and closed or restricted access to audiology services, the fourth factor is becoming a real bottleneck, even if the first three problems are somehow resolved (e.g., if high end hearing aids are distributed for free and people don’t care about how they look). For many people there is simply no way to get help. Hearing loss is not considered a life-threatening condition. Of course, it is not, but the consequences of not treating it are. The situation may become critical as cognitive decline may happen quickly and irreversibly for elderly people. We’d better not wait until too late and try to get them help ASAP.

We feel that our Wear & Hear line of Personalized Hearing Products provides a good, comprehensive, and timely solution for quickly getting help for hearing loss these days. Our products provide an advanced, no compromise, yet affordable, easily-to-operate, and fully personalizable hearing solution. And the great news is that personalization of our products does not require any professional service. It can be done easily by the user or his/her friends or relatives through a simple, intuitive, and free smartphone application.

Our Wear & Hear line of products addresses all aspects of voice communication:

BeHear ACCESS use case couple in kitchen
Reduce the stress resulting from involuntary, prolonged confinement with better communication tools.

1. They resolve difficulties of face-to-face communication between people confined inside their homes. Being able to communicate with a hearing-impaired person without raising your voice or, from the impaired side, without asking the speaker to talk louder, clearer, etc., may greatly reduce otherwise quickly accelerating stress and mutual antagonism. Wear & Hear products can be a family peace saving option in many such cases.

BeHear ACCESS enhances hearing in mobile calls
Improve phone conversations by clarifying and amplifying speech to suit the listener’s hearing abilities.

2. Many seniors are prevented from communicating in person with their families and are relying on phone conversations to stay in touch. For those with hearing loss it is more difficult to understand phone speech because they do not have the visual cues afforded by in-person conversation. Also, phone amplification options and the sound quality of modern phones are limited. The sound options of mobile phones may also not allow suitable personalization. Wear & Hear products resolve these problems by enabling phone calls with high quality sound which is optimized for the user’s specific hearing loss. They can even slow down the voices of fast talkers, making them more intelligible, without asking them to do so.

BeHear ACCESS enhances hearing of television dialogue
In confined quarters, having mutually agreed upon television volume prevents antagonism among housemates.

3. People are watching more television these days. Being able to comprehend TV dialogue at normal volumes will be appreciated by other house dwellers / neighbors. When used with HearLink transmitters, Wear & Hear products work as top-quality TV listening systems with personalized sound.

Couple wearing BeHear ACCESS hearing headsets practicing yoga indoors on mat
Music has a soothing effect if it can be heard properly.

4. Stress is a big problem for people confined to a small space. Quiet, calm music is a great relaxation tool when you can hear it as it was meant to be heard. Unfortunately, hearing impaired people are often deprived of this. Listening and enjoying quiet music requires good hearing. Otherwise, people either cannot hear it, or it is too loud. There is simply no comfortable listening level. Wear & Hear products can help resolve this difficulty, allowing people to reduce their stress.

Patient wearing BeHear ACCESS headset receives meal from orderly.
Hearing well simplifies and tempers communication between patients and their caregivers.

5. Hearing better with Wear & Hear products can help people avoid panic (typically the physical representation of fear, which is a result of feeling helpless or lacking self-confidence). When a person can hear and understand the guidelines for keeping safe they will be calmer, overall.

Last but not least, things may be getting worse in some cases and people may need to rush to hospitals. Even people actively using hearing aids rarely take them to hospitals as they are afraid of losing or damaging their very expensive devices. People without hearing help will experience difficulties in communication with the hospital staff, thus receiving unclear or inadequate treatment. The communication challenges are compounded if the staff are wearing face masks, concealing the physical clues that are useful for comprehension, and taking into account the general background noise which characterizes emergency rooms and hospital wards during a pandemic.

Patient in hospital with oxygen mask wearing BeHear ACCESS hearing headset
Improving patient hearing can impede the onset of hospital-induced “delirium”.

This situation may further increase mental stress and eventually lead or contribute to a well-known disorder called “delirium”, an acute disturbance of mental abilities. We believe that Alango Wear & Hear products can provide a hearing enhancement solution that is affordable, durable, and easy-to-use in hospital conditions.

The earlier people get help, the faster they recover, and the less it costs us as individuals and society in general.

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Joe Tomaso Reviews BeHear Assistive Hearing Headset

April 01, 2020

“They are so much better than traditional hearing aids.”

15 minutes with Joe Tomaso

♦ In this 4-minute audio review, True Crimes podcast host Joe Tomaso (who suffers from hearing loss himself) packs in a lot of information. He brings anecdotes from his professional and personal lives to illustrate how much he likes the BeHear assistive hearing headsets. For example:

“As I’m hosting and doing production work and even editing my podcast, I am using both the BeHear ACCESS and the BeHear NOW personalized assistive hearing products. I have had traditional hearing aids and they cost me thousands of dollars. I also have used similar products that not only cost me a lot more than my BeHear devices, but they were big and clunky and not as comfortable. Also, they didn’t give me the personal hearing experience that matches BeHear.”

“My wife likes this as I’m not blasting the volume on the TV anymore.” – Joe Tomaso, True Crimes Podcast Host

“My BeHear devices are stylish and they help me hear better whether it’s live conversations, hearing better in public places, live music, cell phone calls or just listening to TV.”

“I really can’t say enough for these devices. Recently I was also able to hear birds chirping near sunrise. I have not been able to hear that sound even with my hearing aids and it’s not just what you can hear that counts. It’s what you’re missing out as well. I highly recommend these devices.”

Listen to Joe’s 4-minute review by clicking the link below:

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How W&H Has Changed Elisabeth’s Life

March 10, 2020

BeHear ACCESS Customer Shares Her Experience

Elisabeth Starnes BeHear ACCESS Satisfied Customer
Elisabeth Starnes is extremely pleased with BeHear ACCESS.

♦ “The first time I truly understood the ACCESS actually works as advertised was during breakfast in the noisiest restaurant in town with friends. Midway through our meal, I realized that I was hearing the conversation just fine, and I felt my tension fall away as I relaxed and just enjoyed being with my friends.” ♦

“I am an 83-year old woman who has never worn hearing aids. When I had my hearing tested, the audiologist recommended hearing aids that cost $6,000, plus the cost of an iPhone, plus tax—roughly $7,300. I thought that was obscene! I went immediately to the internet and searched for alternatives. That’s how I found Wear & Hear. I learned that they were releasing a follow-up to the BeHear NOW, and I wanted to be one of their first customers.

BeHear headset replacement parts
All BeHear headsets are supplied with a wide variety of sizes and shapes of silicone ear buds and hooks.

It took a few months to receive my device [until the official release -Ed.], but it was worth the wait. The BeHear ACCESS is brilliant! My main problem was that my ear canal is so small I couldn’t use any combinations of the ear buds and hooks. Fearing that I wouldn’t be able to use the device, I contacted Wear & Hear and they responded immediately. Their technician suggested using it without buds or hooks. For me, that worked perfectly! I have not been self conscious about wearing it. Even people who knew I was going to be receiving the device ask me what I’m listening to. I say, “You.”

Hearing Loop symbol
When you see this symbol you’ll know that your BeHear ACCESS can tap into the looped system to provide you with the best audio.

I discovered that the senior center where I attend an exercise class offers individual hearing loops, which enabled me to use Telecoil mode. I was surprised to be able to discern words in what had been mostly a wall of noise from the public address system.

The last time I attended a program at our local theatre, I heard about 20% of what the speaker said. I knew I couldn’t go back. After I received BeHear’s ACCESS, I contacted the theatre and was delighted to learn that they support Telecoil. I’ll be back!

EasyListen slows down speech to improve intelligibility
EasyListen slows down speech to improve intelligibility in mobile phone calls.

My favorite feature is the [EasyListen -Ed.] Slow, Slower, Slowest settings with phone calls—so handy when you’re trying to listen to a fast talker! Next is ListenThrough. I have several friends who wear top-of-the-line hearing aids (we’re talking $6,000-$8,000), and they have nothing that is comparable. Most of them ask if I mind having something around my neck, and I tell them I don’t; in fact, I don’t even notice it except when the cords catch on my clothing. In any case, it’s a small inconvenience when you consider the price difference! I always point out that any high tech device is going to be obsolete in 6-12 months, and I can afford to buy a new BeHear device every year for the rest of my life for half of what one pair of high end hearing aids would cost in the first year. And, because it is rechargeable, I won’t be bothered with those pesky little batteries that die at exactly the wrong time.

Dr. Alexander Goldin Founder & CEO Alango Technologies
Dr. Alexander Goldin Founder & CEO Alango Technologies

One of the things I appreciate about Alango is that they have democratized hearing help by making the device compatible with an old version of Android (4.4) at a very affordable price. Their mission is to provide hearing technology to as many people as possible; however, they are not motivated solely by money—there is an altruistic element to what they are doing. To understand what I mean, everybody should read The Future Is Now: “How we can create an affordable, self-administered solution to hearing loss” with Dr. Alexander Goldin. ”

Elisabeth Starnes
Dedicated Customer

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How to Alleviate Unnecessary Stress for the Elderly During the Pandemic

March 26, 2020

The Most Vulnerable Age Group to Catch the Virus is Also the Group Most Likely to Suffer from Hearing Loss

Using BeHear ACCESS personalized hearing headset in medical situations
Comprehensible doctor-patient communication is extremely important for optimal treatment of any ailment.

♦ Getting sick enough to see a health professional during these days of the Corona virus pandemic is stressful in its own right, but inability to hear the staff’s diagnosis or treatment strategy because you left your hearing aids behind is truly frustrating. What can be done?

While not being directly related, there is a strong correlation between the severity of symptoms for people infected with COVID-19 and hearing loss rates for different age groups. Both worsen quickly with age. Logically, this leads to a direct link between the number people being infected and admitted to hospitals, and the number of hospital patients with high levels of hearing loss.

Hearing aids are very expensive devices that are easy to lose and easy to fall into disrepair. Few people take their hearing aids with them when they rush to noisy emergency rooms, eventually limiting their abilities to communicate with the hospital staff and get the proper treatment. Not being able to hear and understand the situation also contributes to a condition called “delirium” which is an acute disturbance of mental abilities. This hospital-induced delirium typically results from the combination of stress from poor health, disorientation from being in an unfamiliar environment with strangers, disruption of routine, and absence of familiar faces.

We believe that Alango Wear & Hear products can provide a hearing enhancement solution that is affordable, durable, and easy to use in hospital conditions. It is also multi-functional, allowing patients to better understand the medical staff, communicate over the phone, enjoy music, and watch TV.

BeHear ACCESS personalized hearing amplifierFor example, BeHear® ACCESS is a stylish hearing amplifier for people who need enhanced hearing in specific situations. It looks (and functions) like a typical Bluetooth® stereo headset but also provides enhancement for all-around hearing (live conversations, mobile phone calls, music play, ambient hearing), as well as assistive listening functionality. A dedicated free smartphone app allows wearers to fine-tune sound in real-time, and built-in Telecoil receivers ensure best possible hearing in locales equipped with hearing loop technology.

HearLink PLUS long range low latency Bluetooth audio transmitter
When the HearLink PLUS transmitter is connected to the TV, other residents will not be disturbed by loud television volume.

The BeHear ACCESS headset can be paired with HearLink® PLUS, a Bluetooth® transmitter that streams audio directly from the television’s analog or digital (optical) sound source to the viewers ears. Ambient noises, room reverberation, and other types of sound interference which hamper intelligibility of speech and music appreciation are eliminated. Other residents of the hospital ward (or household) will appreciate the fact that the TV volume doesn’t disturb them. The transmitter pairs seamlessly with Wear & Hear assistive hearing headsets, ensuring that each viewer benefits from personalized audio that can be fine-tuned in real-time using the dedicated W&H BeHear smartphone app.

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Tech Expert “Ask Dave Taylor” Reviews BeHear ACCESS

March 07, 2020

“Good as Audio Headphones but Pretty Darn Amazing with Assistive Hearing”

Dave Taylor Reviews BeHear ACCESS personalizable hearing amplifier
Dave Taylor reviews BeHear ACCESS personalizable hearing amplifier in this YouTube video.

♦ Tech expert Dave Taylor of https://www.AskDaveTaylor.com/ tried out the BeHear Access and found them to be good as audio headphones but pretty darn amazing with assistive hearing. Among its many features are easy charging, long battery life and full support for telecoil.

Hearing aids don’t have to look clunky and cost thousands of dollars if you only have mild to medium hearing loss. Just pair the amazing BeHear Access Assistive Hearing Aid Headphones to your smartphone. Then you can run a simple hearing test and have the BeHear Access automatically adjust for your actual hearing loss across the frequency spectrum. – Dave Taylor, Tech Expert

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Watch Dave’s complete video review here.

Wear & Hear Featured in Hearing Technology Showcase

February 14, 2020

“These are not your grandpa’s hearing aids.”

♦ Vicki Dean, writing for the Herald-Tribune, recently interviewed spokespersons for companies showcasing their solutions at the Hearing Tech Expo, held February 15 at the Manatee Technical Institute in Bradenton, Florida.

In its eighth year, this event is sponsored annually by the HLAA Sarasota chapter. Hundreds attended to take advantage of free hearing clinics and workshops, to meet with various support groups, and to try out the latest in hearing health technology.

As first-time exhibitors at this event, we at Wear & Hear were honored to be interviewed by Ms. Dean, and mentioned in the subsequent article in the Herald-Tribune. Our products caught her eye when we launched the BeHear ACCESS, a personalizable hearing headset, at the CES 2020 event earlier in the year.

Of the new technologies showcased at the event, Ms. Dean wrote:

These are not your grandpa’s hearing aids…New devices function like Bluetooth headsets to amplify relevant sounds while filtering out background noise.

Read the original post here.

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Karl Strom Reviews BeHear ACCESS

January 08, 2020

“The BeHear ACCESS is among the best personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) that I’ve tried.”

 

♦ Karl Strom, Editor-in-Chief at The Hearing Review, included the BeHear ACCESS personalizable hearing headset in his blog covering hearing updates of note presented at CES 2020.

Specifically, he wrote:

“This hearable neckloop was an honoree in CES’s Accessibility, Tech for a Better World award category. The BeHear ACCESS is among the best personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) that I’ve tried. It has a very intuitive self-hearing assessment test (that was surprisingly accurate for my mild-to-moderate high frequency hearing loss) with corresponding ‘first-fit’ amplification and options for adjustment. Although it has a fairly high ‘nerd factor’ due to the neckloop, it does do a good job in selective listening situations as advertised: face-to-face conversations, public places, music and TV listening, streaming audio, and telephone conversations. Whenever I’m trying to remind myself about the potential bright side of future OTC hearing aids, BeHear and a half-dozen others are the ones that give me hope.”

“…it does do a good job in selective listening situations as advertised: face-to-face conversations, public places, music and TV listening, streaming audio, and telephone conversations.” – Karl Strom, Editor-in-Chief – The Hearing Review

Read the original article here.

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Induction Loops, Telecoils and BeHear ACCESS

September 15, 2019

The News

BeHear ACCESS, the newest Personalized Hearing Amplifier headset in the Wear & Hear product line, incorporates telecoil receivers.

Function

hearing loop diagram

Induction Loop Systems transmit wireless audio input via a magnetic field to telecoil receivers. These receivers are found in many hearing aids, some dedicated headphones, and, now, in BeHear ACCESS headsets. In an induction 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.

Terminology

Induction Loop Systems were first introduced publicly in 1937 in a U.K. patent application for a system featuring what was then called a telephone coil. The term telephone coil has been shortened to telecoil or just T-Coil. Induction loops are also known as hearing loops, or simply “loops”.

Prevalence

Hearing Loop symbol
The telecoil receivers in BeHear ACCESS can be used when this symbol is present.

Induction 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).
Typically, induction loop systems can be found in:

  • Places of Worship
  • Concert Halls
  • Theaters
  • Universities
  • Government Offices
  • Banks
  • Ticket Kiosks
  • Post Offices
  • Airports
  • Museums

Hearing Loop Demonstrations

The following two animated hearing loop animations and explanations are provided with thanks to www.hearingloop.org — an excellent resource for more information on this technology.

T-Coil Support in BeHear ACCESS

t-coils setting screen
BeHear ACCESS operation modes for T-coil enabled locations.

BeHear ACCESS T-coils can be activated wherever a loop system is installed. The wearer simply chooses either the T-Coil Exclusive or T-Coil Transparent mode (from the W&H BeHear app Home page, or by scrolling through the Hearing presets using the middle button on the right-hand control box). Exclusive mode allows only the direct signal from the T-Coil transmission to reach the wearer’s ears, while Transparent mode allows nearby important sounds (such as a companion’s voice) to be heard as well.

Each BeHear ACCESS headset incorporates two T-Coils that are perpendicular to each other, thus greatly decreasing sensitivity to the wearer’s orientation in the magnetic field of an Induction Loop System.